Dale Steyn lauds Pakistan sensation Haris Rauf after replacing him in BBL 2019-20

Steyn came into the BBL 2019-20 after a fine display in his own country’s Mzansi Super League.

Dale Steyn
Dale Steyn. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

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Veteran South Africa pacer Dale Steyn made his much-awaited debut in the Big Bash League (BBL) against Adelaide Strikers and it was quite a happening first over for the 36-year-old making the playing XI of Melbourne Stars in the place of Pakistan seamer Haris Rauf, who bowled well in the two games that he played in the season.

Steyn, who is nearing 250 wickets in the T20 format, started with a dot ball but was smashed around by Jake Weatherald before he dismissed him. Overall, it was an ordinary debut for the former Test player as he ended up conceding 29 runs in three overs for just one wicket.

Steyn came into the BBL 2019-20 after a fine display in his own country’s Mzansi Super League. There, he finished as the highest wicket-taker for his side Cape Town Blitz by claiming 15 scalps in eight matches. However, it was not a replication of the same on the Australian soil and the fans would not feel well that he replaced a player who took a fifer in the very last game.

Rauf took 5 for 27 in the last match that the Stars played against Hobart Hurricanes to bag the man of the match award after his team won by 52 runs. The 26-year-old took 2 for 20 in four overs in the match before against Brisbane Heat which was his debut in the BBL as well and his first wicket in the tournament came in the very first ball. But they lost to the Strikers by five runs.

Dale Steyn speaks highly about Haris Rauf, who is yet to play international cricket

Steyn, however, did not forget to give Rauf his due credit ahead of his debut. “I feel for Haris. He was amazing and bowled so well. He has bowled absolute wheels. I have pretty big shoes to fill in some sense,” Steyn, who is the highest wicket-taker for SA in Tests (439) and has almost 700 international scalps, was quoted as saying by Samaa.tv. The legendary bowler was recovering from a side strain when Rauf got his two games.

Steyn also said about Rauf, who is the second-highest wicket-taker in BBL 2019 with seven scalps picked in just eight overs: “What a player and well done to him. I don’t know what his plans are but he can hang around and learn a little bit more and hopefully take his game from strength to strength.” The South African pacer has recently been picked by Wisden in the list of cricketers of the decade.

Watch: South African spinner bowls with both hands in MSL 2019