With the emphasis on white-ball cricket in a World Cup year, Dale Steyn believes he will have to play for three years to reach his goal of 100 Tests.
‘I think I can do it. The body seems fine. I’ve always been fit. It’s a mental thing,’ the (almost-35) Proteas speedster said in an interview with SkySports.
‘I think we’ve only got five Tests until around this time next year, so if I’m going to look to play the 100 Test matches, I’m going to be around for the next three years. That’s 38. I think I can do it.
‘It’s a question of how long do you actually want to do it for? If you’ve got a family and if you’ve got kids – which I don’t but I do have a girlfriend and two dogs that miss me – and how much are you willing to give up.
‘AB [de Villiers] hit the nail on the head. He’s got two young kids and he’s looking at life after cricket right now. He’s reached that point but I’m not there right now.’
Steyn is getting back into form ahead of the Sri Lanka two-Test tour, when he should add to his tally of 86 Tests and gain the three wickets he needs to overtake Shaun Pollock’s total of 421 Test wickets and become South Africa’s most prolific bowler. He has been out of action since injuring his foot in January in a comeback Test after a shoulder injury.
‘One thing is I’ve got overs under my belt, the rhythm seems to be coming back. I’ve got a good followthrough going on which means there’s good pace at the crease and I’m hitting the crease nice and hard. Yeah, everything seems to be ticking over nice.
Steyn began his stint going for 80 runs in 10 overs in a List A game against Somerset. Then he got through 26 overs in a first-class game against Surrey and picked up a couple of wickets along the way. And most recently, he helped secure victory in a one-day game against Yorkshire with figures of 1 for 34 in seven overs.
‘I’m just chomping at the bit to get out and play. I went for 80 the other day but I absolutely loved it. It was great to be back out and playing again and I felt this is where I needed to be rather than petting my dogs and driving and getting stuck in traffic and doing the rehab thing. I need to be on a cricket field so I’ll play for as long as this body can hold.’
Steyn is also keen to play alongside the new generation of Proteas quicks.
‘Kagiso Rabada is so special. [Lungi] Ngidi’s coming through nicely. I just hope there’s a spot there for me when we get to Sri Lanka. In those conditions you’re always looking at playing possible two spinners. I’m looking forward to going out there with some serious talent.’
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