Cape Town: Dale Steyn said joining the 300 Test wickets club did not mean the end of his ambitions as a fast bowler.
Speaking after South Africa's crushing win by an innings and 27 runs over New Zealand, achieved in three days at Newlands, Steyn, 29, said he was aware of the significance of the landmark but he hoped there was more to come. "I've got a lot more to offer," he said. "There's another Test in Port Elizabeth next week and hopefully I've got a few more years in these legs."
Steyn, who has held the top spot in the International Cricket Council Test bowler rankings for more than three years, became the 25th man to take 300 wickets in Tests. Only Dennis Lillee (56) and Muttiah Muralitharan (58) achieved the mark in fewer than Steyn's 61 Test matches. He was the fourth South African to reach 300 after Shaun Pollock (421), Makhaya Ntini (390) and Allan Donald (330).
Steyn admitted that he might have been pushing too hard in the first innings when New Zealand were shot out for 45, with new ball partner Vernon Philander taking the first five wickets in five overs. "With the start that Vernon had, I was guilty of fishing for a couple of wickets. I was one short of 300 and I thought I had better get in the game. (Captain) Graeme (Smith) realised that. He pulled me in (after four overs) and put me on after Vernon, which was clever of him."
Steyn finally produced a wicked outswinger to bowl Doug Bracewell and finished the match with five wickets to take his tally to 304. He said the current South African side was "an incredible team to be part of" and his task was made easier by the quality of his fellow bowlers. "A couple of years ago I was conscious of strike rates and always wanted to take wickets to lead the attack. This attack is led by everyone. Morne Morkel has opened the bowling on a number of occasions and Vernon has stepped in and stood up to the plate," said Steyn. "Jacques Kallis is a legend in his own right and we have had some good spinners."
Steyn attributed his relatively injury-free career to good management by South Africa and a smooth action. He admitted that he no longer bowled at flat-out pace every time he bowled. "I pick and choose the times when I need to force the pace," he said.