Faf: Steyn a ‘different breed’ in Test cricket

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South Africa fast bowler Dale Steyn is the last player you want to underestimate in red ball cricket, says Proteas skipper Faf du Plessis.

Steyn did not have the best ODI series against Australia this month, taking five wickets in four matches but going for plenty of runs. In the fifth ODI he had figures of 0/56.

But with the Test series in Australia coming up next month, Du Plessis has warned that Steyn is a different bowler in Tests, and the batsmen would do well to remain wary.

Du Plessis, skippering in injured AB de Villiers’ stead, said at Newlands: “Dale in Test cricket is just a different breed.

“In one-day cricket it’s going to happen as you saw – he would be the first to say he didn’t bowl at his best.

“But in Test cricket, it’s about consistency and making sure you can bowl an area for a long period of time.

“So when Dale gets that red ball in his hand he’s just a different bowler.

“He’s still our number one bowler in Test cricket and for us to have a successful tour of Australia, Dale Steyn will be the guy to make or break that for us.

“He’s a huge player in that Test team. I’m confident that he’ll have a really good series.

“His shoulder looks okay, that’s obviously the challenge to make sure that stays fit and that he can bowl for long periods of time because Test cricket’s not just 10 overs.

“So he needs to bowl 18, 20 overs a day for the next month.

“We need a fit Dale Steyn.

“Our bowling attack needs to be fit for us to win a series in Australia.”

In Steyn’s most recent Test, against New Zealand in August, he took eight wickets, and Australia batsman David Warner is well aware of the danger his side faces come 3 November in Perth.

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Warner said: “You’ve always got to respect Dale.

“World-class bowler, great athlete, always charges in and you just never want to upset him.

“That’s something I learned fast when I first made my international debut.

“He’s a guy that can really get on top, and we’ve seen it before here in the Test series (in 2014) when the ball was reversing in PE (the second Test).

“He has this spark in him and this spell in him, and you’ve got to get through that.

“And you’ve got to really work hard to try and negate what he throws at you.”

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