Dale Steyn took his 23rd five-wicket haul on Friday © AFP
Jul 19, 2014
South Africa bowling coach Allan Donald on Saturday heaped praise on pace spearhead Dale Steyn, who registered his 23rd five-wicket haul during the ongoing first Test Match against Sri Lanka at Galle. Donald said Steyn is determined to leave a legacy.
Steyn returned with the figures of 23-8-54-5 as Sri Lanka were bowled out for 292, with South Africa taking a crucial 163-rul lead in the first innings.
Donald told IOL Sports, “There is nobody better in world cricket right now. I have great respect for our bowling attack, but when this guy gets a sniff, all the skills come to the fore – the discipline, the pace through the air – and it’s hard to play; it really is.”
“I’ve not seen the look that is on his face before. Since he got here, he’s been so determined to leave a legacy here. He’s been unbelievably hyped up for this whole series,” Donald added.
Talking about his own bowling, Steyn said, “Bowling on the sub-continent is so hard. Sometimes, bowling on a green top is just as hard because you’re expected to take wickets, but these places are really difficult to bowl on. But I kind of enjoy that challenge. I remember coming here a long time ago, and I was useless! I was just running in trying to bowl as fast as I could – just had no idea what I was doing,” he mocked.
“I’m lucky because I am short, and skiddy. So my bouncer doesn’t get up. A guy like Morne is taller, so he roughs up guys. I am always in with a chance to hit the stumps with every ball. It didn’t happen today, but I was still attacking the stumps, I managed to hit the edge a few times,” he added.
Donald said Steyn scores more over his contemporaries because of his attitude. “The pace is relentless, and he mixes it well; he just keeps coming. It has to do with his attitude, which I have seen since we got here, through the ODI series, and that is that he is not letting up. His leadership as a whole is a great quality,” Donald said.
“We’ve said the graveyard shift is going to be the hardest here, and Dale did it again today. There is nobody better in the world at cleaning up a batting line-up. And it’s not just when he is on a roll, but also when he has to dig deep. He looks deep, deep down there,” Donald said, showing the South African emblem.