Dale Steyn's belief inching him back to action
Arguably the greatest fast bowler to have debuted in the 21st century, South Africa's Dale Steyn thinks his "rhythm seems to be coming back" ahead of the two-match Test series in Sri Lanka, starting next month. Playing for Hampshire in the Royal London One Day Cup, after missing two Tests and the limited-overs leg of South Africa's home series against India due to a major damage in the tissues of his left heel, Steyn feels like he is slowly getting back on track to make a return to international cricket.
After an indifferent List-A and a first-class return against Somerset and Surrey respectively. Although, he had much better returns against Yorkshire in a crucial semi-final yesterday, with figures of 7-0-34-1, including the wicket of the in-form recruit Cheteshwar Pujara.
Steyn spoke about his plans to re-establish himself on to the highest cricketing stage after being on and off the field ever since his injury sustained in South Africa's 2015 tour of Bangladesh. Since then, he has been injured on his first day of bowling in three different, and extremely crucial test series.
"The body's fine, body feels good," Steyn told Sky Sports. "I've got no problems. I'll have a look [at my bowling footage] in the computer when I get back up. One thing is I've got overs under my belt, the rhythm seems to be coming back.
"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."
He also pointed out how time spent off the field helped him become mentally sturdier and a much-relaxed person. However once the ball in hand, Steyn dons a furrowed forehead, precision in his gaze, all of it adding to the way he goes about his bowling in a manner similar to the James Bond character played by his look-alike, Daniel Craig.
He also emphasized how he is not selective about the kind of cricket he is willing to play, and truly so, missing the sport for about two years now will make him itch to be out there again. Like all greats, he has a particular preference of format though. "I'd love to play all formats. Like I said, I love playing cricket. I think Test cricket is the pinnacle."
419 wickets at an average of 22.32, bowling in an era of Sehwags and Warners and McCullums, Steyn has carved a nice slice of history for himself and now is on track to become the most prolific fast bowler to ever play for South Africa as he needs three wickets to surpass the legendary Shaun Pollock.
More than that though, the thought of playing alongside the likes of ICC #1 ranked Kagiso Rabada, who has teamed up with only four times, the raw pace of Lungi Ngidi as well as rub shoulders with his old partner in crime, the quintessential unassuming genius of Vernon Philander. "I just hope there's a spot there for me when we get to Sri Lanka. The Proteas have someone to look forward to in Ngidi but Rabada's been special for about two years now already.
"So good headache for the coach to have."
What coach wouldn't wish for this headache!