Never thought would play cricket again, says Dale Steyn after hitting fitness & form

Never thought would play cricket again, says Dale Steyn after hitting fitness & form

Steyn is currently playing the MSL in South Africa.

Dale Steyn
Dale Steyn. (Photo by James Worsfold/Getty Images)

He has been one of South Africa’s best bowlers but Dale Steyn has had his share of fitness issues. The cricketer battled injuries for two years and finally is back to his fittest best, which bolsters the Proteas’ prospects in the upcoming World Cup. Steyn had a good last series against Australia in their den by picking up seven wickets in three games at an average of 13.42. The performance was quite a big morale boost for the 35-year-old pacer who had given up hopes of playing cricket again not too long ago.

Steyn is one wicket short of becoming SA’s best Test bowler

Steyn, who has 421 Test wickets and 671 across all formats is just one scalp short of becoming South Africa’s highest wicket-taker in Tests bettering Shaun Pollock and eight short of completing 200 wickets in ODIs, missed cricket for most a big part of 2018 because of injury. It was only towards the latter part of the year that he started playing more regularly for the Proteas and has generated decent pace.

“Not so long ago I didn’t think that I would be playing cricket again. When I broke my shoulder I had this real drive to come back, but it took a long time. It took a solid six months before I could bowl again and I kept joking with my physio saying it was like U9 pace … I could get my arm over but there was no momentum,” Steyn was quoted as saying by Sports24 on Thursday.

“I knew that once I started playing again it would be like riding a bike. I’ve done it for so long and I’m blessed with a very natural action and things come quite easy.”

Besides the physical effort, Steyn was also required to work on the mental aspects. “I took every day as a blessing. The thinking was that if I could play one more game it would be amazing and, as a matter of fact, I broke it down to even bowling one more ball, one more over and taking one more wicket,” he said.

Steyn left for home before South Africa wrapped up their short series of Australia with a one-off T20I on Saturday to take part in the inaugural Mzansi Super League in his country in which he will play for Tshwane Spartans based in centurion.

Steyn said he was not too much thinking about the upcoming the ICC World Cup and is focusing more on the current role of a mentor in a team which has a number of talented fast bowlers.

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