Kevin Pietersen slams 'not good enough' Dale Steyn for his wayward Perth spell
Former England skipper Kevin Pietersen has lambasted veteran South African speedster Dale Steyn for his costly spell during the opening day of the first Test against Australia at the WACA. The attacking middle-order batsman, who is part of (Wide World of Sports) Channel Nine's commentary team for the series, went on to accuse the 33-year old pacer of not looking at the bigger picture.
Pietersen thundered on air, “I'd love to speak positively about Dale Steyn's bowling here, but it's not been good enough. Everybody knows or you should know that when you come to Australia, you come to the WACA, you pitch the ball up. I think he's bowled more bouncers in his first spell than Australia bowled all day. There comes a time in your career where you actually leave the bravado to one side and you think ‘I need to get wickets here.”
He added, “It's not a case of running in and thinking I can bowl the fastest ball in the world that's ever been bowled, it's bowling right. It's doing a job for your country, it’s doing a job for your teammates. In the last 10 or so balls, he's bowled much better, but it's not good enough. It's a bit too late, the horse has bolted.”
Upon winning the toss, South Africa collapsed to 81/5 on a surface which was conducive for quick bowling before wicket-keeper batsman Quinton de Kock counter-attacked with a 101-ball 84 to take the visitors to 242. However, the Australian opening pair of David Warner and Shaun Marsh seized the initiative to end the day’s play at 105/0 after scoring an exactly five runs per over.
Warner was chiefly responsible for the mayhem unleashed on the Proteas with his club-sized bat flaying the bowlers to all parts of the ground. Steyn, in particular, came in for special treatment from the pulverizing left-hander. He sent down 6 overs and gave away as many as 34 runs prompting question marks regarding the feasibility of his short-pitched ploy.
In comparison, the Aussie seamers exploited the conditions much better by forcing the South African batsmen to play on the front foot. Their fuller deliveries coupled with the copious WACA bounce induced edges and brought those behind the stumps into play. However, Steyn and his new-ball partner Vernon Philander, as well as Kagiso Rabada were guilty of dragging their lengths back which meant that the hosts had plenty of scoring opportunities on the back foot.
Pietersen’s co-commentator and former Australian captain Mark Taylor labeling Steyn‘s sixth over as ‘the worst over’ (he has) ever seen Dale Steyn bowl. With the home side trailing behind only by 137 runs, South African would hope that their talismanic pacer takes note of the heavy criticism and bowls one of his trademark game-changing spells tomorrow.