Sep 9, 2013
South Africa’s pace spearhead and world No 1 ranked pacer in Test Cricket, Dale Steyn, is raring to make a comeback to international cricket after a long injury lay-off, which began during the ICC Champions League 2013.
Steyn revealed to Sport24 that he suffered as many as five injuries simultaneously, but he is now fit and ready for long season of cricket, starting with the Champions Trophy 2013 campaign with the Indian Premier League (IPL) team Sunrisers Hyderabad.
“After the Champions Trophy in England, people will remember I didn’t play a lot of cricket there. I ended up with about five injuries walking away from that tournament. I didn’t play a lot of cricket in the tournament either,” Steyn said.
“I had a side strain, groin, glute and neck and a bit of an ankle problem. The doctors said I had to be off my feet for the next four weeks. I had four weeks where I did absolutely nothing where I did no running or gyming,” he revealed.
Talking about his fitness regime ahead of the upcoming series against Pakistan in Abu Dhabi, the 30-year-old pacer said, “I’ve had four weeks where I’ve been training really hard. I’ve [got] back to gym, running and bowling. Two sessions a day for an hour and a half in the morning, then back again in the afternoon.”
Steyn added, “I haven’t been going to bed so early since I was in primary school, so it shows that I’ve been working quite hard.”
Steyn said that he is looking forward to the series against Pakistan, adding that it will be a stern Test for the top-ranked side in Test cricket.
“You always want to play on wickets that are green and moving around. You don’t always get those opportunities, that’s why we play cricket. We get to play in some of the more difficult places in the world. If you just played at home, you could be a fantastic bowler with great skills on easy wickets to bowl on,” he said.
“It’s nice to go and test your skills somewhere where those skills are rarely tested. There’s not a lot of movement through the air, not a lot off the deck so that’s nice. It can be frustrating at times, but that’s why we play these games,” Steyn added.
The right-arm pacer said it will be an uphill task for other teams to displace South Africa from the top of the ICC Test Rankings.
“It would be fantastic if we could go there and win because it would hold us up there in that number one spot for a bit longer. It would make it difficult for other teams to knock us off that podium.
“But it will be just great to get back playing with the boys I’ve been playing with for the last 10 years,” Steyn added.
Steyn will leave on September 10 for India to join his Sunrisers’s teammates. Talking about the series he said, “There’s nothing better than game time, playing a 20/20 game you’re still out in the field on your feet. You’re still bowling your overs at high intensity. There’s nothing better than getting a bit of game time.”