Dale Steyn. Picture: AFP PHOTO/PUNIT PARANJPE
Dale Steyn. Picture: AFP PHOTO/PUNIT PARANJPE

Proteas pace legend Dale Steyn is excited to be back in the national mix and looking forward to the T20 international series against England getting under way at Buffalo Park in East London on Wednesday.

Steyn has not featured for the national team since March 2019 after a shoulder injury ruled him out of contention for the World Cup. He then retired from Tests to focus on white-ball cricket for the rest of his career.

He will be one of the senior members in a young squad and will be an influential figure among the players over the three-match series.

“I actually can’t remember the last time I played a game for SA‚ so it’s really good to be back‚” said Steyn. “It’s a great set-up. I played a lot of cricket with Mark [Boucher] throughout my career and obviously played for the Titans with him as coach.

“So it’s nice to be back with him around‚ as well as Jacques [Kallis] and Graeme [Smith] running the show. It’s just great to walk into the dressing room with familiar faces that I played a lot of cricket with.”

The Proteas head into the series off the back of drawing the one-day internationals (ODIs) and losing the Test series‚ so will be aiming to string some good performances together‚ especially ahead of the T20 World Cup later in 2020.

“In this series I think we have to play smart‚ the senior guys will need to step up. Quinny [Quinton de Kock] has been phenomenal throughout the Test series and ODIs and I think he will lead this team again with bat and captaincy‚” explained Steyn.

“David Miller‚ we saw in the last ODI what he is capable of and then the young guys‚ just the unknown‚ they need to hit hard‚ they need to capitalise and use that to their advantage.

“England won’t know a lot of the guys‚ know what they are capable of, and will be wary to that extent‚ so that’s what it is going to take and also a bit of smart cricket and luck as well.”

With Buffalo Park being the home of Boucher and a number of the players having played a lot of cricket here‚ including Warriors captain Jon-Jon Smuts and Lions batsman Rassie van der Dussen‚ who scored a half-century on debut at the ground 18 months ago‚ the players should know what to expect from the ground.

“We have a lot of guys who have played cricket here. Jon-Jon has played a lot here‚ so I am sure he will have a chat and we are busy working out our plans now‚ so we will be ready‚” said Steyn.

“From what I have experienced I think we will probably get a slowish deck‚ not the biggest scores around, but you never know. Teams are allowed to play well and we are looking forward to a good crowd.

“The wicket can vary and change and we are playing against a good team.

“But generally when two good teams at the highest international level play against each other the scores tend to be a little lower than higher‚ so I think it will be a good game but not one of those Bullring 200 v 200 kind of chases.”

The action gets under way at 6pm.

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