Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
South Africa pace maestro Dale Steyn is determined to represent his country at next year’s World Cup, and is aware that a tough road lays ahead of him in order to be included in that squad.
In addition to ensuring that he remains healthy throughout the summer, where South Africa will play ODIs against Zimbabwe, Australia, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, Steyn also acknowledged that he will have to compete with seamers Kagiso Rabada and Lungi Ngidi.
While Rabada has established himself as the leader of South Africa’s pace attack, while Ngidi has enjoyed a successful start to his international career, Steyn feels that the duo will welcome some competition.
“I’m feeling really good,” the 35-year-old was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo. “Having played my last game only two weeks ago for Hampshire I feel like I’m going, I’m flying.
“But white ball is a whole new challenge. I’ve been playing red ball in UK, so white ball is going to be a different challenge. All the skills, batters coming at you, the Powerplays all of that kind of stuff. And I haven’t played white ball international cricket for quite some time.
“It’s good to have challenges. I think Lungi and KG would also appreciate the fact that I’m coming back into the side because they would also know that their positions are under threat. We all are. You can only take a handful of these fast bowlers to the World Cup and we’re all fighting for a spot.
“Everyone wants to go to the World Cup and I would love to go to the World Cup, but individually I would love nothing more than to see the Proteas win a World Cup. And if that means that I don’t go, then so be it. I did my job coming in here, pushing guys to perform at their best. Pushing KG, pushing Lungi, pushing Andile, all these guys. I’m just happy to be here, playing cricket, and challenging them.”
Steyn has fallen afoul of serious injuries as of late, and in the time he has spent on the sidelines or playing cricket elsewhere, Rabada and Ngidi have quickly made their presence felt and become regular faces in the national team.
However, Steyn urged the South African public and the media to not be overly critical when they run into difficulties.
“KG is phenomenal,” he said. “Over the last few years, he’s won awards that I didn’t even know existed. He’s brilliant,” Steyn said. “Lungi is just feeding off that, and he’s also great. He’s special. He’s really young. And the only thing I can ask is that the media and the people of the country just understand that these are two very young men, and they’re doing their best to win games for South Africa and they’re extremely talented, but they also only have a handful of cricket games between the two of them.
“So let’s not look into it too deeply right now, let’s give them the freedom to play and the time to grow because they’re special talents.”