South African pacer Dale Steyn feels proud of his six-wicket haul against India in the ongoing second Test at Durban as it came after being without success for more than 69 overs despite bowling well.
“I didn’t mind the way I was bowling previously. We have to bowl badly to learn from it. And I wasn’t bowling badly. I beat the edges so many times,” Steyn said after the second day’s play on Friday.
“Sometimes you need a soft dismissal to get going and then you can take wickets off good balls, by turning the momentum towards you. So I needed that momentum, and my tail was up and I picked wickets unlike in Johannesburg,” he added.
The Proteas bowling coach Allan Donald paid compliments to Steyn calling his effort one off the best five wicket hauls in Test match cricket.
“Allan (Donald) said that it was one of my best five-wicket hauls, because I had gone so long without taking a wicket. People capitulate when they are not able to come back and so I am proud that I could pick myself up and keep going,” Steyn said.
He picked up three wickets in the post-lunch session, breaking the 157-run partnership between Murali Vijay (97) and Cheteshwar Pujara (70). It broke India’s batting-order and they were bowled out post-tea. This was after the morning session was rained off.
“When the covers were off, the pitch had a little bit of sweatiness. And for the first hour and twenty minutes, there was a little bit in the wicket. We saw a lot of balls misbehaving than they were yesterday.”
“Once it dried up, the pitch was like yesterday, it was good again. We were hoping it would stay a bit more, stick around for the new ball, but it was good to bat again,” Steyn said.
Steyn said the conditions were not the most favourable for bowlers. “We just needed a little bit of luck, something to go our way, because there was not much in the pitch for the fast bowlers. There were two strangled dismissals down the leg side (referring to Vijay and Virat Kohli’s dismissals), caught by the keeper. It doesn’t happen regularly and we spoke about bowling well here in Durban. It is always a tough place to bowl, but somehow we always get a result here, though they have gone against us,” Steyn said.
The pacer said the Proteas were keen to give Jacques Kallis a victorious farewell. “He spoke about how he didn’t want his last Test to be a drawn match...so we will do everything in our power to give him a victorious farewell. We will score quickly or take wickets quickly and try to win this match for him,” he said.
When asked if he was aware of Kallis’ retirement, Steyn replied, “I am quite close to him so I knew a week before (the announcement) that it is coming. When he did tell me, it almost brought out a tear in my eye.
“He is very relaxed now in the dressing room, talking a lot more, enjoying his final Test. I hope he enjoys it to the fullest and I hope we can win it for him.”