‘Steyn is just getting started’

2014-02-24 00:00

PORT ELIZABETH — Graeme Smith has bad news for the Australians: Dale Steyn will bowl even better at Newlands.

Steyn yesterday delivered the knock-out blow at St George’s Park to help the Proteas win by 231 runs in the second Test and put the two arch enemies on an even footing in the series.

Smith said after the Test that Steyn’s injured ribs in the run-up to the first Test had meant that the fast bowler was not on par in Centurion and he had only started bowling with his trademark fire in the second Test.

“Dale’s anger level mostly hovered between very angry and extremely angry. We always know that Dale is only one spell from doing something special,” Smith said.

He added a lot was always expected of Steyn because of his past performances, with many people asking whether he can take a lot of wickets.

“It is, however, fantastic to see — when the game is on the line — that he can react like this. And to know that you have guys like this on your team, is something special,” Smith said.

Smith was full of praise for the bowlers. “I think we took 28 wickets in the Test. It was a fantastic bowling performance by our bowlers,” the captain said, referring to a slew of missed chances in the Test.

Michael Clarke, the Australian captain, was in turn full of praise for the Proteas and especially Steyn.

He said it was very difficult to bat when the bowlers get reverse swing to both sides. “South Africa’s seam bowlers all did it well, but Dale Steyn was excellent. He really bowled fast. They showed why they are the best team in the world,” Clarke said.

About the feverish last hour of the Test, Smith said it was not because they worried about the game being rained out today. “We always believed we would play at least two sessions today.”

With everything now on the line in the last Test, fans can expect a thriller at Newlands.

The first two days of the third Test in Cape Town (Saturday and Sunday) are already sold out and the rest of the tickets are expected to sell like hot cakes.

Both teams will, however, have to take a bit of stock before the third Test starts. The Aussies, who at times looked like they were short of a bowler, will hope that the versatile Shane Watson will have recovered from a calf injury so that he can do duty as a fifth bowler. The Proteas must decide on a replacement for the injured Wayne Parnell (groin). Quinton de Kock may also make way for Alviro Pietersen, who has recovered from a virus.

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