Dale Steyn claims he is fitter than the youngsters in the SA team

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Dale Steyn claims he is fitter than the youngsters in the SA team

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SportsCafe Desk

12/21/2017

Declaring himself as one of the fittest players in the South African side, Dale Steyn has also stated that he is fitter than the youngest players in the team set-up. The 34-year-old also added that, contrary to popular belief, his main strength has been his line and length rather than his pace.

Steyn, who was enjoying a tremendous 2016, averaging an incredible 13.90 in three Tests, broke a bone in his shoulder during the Perth Test and missed over a year and a half of competitive cricket. However the 34-year-old is back and is in the South African squad for the big series against India at home next year, and has stated that didn't believe age to be a factor in his return.

“I am still fitter than the youngest guys in the side. It was just about getting through this year and trying to decide whether I still wanted to do it. I think most people at 34 start thinking about other things in life like retirement and family and those types of things. I am in a fortunate position that I don’t really need to think about that much right now. Cricket is my main focus,” Steyn told journalists, reported Indian Express.

“I like to play cricket. I want to play cricket as long as I can. Age isn’t really a factor.”

Steyn is often considered as one of the modern greats due to his performances on the pitch. Not only is he one of the fastest bowlers around, but he also has the numbers that set him apart from the rest of crowd as well. In the 85 Test that he has played for the Proteas, the pacer has accumulated 417 wickets at an incredible average of 22.30. He is now just four wickets away from overtaking Shaun Pollock as South Africa’s most prolific pacer ever. However, the pacer claimed that he considered his line and length to be his main weapon rather than his pace.

“Cricket is strange. All you need to do is bowl one ball at 145, 150 kilometres an hour and people see that you can do that, and it’s in the back of their mind all the time. When a spinner comes out and rips one big the batsmen know one’s going to turn somewhere along the line, so they’re wary of it,” Steyn explained.

“I don’t have to run in and bowl 150 consistently all day long. I’ve just got to be able to do it every now and then. The batsmen will know that it’s there, and I’m able to take their feet away, hit them in the head, whatever. The rest of the time I’ve always relied on skill: relentless line and length, trying to knock guys over, and just being smart. When it’s really flat then you can crank it up.”

Having played for almost 13 years at the biggest level, Styen has never had an injury free year. However, ahead of India’s tour of the African country, Steyn said that he finally felt that he was completely free of any sort of injuries.

“I feel good, I don’t feel like I am in any pain anywhere. That’s quite strange because I played a career with niggles all over the place, so it is quite nice to bowl now without anything,” Steyn said.

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