'Fast and Nasty' to mark his turf
Much has been said of the young fast bowling talent that is coming out of Australia and a few of the candidates to take up the mantle were on show in the recently completed Champions League Twenty20 competition held in South Africa.
A couple of the Aussie youngsters also did well in Sri Lanka at the World T20 before turning up in South Africa. The likes of Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood and James Pattinson are ones to watch as they jostle for the fast bowling slots in the Aussie side.
While these bowlers have been good to watch, I reckon they will have heightened the senses of a man who is currently the best fast bowler in the world and is sure to go down as one of the greats of fast bowling, Dale Steyn. It would not surprise me one bit if Steyn took it upon himself to just remind everybody that despite these young pups turning up and bowling at good pace, he has been doing so for a number of years and is not done just yet.
There can only be one top dog and in order to remain top, he has to occasionally mark his territory so that there is no one under any illusion as to who the boss really is. This could serve as one such tour where Steyn again takes it upon himself to be the man. He has been to Australia before and has been at the wrong end of their batsmen before too. He is experienced and just going on his performance in South Africa’s previous tour there, one can expect fireworks from the man.
It really is incredible how well South Africa’s spearhead has remained fit and missed so few matches over the years despite the rather heavy workload which he seems to thrive under. When he began, he was just as most youngsters are, exuberant and overzealous, but over time he found his way and has not looked back.
There was a time when selectors, and I am sure the captain and coach too, could not bear to think what would happen to the team were he to get injured. Well, they have been spared such an eventuality and instead been treated to heaps of wickets.
It helps a great deal too that Dale Steyn, as brilliant as he is, is part of a fast bowling unit that is outstanding. It means a great deal and emphasises the point too when one of South Africa’s greatest, Allan Donald, says that he feels this unit is the best ever that the Proteas have had...that is some high praise indeed.
So, while the young Aussies try and leave an indelible mark in the cricket world and make a way in the top flight, an old hand may be looking to show them how it is done and reaffirm his position with his compatriots not thinking too differently to him either.
It will be exciting to watch, that is for sure. There is just something about fast bowlers, really good ones, that spices up a test-match series.