South Africa quick Dale Steyn has confirmed that playing the T20 World Cup in Australia later this year is his priority as he gears up for a return to the national side for the limited-overs series against England.
After the completion of the four Test series, South Africa and England will play three ODIs starting February 4, followed by three T20Is and Steyn – currently representing the Melbourne Stars in the Big Bash League – definitely wants to play the shortest format even if he isn’t too sure of the 50-over format.
“I know I’ll be part of (the T20 series against England), that was the last conversation I’ve had. I get a nice two-week break, then straight into it again,” Steyn told cricket.com.au. “I’ll be around for the ODIs – to be honest, I don’t know how much I’ll play (in the ODIs) – I’ll be there for that and then definitely the T20s.”
If Steyn does decide to skip the ODIs, he is available to present the young Kagiso Rabada-led attack. “But I think it’s important to have that (experienced) figure around in the dressing room,” he said.
“KG (Rabada) is very young – to lead the attack at 24, and the next bowlers to come in are all younger than him, I think he needs somebody that’s there that is experienced, to look around and he knows he’s not there only one there.”
Steyn last played for South Africa in March last year before a shoulder injury sidelined him for a good while. He was in South Africa’s World Cup squad but had to pull out without playing a game.
Retired from Tests last year, South Africa did not have Steyn to boost them in their woeful World Cup campaign, which saw Faf du Plessis’ team finish second from bottom in the league stage. But a fit-again Steyn – who picked up 15 wickets at 15.13 in the Mzansi Super League and has three wickets from three matches in the BBL – could prove to be a real shot in the arm for South Africa provided the selectors are convinced with his fitness.
“That is very much on my agenda,” said Steyn. “I’m starting to enjoy my cricket a lot more now, I think four overs is a lot easier on the body than the Test matches are. So I’m putting my hand up for that and then I’ll wait and see how selections goes. After the MSL that we played, there were a lot of players that come out – some fantastic bowlers.
“But the old guys still seem to do the trick – AB (de Villiers) was there, Imran Tahir was taking wickets, I was up in the wickets. Maybe we will get the nod, maybe we don’t – but I’m putting my hand up.”