I don't think I have bowled too badly, says Dale Steyn

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Auckland, Mar 6: South African spearhead Dale Steyn said today he believed a good personal return in a World Cup match was just around the corner.

World Cup Special

The Proteas will head into Saturday's pool clash against Pakistan in Auckland with Steyn, widely regarded as the world's best fast bowler, having taken just five wickets in four matches at the tournament.

File photo of Dale Steyn (right)

Steyn, 27, has been overshadowed by Morne Morkel (nine wickets), leg-spinner Imran Tahir (nine) and Kyle Abbott (six in two matches) in South Africa's three wins in four Pool B games.

South Africa will, however, still look to Steyn to exploit Pakistan's top-order frailties at Eden Park. And Steyn said he was not too far off his best form.

"I don't think I've bowled too badly. I think against Zimbabwe I actually wanted to bowl quite quick and run in and try to knock them over," said Steyn of a match in which he had figures of one for 64 in nine overs.

"I just ignored that (basic) instinct, and just wanted to run in and blast them where it didn't work. After that I think I got better and better.

"I haven't taken the wickets that I want to take, but that's the World Cup. In a World Cup you don't have anywhere to hide."

"There are only ten wickets to take, and when Imran takes five or Abbott takes four, there is not much for the other bowlers to take.

"So you have to do what you have to do in order for your team to win. I'm happy with that. I feel if we make our way all the way to the final, I'm due to have a good game somewhere in there."

'He is a phenomenal player'

Asked how will he handle bowling to South Africa captain and dynamic batsman AB de Villiers, Steyn jokingly said: "I'd trip him on his way out of the hotel tomorrow morning and hope that he breaks his ankle. "I don't know," he added with a laugh.

"He's a phenomenal player and seeing the ball like no other player has seen a cricket ball before, and he's playing shots that I don't think most people have seen before.

"Hopefully, he comes out and executes those same skills tomorrow and going forward in this competition. It's like watching 'The Matrix' movie, really."

De Villiers smashed the fastest 150 in one-day international cricket during his 66-ball 162 against the West Indies at Sydney last week. Steyn said the shorter boundaries at Eden Park would mean little to his skipper.

"I really don't think it (the dimensions) matters really. It doesn't matter if it's a big ground or small ground, you'll still find a way. That is the beautiful thing about really good players. They don't rely on conditions.

"Great fast bowlers don't have to worry about whether the track is flat or green. They'll find a way to get wickets. And great batsmen don't worry if the field is small or big, they'll find a way to score runs."

Steyn denied Pakistan's struggling top order would make his job easier. "It's never an easy job, I can promise you. I'm sure Pakistan will be as determined to come out and win," said Steyn of a a side who have won their last two pool games after two defeats.

"They are in a situation where I think they have to win a couple of games. So we will come out guns blazing and they'll come out looking to pull off a win. We know that.

"We just have to prepare the way we know against a team like that, and we'll take it very seriously."

AFP

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