By CricketCountry Staff
London: Aug 14, 2012
South Africa pace spearhead Dale Steyn on Tuesday said England will miss their star batsman Kevin Pietersen, who single-handedly took the attack to the opposition and helped England to draw the second Test at Headingley.
“I’m afraid I cannot say anything about the circumstances surrounding Kevin Pietersen’s absence from the England team this week, but what I can talk about was having to bowl at him when he made that fantastic century at Headingley," he wrote.
He added, “It’s a great challenge bowling to batsmen when they are playing like that and it was clear Kevin wanted to get after me and take me on.”
“I always felt I had a chance of getting him but he rode his luck and then it was a case of looking up at the scoreboard after he had played 10 shots and seeing he was already on 40."
“It was an exciting passage of play, a great innings and I’m sure it was brilliant to watch. KP is a top player and he will definitely be missed by England this week,” Steyn said.
Steyn said he has bowled well in the ongoing Test series in England, but at times, he has run out of luck.
“I think I have bowled quite nicely in this series so far but there are times when you really have to crank it up and this was one of them. That, I think, was the fastest I’ve bowled in the series so far but for some reason the speed gun didn’t really reflect that,” he said.
Steyn added, “I was thinking at times, ‘Geez, that was quick’, and I was looking round and it said 83 or 84 miles per hour. It was like, ‘Come on guys’.”
The 29-year-old speedster said he is pumped up for the third Test at Lord’s, which begins on Thursday, August 16.
“I’m really, really excited to be heading to Lord’s this week for the final Test. It’s as our coach Gary Kirsten said to us — this time next week we could be celebrating being the best Test team in the world," Steyn wrote in his column for the Daily Mail.
“It hits you hard when you hear something like that. It’s what we’ve been working for and planning towards,” he added.
Steyn said south Africa are well aware of Kevin Pietersen’s replacement Jonathan Bairstow’s shortcomings against the short ball, but it doesn’t mean the tourists are taking any task lightly.
“KP will not be easily replaced by England but we will respect any opponent we come up against. It is as I said before the series, every wicket means just as much from numbers one to 11 and everybody on the England side will be treated the same by us,” he said.
“We don’t take anyone lightly and we will be doing our analysis on Jonny Bairstow as we did on James Taylor before him. Our analyst has been telling me with a smile that Bairstow had problems against the short ball against the West Indies and fast bowling is one of the strengths of our side so he will receive a testing examination,” he said.
Steyn concluded, “But that doesn’t mean to say he will be getting any more bouncers than anybody else. This is a big match. The stakes are high. We will be giving it our best shot."