Oz batsmen freely admit to fearing Steyn

Australia’s top order batsmen have made no excuses about being wary of facing South Africa paceman Dale Steyn in the upcoming Test series Down Under.

Steyn is the top-ranked Test paceman, second overall behind Ravi Ashwin, an has taken 416 Test wickets at a strike rate superior to everyone else.

Australia captain Steve Smith has faced Steyn many times, but is still not casual about it, and will be fully on guard when the sides meet on 3 November in Perth.

Smith said on the CA website: “When Dale comes one to bowl you’re always wary. He’s always at you, he’s always at your stumps or at the top of off stump.

“He’s got this incredible ability to be able to just click a switch and go up 10kph and end up bowling 145-150kph, which is something that a lot of bowlers around the world don’t have the luxury of doing.

“He’s very smart in the way he bowls, (and) he bowls with beautiful shape, he’s got a nice seam and he’s going to be a challenge for us this summer.”

Opening batsman David Warner echoed the sentiments, adding that he would never dare play the shots against Steyn he did as a younger player, when he had not fear at all.

Warner said: “First time I faced him was in my Twenty20 debut (in 2009). That was a blur.

“If I look back at that now and go ‘Would I do what I did then at him?’. I wouldn’t be playing a lap, probably wouldn’t walk at him.

“That’s just the fearlessness you have in you when you don’t have nothing to lose, but it’s just like, ‘OK, I can come out here, I can play my natural game’ and then over a period of time people work you out and they bowl different to you.

“He can bowl within himself, he can swing the ball early, then when he gets that older ball, he somehow gets 7-8kph faster, then it goes reverse you’ve got to really be switched on with him.

“He’s a world-class bowler, we’ve seen it time and time again.”