Dale Steyn motivated to play 100 Tests and World Cup 2019

Steyn recently returned to South Africa’s Test squad for Sri Lanka tour.

Steyn is keen to play the 2019 World Cup | Getty

Dale Steyn is widely deemed as the greatest fast bowler of the modern era and also one of the finest Test bowlers of all time. He currently boasts the best bowling strike rate in Test cricket (amongst bowlers who have bowled a minimum of 10,000 deliveries).

Steyn's figures of 419 wickets in 86 Tests at 22.32 put him in the league of all-time great fast bowlers such as the West Indies' Malcolm Marshall, Australia's Dennis Lillee and New Zealand’s Richard Hadlee, all of whom had Test bowling averages in the early 20s.

However, with the persistent injuries lately, Steyn hasn’t been able to dominate the world cricket. The 34-year-old was sidelined for more than a year after fracturing his bowling arm in November 2016 during South Africa's tour of Australia. He made his Test comeback against India earlier this year but unfortunately picked up an injury on his heel and was sidelined yet again.

Steyn is currently playing in the English County Championship for Hampshire and is keen to get back on the field for the Proteas.

"The body's fine, body feels good. I've got no problems. I'll have a look in the computer (his bowling footage) when I get back up. One thing is I've got overs under my belt, the rhythm seems to be coming back. I've got a good follow through going on which means there's good pace at the crease and I'm hitting the crease nice and hard. Yeah, everything seems to be ticking over nicely," Steyn said in his recent interview with Sky Sports.

"I love playing cricket. I guess it's my job as well but I also love playing it. I've been out for two years now. I broke my shoulder and then really bad luck, rotten luck really, I came back and my first game back, I landed in a foothole and tore a little muscle in my heel. I've never had a foot injury in my life. So just rotten luck.

"I'm just chomping at the bit to get out and play. I went for 80 the other day but I absolutely loved it. It was great to be back out and playing again and I felt this is where I needed to be rather than petting my dogs and driving and getting stuck in traffic and doing the rehab thing. I need to be on a cricket field so I'll play for as long as this body can hold," he added.

Steyn is just two wickets away from equalling Shaun Pollock's record of 421 Test scalps, the most by a South African bowler. While he is aware of all the milestones, Steyn is currently motivated to represent South Africa in 100 Tests and next year’s World Cup in England.

"I'd love to play all formats. Like I said, I love playing cricket. I think Test cricket is the pinnacle. I'd love to try and play 100 Test matches, I don't know whether I'll get there. I'm at 86, so that's about 14 more, but being a World Cup year, there's a lot of white-ball emphasis right now. So I think we've only got five Tests until around this time next year,” he remarked.

"So if I'm going to look to play the 100 Test matches, I'm going to be around for the next three years. That's 38. I think I can do it. The body seems fine. I've always been fit. It's a mental thing. How long do you actually want to do it for. If you've got a family and if you've got kids - which I don't but I do have a girlfriend and two dogs that miss me - and how much are you willing to give up. I think AB [de Villiers] hit the nail on the head. He's got two young kids and he's looking at life after cricket right now. He's reached that point but I'm not there right now," Steyn concluded.


By Salman Anjum - 20 Jun, 2018

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