Our legendary fast bowler, Dale Steyn, hasn’t bowled a competitive delivery since he injured his shoulder last November and we’re wondering if he’ll still “have it”. We hope so.
Dale Steyn has been amazing for the Proteas ever since he burst onto the scene against the Poms in 2004. 417 test wickets for the Palaborwa express puts him right up there with the greats of the game, and he’s possible the greatest we’ve seen this decade.
He hasn’t played any cricket this year, yet he’s still amongst the top ten bowlers in the world. That speaks volumes about the man and his talent.
The likes of Morne Morkel, Vernon Philander and the, still wet behind the ears, Kagiso Rabada have had to step up in the absence of Steyn, and step up they did. Morkel was the stand-out bowler in England, resulting in him getting the SA player of the tournament. The big question now remains “How long can the Steyn Remover still remove batsmen?”.
Whatever decision Cricket South Africa and Dale make, efforts and thoughts need to be made with the 2019 World Cup in mind. Steyn can be used to pass on knowledge to KG Rabada. The Proteas have had a luxury of brilliant fast bowlers in the past, and when the sun set on their careers, another quick bowler would take the reigns. We have always seemed to have a conveyor belt of talented fast bowlers.
When Dale took over as the spearhead of the Proteas attack, he took the team forward. Now KG has that ability to take the team beyond where it currently is as Dale did a decade ago. He still possibly has 2 or 3 years in him, meaning the pressure won’t be heaped on KG’s shoulders at such a young age. With international cricket, you either sink or swim and Rabada has shown he can most certainly swim.
I have no doubt the Steyn Remover has a lot to offer to Cricket South Africa but his role has changed, he has raised the bar for SA bowlers, and now he has to be a mentor to KG as well as other up and coming bowlers to keep that bar at it’s peak.