With his Sunrisers Hyderabad team facing crunch time in its bid for a play- off spot, pacer Dale Steyn knows every game now is crucial.
“I would be a fool if I believe or say that I can deliver everyday in a 16- game competition like IPL. Twenty20 can be very unforgiving for bowlers and we always have to think of new ways to dismiss or keep runs in check,” Steyn told Mail Today here on Friday.
“The last match against Chennai Super Kings was definitely a tough one for us and the bowlers took quite a battering. But it doesn’t affect my psyche, it was just an off- day. But our bowlers have done well and that has been the strength of this franchise this season and, hopefully, we’ll keep performing the same way.” The presence of Waqar Younis as bowling coach is also an important factor behind the consistent performance of the Hyderabad bowlers and Steyn acknowledged the legendary pacer’s contribution.
“Waqar has been a very useful presence in the dressing room and I was very excited when I came to know that he would be a part of our coaching staff. He has said a lot of good things about me and I’m glad that I’ve been able to perform to the best of my abilities under him,” Steyn said.
“Guys like Tom [ Moody], Krish [ Srikkanth] and [ VVS] Laxman have also been of great help and the atmosphere has been amazing.” On a day when his national team’s coach Gary Kirsten decided not to renew his contract, Steyn spoke about his side’s chances in the upcoming Champions Trophy in England.
“I heard about Gary’s decision and never saw it coming. But I won’t say that I’m shocked as he has to look after his young family and I can very well understand his situation. He’s a great coach and it was fun playing under him,” he said.
“But we are confident going into the Champions Trophy. A lot of South African players like AB de Villiers, [ David] Miller, Morne [ Morkel] and Faf du Plessis are playing in the IPL and seem to be in good touch.
Miller has especially been the centre of attraction and has been fantastic. So, we have a very good chance of winning.” On being the No. 1 bowler in Test cricket and dealing with the pressure and expectations that come with the tag, the 29- year- old bowler said he only focuses on giving his all for the side he plays and honours.
“It obviously feels great to be the number one bowler in the most traditional format of the game. But, honestly, I never think too much about the format before going into the game. The approach always stays the same. Be it franchise or national side, the aim is to deliver and prove that you’re in the side because of your performance,” he said.
India are due to tour South Africa this year and Steyn can’t wait to test the batsmen in pace- friendly conditions.
“I just can’t wait to bowl at them and will be getting everyone out with my deadly deliveries,” he added on a lighter note.