• Dale Steyn: Nowhere to hide

    Dale Steyn says his bowling performances at the World Cup is getting better and better as the tournament progresses.

    Steyn has only managed to take five wickets in South Africa’s first four matches. His figures are 1-64 (against Zimbabwe), 1-55 (against India), 1-24 (against West Indies) and 2-39 (against Ireland).

    ‘I don’t think I’ve bowled too badly, said Steyn at the pre-match press conference on Friday.

    ‘I think the first game I go through it game by game, and I think against Zimbabwe I actually wanted to bowl quite quick and run in and try to knock them over, and I don’t think it was quite the right strategy on that wicket. It was a bit slow, and their bowlers proved to be a handful.

    ‘Just by getting the ball in the right area, good use of the slow ball and so on, I just ignored that instinct, and just wanted to run in and blast them where it didn’t work. After that I think I got better and better. Against India, came out nicely. Who else did we play? I don’t even remember. Ireland. So, yeah, I think it’s gradually just gotten better.’

    Steyn admitted that he hasn’t been taking the wickets he wants to, but said that was just the nature of the World Cup.

    ‘In a World Cup you don’t have anywhere to hide. There are no shadows where you can hide. You kind of criticise in every game that you play. If I was playing in a series back home, I would have been quite happy with the way things were going. There are only ten wickets to take, and when Imran takes five or AB takes four, there is not much for the other bowlers to take.

    ‘So you have to do what you have to do in order for your team to win. I’m happy with that. I feel if we make our way all the way to the final, I’m due to have a good game somewhere in there. I’m almost halfway there. I’ve got a couple more to go before a good one’s just around the corner. I hope it’s coming out okay, and hopefully it just gets better.’

    Asked about bowling variations and especially the use of yorkers, Steyn said it was a difficult delivery to bowl.

    ‘I think it’s even more difficult to bowl now because we’ve brought two new balls into the game which is great because it does swing up front. Back a couple years ago when you only used one ball, when you bowled a yorker in the 45th over, the ball was 45 overs old. Slightly softer, and not as easy to get away.

    ‘Now the ball is 25 overs old, it’s still pretty hard and pretty new. If you missed your yorker by just that much, it travels a long way in the field like we’ve got out here today. If you missed your yorker bowling straight, the straight boundaries are 40-odd meters. That is a chip and it’s six. So bowlers tend to get nervous about using the yorker.’

    ‘Execution is a massive thing, but I think we’re starting to realise if bowlers can go to eight runs and over in the last 10 overs, you’re actually doing a pretty good job.’

    In other team news, Vernon Philander and JP Duminy have been passed fit to face Pakistan on Saturday.