The third ODI against Australia at the unfamiliar Manuka Oval in Canberra on Wednesday (5.20am SA time) will be another opportunity for the Proteas to fine-tune their World Cup blueprint.
The Proteas play their fourth group match of the tournament against Ireland at the 13 000-seater stadium next year, and will have a valuable trial run ahead of next year’s showpiece.
‘I have never been here before so I will go out there during our training session to have a look,’ Dale Steyn said ahead of the squad’s training session on Tuesday. ‘From speaking to some locals it seems pretty flat with some high 200 scores.
‘The memories of winning here and doing well are fresh in our minds so if we can finish off this tour strong by winning it, that would be great,’ Steyn said. ‘I think the most important thing for us is to try and find those lines and lengths. We travel all over the world and the most difficult thing is to arrive here and be on the money from ball one. It’s nice that we are here now figuring out those lines and lengths, getting used to the crowds and the fields. It’s important for us to get that kind of experience.’
Steyn, Vernon Philander and Morne Morkel have been the leaders of the Proteas’ attack in the Test team’s rise to No1 on the ICC Test rankings, and have followed in similar style with the white ball, which Steyn admits is no different.
‘One-day cricket is about hitting your lines and lengths and trying to cover one side of the wicket,’ Steyn explained. ‘The only difference is the colour of the ball, you are still trying to bowl good lengths to find the edge of the bat when you open the bowling.’
Steyn says the bowlers have enjoyed bowling in the pace-friendly conditions in Australia, and will take priceless tips for when they return for the World Cup in less than three months.
‘We are looking forward to it,’ he said of bowling in these conditions for the World Cup. ‘This is a good trial run for us. We play a couple of games in New Zealand and we have had good success in the last couple of tours that we have been here, besides with the white ball.
‘It’s another one-day cricket game, that’s why I like playing this game,’ he said. ‘We get to play on a different pitch, in different conditions; it’s another place I have never been before. I’m looking forward to another good one-day game and thinking on my feet tomorrow, trying to figure out a way of being a beast on my feet, especially in conditions that I have never played in before, it’s quite exciting.’