Dale Steyn has declared his intentions of making it to South Africa’s team for next year’s 50-over World Cup, confident that his experience would be of benefit in England and Wales.
Steyn, who has been dogged by injuries in the last few years, is happy to concede that Kagiso Rabada is ‘way better’ than him, but feels that the experience he has gathered from playing 116 ODIs in the format – includeng the 2007 and 2011 World Cups – can help Rabada and the other young pacers.
“(Rabada) is way better than me,” Steyn told Reuters. “I have obviously got my records and everything but he’s way better than I am right now. What he lacks is what I have, and that’s what I can share going forward. I will just carry on doing what I do and he can feed off that, he can learn off that and he can just become so much better.
“Our biggest problem in white-ball cricket now is our bowling. I don’t think it’s a massive issue but I think in terms of experience it’s our biggest problem. If you look at our top-six batters, those guys have played 800-plus games. But if you look at our bowling, our bottom four, they have probably played 150 games. That’s a massive difference. There’s a heavy weight that weighs up there.”
Steyn played the two Tests in Sri Lanka in July and got through without any signs of discomfort, but was left out of the squad for the subsequent limited-overs matches. But he is in talks with coach Ottis Gibson in a bid to track his way back into international 50-over cricket, having last turned out for South Africa in October 2016.
Apart from actually playing, Steyn also wants to impart his knowledge to his team’s younger quicks.
“They are all learning as they play but unfortunately you can’t go to a World Cup still learning. You need to know what you are doing,” Steyn said. “Even at 35 I am still learning but I know what I am doing. These guys need that. I am hoping that’s what I can offer in the white ball scene and obviously play and win games for the country.”
While Steyn has made himself available for the showpiece event, AB de Villiers won’t be around, having announced his retirement in May.
Steyn said that de Villiers’ retirement made him ‘super sad’, and predicted a massive exodus following the 2019 World Cup.
“The world wants to see their superstars and he’s definitely one of them, if not the biggest one in terms of batting,” Steyn said. “Oppositions fear him but you never really judge yourself until you have tested yourself against the best. If the best is no longer there it’s quite difficult to judge yourself.
“I think you are going to see a massive exodus. That’s my opinion. I am being Nostradamus now and I am calling it,” he added.