Afghanistan batsman Mohammad Shahzad does not find Dale Steyn dangerous

When you hear the name Dale Steyn, picture of a menacing fast bowler running in hard and threatening to take a wicket of every ball he bowls comes to the mind. This South African pacer, who has proven credentials in all formats of the game and has terrorised the best of the batsmen world over, has found an unlikely adversary challenging his reputation.

When South Africa took on Afghanistan in their ICC World T20 match in Mumbai on Sunday, Steyn was missing from the squad. He was being replaced by David Wiese in the playing XI after a bad outing against England in their tournament opener. Though the Proteas won the game, the Afghans won the heart with some exciting cricket, and Mohammad Shahzad stood apart.

The explosive opener smacked 19-ball 44 in his team’s loss. Later, during the post-match presser, he dropped another bombshell, when he called Steyn an ordinary bowler. “It doesn’t matter which bowler is playing because the wicket is very good, you see,” said Shahzad. “I love playing Dale Steyn because Dale Steyn is not dangerous. “(Chris) Morris is very dangerous because he has height and swings the ball. Dale Steyn (has) only pace, so this wicket is good to face a pacer, the ball is coming onto the bat. So no, I am not happy that Dale Steyn is not playing.”

This apparently took a few journalists by surprise, who asked the batsman to repeat what he had said. The 28-year old repeated the same with utter nonchalance. This indeed is a serious statement by a player from a lowly team against a world-class bowler. It will be interesting to see how Steyn takes this comment. All eyes from now on are set on the future clash between these two sides, where the two players may possibly have a showdown.