Dale Steyn says his passion and hunger to win games for South Africa has been the pillar behind his reign as arguably the best fast bowler of his generation.
Steyn’s entry into the 400-wicket club is further testament to the brilliance and skill of the 32-year-old, who continues to raise the bar in the current era of Test cricket.
South Africa lost the toss on the morning of the second Test against Bangladesh in Mirpur, but finished the day in a strong position as Steyn led the charge that claimed eight wickets to leave Bangladesh on 248.
Steyn claimed 3-30, including his 400 Test victim in Tamim Iqbal who edged one to Hashim Amla at first slip in the fifth over of the day.
‘I have never been a stats person,’ he said about the achievement. ‘It’s nice to have these numbers but I have had a lot better moments in my cricketing career. Winning games for my country has always been objective No 1, so the jobs not over yet. It’s cool, it’s nice to have 400.
‘I want to play every game,’ he said when asked about his next target. ‘I want to bowl again tomorrow and I want to bowl again the next time South Africa pick me. Anything can happen, I don’t set targets.
‘I would’ve been happy if I had taken just one wicket in my international career. It’s enough to play for South Africa and take wickets for South Africa, and then I managed to get 400. I never thought that that would happen… ever in my life.’
Steyn praised the all-round effort from the bowlers in ‘difficult conditions’, more so the patience and pressure they exerted alongside renewed intensity and an attacking approach.
‘It was a good day for us,’ he said to the media after the days play. ‘We always knew that once we get them to six down their lower order batters don’t tend to like hanging around, those are wickets we can wrap up quickly. It’s not wrapped up yet but that was the initial goal.
Throughout the day we didn’t let them get away with the game.
‘I love what I am doing right now, even if it’s in 40 degree heat and the ball is staying ankle high. It’s not bouncing and there’s no seam and it’s very slow, I would rather be here than anywhere else right now. There was a period [after the IP]) when I actually didn’t want to have a ball in my hand, I think I just needed maybe two or three weeks to get that love back again.’