Dale Steyn, South Africa’s fast bowler is currently rated as the best bowler in the world (ICC rankings). When he and his team start play against their hosts England, he will be an X-factor in each and every match. The amount of confidence and determination oozing out of him is amazing, and what’s better is that he often converts words into actions. In a recent interview about the upcoming series, he said that he wanted to scare the living daylights out of England’s batsmen: something not many bowlers have achieved in the past.
“I'm trying to be the fastest bowler South Africa has when we walk out on to the field - that's my job,” he was quoted saying.
“I think there's times when I can bowl as quick as anybody in the world, but I just want to take wickets - and I want to scare the s**t out of people.”
One of the main aims of Steyn is to beat England and take his team, currently ranked third, to the top of the rankings.
“I try and let the ball do most of the talking. However, I am a fast bowler and with that comes a responsibility of saying a word or two, and sometimes getting in a guy's face.
“It can not only send shivers down the opposition's spine but it also gets your team up and bouncing around. When a captain sees a bowler really getting at a batter, it forces the team to go along with him in the battle,” he added.
Steyn has been regularly compared with his counterpart James Anderson, who is England’s leading seamer at the moment. Steyn fondly recalls hitting Anderson on the helmet with a bouncer not too long ago.
“I remember hitting him on the head; I remember good things like that,” he said. “He's a good bloke too, actually; he's not a bad guy.
“I honestly couldn't give…. anything about what Jimmy says to me. I'm probably going to try and do exactly the same thing.
“Once I step over that white line I become the bowler.
“When I'm sitting down here I'm obviously another guy. I probably wouldn't be saying the same things if you did an interview with me out in the middle after I'd taken a wicket. There would be a couple more beeps in it.
“I think that's what happens when guys walk across the line - they become cricketers, warriors, fighters ... then when they're sitting around the table they have to say the nicer things.”
Things are certainly heating up between these two teams and with the commencement of the Test series on Thursday, they will be looking to put their money where their mouth is.