One of the best quick bowlers in the world, Dale Steyn, rated the Indian side as a tough opponent but promised to deliver his best in the forthcoming series.
Team India led by MS Dhoni is due in South Africa to participate in three One Day Internationals and two Tests. Both teams are in full swing and want to perform best against each other. The Proteas are leading the ICC Test ranking with 3531 points and carrying a rating of 131 whereas the Men in Blue are at the top of the chart in the One Day Internationals with 6852 points and 122 rating.
Steyn is currently ranked as the no.1 Test bowler with 903 points and holds the fifth spot in ODIs with 698. He is at the peak of his career and grabbed nine wickets in two limited over games against the visiting Pakistan. The 30-year-old secured his career’s best figures of 6-39 in the second ODI on November 27, 2013, at St. George’s Park, Port Elizabeth. The hosts lost the series vs. the Green Shirts 1-2 despite the top class bowling from the speedster. He predicted a tough series vs. India and said,
“In two of my last three ODIs I have improved my career-best figures and much of the reason has been down to preparation and analysis. Despite a couple of losses to Pakistan at home we know we are on the right path and improving all the time. There will no better or stiffer test of our skills than against India.”
India has demonstrated excellent cricket and won the entire ODI series in 2013 mainly because of their solid batting. The wonder boy of the game, Virat Kohli, is the leading batsman in the world with 876 points whereas the young gun, Shikhar Dhawan has forced his way by grasping the 9th position. The opener Rohit Sharma is another aggressive opener who has scored heaps of runs and plundered his career’s best knock of 209 against Australia at Bangalore. The entire batting line up clicked against the pace attack of West Indies in three match ODI series in November 2013. They were not afraid of the rising deliveries by the Caribbeans and defeated them comprehensively by a margin of 2-1.
Dale Steyn has a lot of respect for the Indian batsmen who overcame their weakness against the bouncers and will be difficult to handle in the home series. He further commented,
“This Indian team is very ‘modern’ and they will not be intimidated by the short ball. They all know what to expect and I know they won’t be vulnerable to a barrage of bouncers”.
India will start their tour by participating in three ODI series and the first one will commence on December 5, 2013, at New Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg, followed by two Tests.