History favours Proteas

2014-02-28 00:00

CAPE TOWN — The Newlands fortress.

This is the ground where South Africa will from tomorrow rely on their excellent record to clinch the deciding cricket Test against Australia.

South Africa last lost against Australia at Newlands in 2006 and have won eight out of the 11 Tests since then. These include the victories against Australia in 2009 and 2011.

Dale Steyn, SA’s number one pace bowler, said Newlands is a fantastic venue to play cricket and he cannot wait for the match to start.

“We have a wonderful record at Newlands. I know that going back in Test history SA have lost more games here than what we have won, but I did not play then. The last couple of years we have been playing well at Newlands,” said Steyn.

“There is a lot of knowledge in and around our team on how to pay at Newlands. There are a number of Cape Cobras in the team and in the past people such as Gary Kirsten and Jacques Kallis also gave us very useful advice about the pitches. Add to that, Vernon [Philander], who is King of Newlands,” said Steyn.

“We know how to win here.”

Steyn played an important role to help SA square the series after a devastating spell of swing bowling during Australia’s second innings at St George’s Park.

The Protea quickie however feels that his team-mate Morné Morkel will play a crucial role in the coming Test.

“I don’t mind if I only take one wicket, as long as the team take 20 wickets and we win the Test. That’s all that counts.

“It would of course be nice to take 10 wickets. It is always nice to lead the attack and take wickets. We had a discussion between the bowlers yesterday … If it is your turn to take wickets, you have to grab that opportunity.

“I think Morné is one who is at the top of his form and who knows, maybe he’s the guy to take the wickets.

“He never made the headlines in Port Elizabeth but I still think he made the difference. His bowling in the first innings got us going as a team.

“It was a different Morné Morkel that we have seen.”

Steyn believes he too can bowl better.

“Yes, I think the more I bowl the better I bowl. I will therefore be bowling for a while in the nets today and hopefully will be at my best when the Test starts on Saturday.

“I arrived at Centurion for the first Test and was not feeling well at all. I struggled with a stomach infection but even then did not bowl too badly. I got a couple of wickets.

“But I was not nearly as effective as Mitchell [Johnson]. He destroyed us. He showed how dangerous a fast bowler can be when he is at his peak.

“That was what we tried to do at St George’s Park but the wicket did not allow us to do that, so we had to rely on other skills,” said Steyn, referring to his reverse swing.

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