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“Steyn needs to bowl in four or five over spurts when you can get 100% from him”
Legendary South Africa pace bowler Makhaya Ntini has announced that he believes fellow fast bowler Dale Steyn needs to be managed and supported in the same way Australia left-arm seamer Mitchell Johnson is.
Ntini noted that Steyn should be bowling in “four or five over spurts” as it allows him to maintain his speed and aggression.
“Steyn needs to bowl in four or five over spurts when you can get 100% from him,” Ntini said. “That’s how to use him as a main strike bowler and nothing else. Then he can bowl at 145kph and faster through the spell.”
Ntini also pointed out that, despite having a stomach virus, Steyn was still South Africa’s spearhead bowler, while everyone else who backed him up was nowhere near up to par.
“He wasn’t feeling very well, which is one thing and we all know how capable he is,” Ntini said. “If you can see Steyn is bowling at 60% and doesn’t have the energy and isn’t aggressive then someone else should take over. They shouldn’t all go flat.”
The 36-year-old would also like to see Vernon Philander and Morne Morkel start “taking over” and Ryan McLaren bowling a tighter length and keeping the batsmen under immense pressure.
“When you are the leader of the attack you have to plan your bowling so that you don’t overuse any delivery,” he said. “You can’t be bowling six bouncers in a row, you have to know when it’s time to attack. In general, South Africa overuse the short ball and you can see Australia have a game plan for that.”
Ntini added that he would stick with McLaren for the second Test in Port Elizabeth instead of replacing him with Wayne Parnell.
“Nobody can be judged on only one game,” he said. “If you use Parnell, your three seamers are offering the same thing in terms of pace. You don’t need that in Port Elizabeth.”
When asked what South Africa’s bowling attack has to do in order to have more of an impact in the second Test, Ntini said: “You just have to hit proper lengths. You need someone to be a boring bowler, going at two runs to the over and keeping it outside off stump because for one of those balls the batsman is going to play the wrong line.”