South Africa to focus on fielding: Steyn
Mohali: South Africa pacer Dale Steyn on Tuesday said the nerve-wrecking tied match between India and England highlighted the importance of fielding and the Proteas will focus as much on saving runs as on scoring in their World Cup matches.
A total of 676 runs were scored in the thrilling match and Steyn said despite the mammoth scores, all that mattered in the end was just one run.
"It was a big game. Wasn`t it? We had our meeting this morning and we put emphasis on fielding...on where and how we can save runs," Steyn said after the team`s practice session here ahead of their match against the Netherlands.
"When you score 338 you think you have got enough runs. But it was a run short for both. We can learn a lot from that," he added.
Besides focusing on fielding, the 27-year-old also stressed that on the sub-continental pitches, bowlers need to be very careful with their line and pace.
"In South Africa, you can get away sometimes because of the bounce. You may get away with full wide balls. In India, it does not bounce and finds the middle of the bat and goes flying to point or extra cover for four.”
"In South Africa it might find the edge or may not find the bat, so you can get away with some bad balls. You got to be street smart I suppose when you bowl in India. You can`t bowl at the same pace at the same place. Guys will work you out. In my second over (against the West Indies), I was cut and then I changed from 140kmph to 120kmph. You have got to have better understanding. You have got to be pretty smart," explained the paceman.
So far the batting powerplays have not exactly worked for teams with wickets falling in heaps and Steyn said it was always meant to work both ways.
"There are two ways of looking at the powerplay. We saw the other day it did not work for England. It is an opportunity to change the game. We didn`t take it against West Indies...it is about mindset. Sometimes we plan for it," he said.
Steyn said during the India-England match it seemed the hosts did not have any wicket-taking bowler but after England opted to take the powerplay, things changed.
"India looked like they couldn`t get a wicket. They didn`t have a wicket-taker among them. And then the powerplay came and wickets started falling," said Steyn.
The pacer on Sunday suffered a minor bruise on his right thigh during team training while Imran Tahir and JP Duminy were given rest due to throat infection and stiff back respectively, but the fast bowler said everyone would be up for selection for Thursday`s game.
"There are a couple of niggles in every team. Every team has some kind of injuries. But every single guy will be up for selection come Thursday," said Steyn, who bruised his right thigh in a collision with captain Graeme Smith while playing
"It wasn`t a tackle. Looking at the ball...bang...I was actually competing against a heavyweight," Steyn joked.
Supporting the ICC`s decision to keep long gaps between matches, Steyn said, "We played India (in South Africa) in quick succession. It`s nice to have some time off. You pick up an injury, if you have a long break, you can recover.”
"It`s nice, helps stay fit and makes everybody available for selection. With different conditions there will always be a dilemma in selection. We find it pretty good as all the players are available for all the games and are fighting for a place in the team. It is a healthy competition."
The Mohali pitch will offer good bounce, but would not provide much movement to the bowlers.
When Steyn was asked to comment on the wicket, he said, "When I played the IPL it was a little bit more greasy than what I came across in the other game. It was a night game. This is our first day game here.”
"We don`t know how the conditions would remain. Actually, I haven`t gone and looked at the wicket. From what I have heard, it is a quicker deck."