Mohammad Shahzad says Afghanistan would have come closer to beating South Africa on Sunday if Dale Steyn had played.
Shahzad, who opens the batting for Afghanistan, scored 44 off 19 deliveries as his team chased 210 for victory against the Proteas. His big-hitting start gave South Africa a headache in the bowling department and Faf du Plessis admitted afterwards that he was worried after they scored at 10 runs an over for the first 10 overs.
Du Plessis explained after the game that Steyn was dropped for tactical reasons, but Shahzad, who was bowled by Chris Morris, dismissed the possible impact Steyn could have had.
‘Morris bowled very well, with good line and length,’ Shahzad said. ‘I was waiting for the full-length delivery, and I missed, he hit.’
When asked if he would have liked to test himself against a bowler of Steyn’s reputation and ability, Shahzad was clear.
‘It doesn’t matter which bowler is playing because the wicket is very good, you see,’ he said. ‘I love playing Dale Steyn because Dale Steyn is not dangerous.
‘Morris is very dangerous because he has height and swings the ball. Dale Steyn [has] only pace, so this wicket is good to face a pacer, the ball is coming onto the bat. So no, I am not happy that Dale Steyn is not playing.
‘I play my own game because I am waiting for the loose delivery, when I find a loose delivery, whether it is the first ball or last ball of the match, a four-day game, Test match game, I don’t care. I just play my own game, like MS Dhoni, you know.’