Proteas fast bowler Dale Steyn has opened up on his new approach to bowling in T20 cricket after a new study confirmed his status in the game.
Steyn’s success in the shortest format has led to much discussion in the world’s cricketing media.
In an interview Rapport, Steyn said it was down to a whole new thought-process about how to bowl to a specific player at a specific time of a T20 encounter.
‘That was the big thing, to change my attitude. At this point batsmen felt they knew what to expect from me. Following my retirement from Test cricket, it was a good time to restructure my style of play,’ said Steyn.
Having struggled with a number of injuries in the last five years, he decided to call time on his Test and ODI career after he had to make an early return from last year’s World Cup in England.
He would, however, remain open for T20 cricket and recently competed in the Mzansi Super League and the Pakistan Super League.
‘I asked myself: “Am I satisfied with the way my game is at the moment given that I will just play white-ball cricket or will I use the opportunity to change things up a bit?”
‘If I continued doing the same thing then I would not have been noticed by the IPL or other leagues. Even South Africa might not have wanted to pick me anymore so I could just as well do things completely different and see if it works.’
Steyn did a lot of indoor training in Cape Town following last year’s World Cup, while he was recovering from the injury and it was there where he started to mix his bowling up a bit.
He started bowling to batsmen with a shorter than usual run-up and began to bowl a number of yorkers in the process, because the batsmen had difficulty picking them out indoors.
It was something that became visible in the recent T20 series against England where Steyn led an inexperienced Proteas bowling attack.
‘I began to gain confidence with that and started bowling slower yorkers, almost like a full toss. I decided to do it with a longer run-up outside, if I get accustomed to it. If guys struggled with it in the nets then maybe batsmen will struggle with it in games as well.’
‘I tried it once or twice and it worked, then I just went with it. That’s how one or two of the slower balls and the new ideas started,’ Steyn said.
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