New Delhi: Deccan Chargers fast bowler Dale Steyn says despite no win for his team yet in the Indian Premier League (IPL) season five, it would be too early to dismiss their challenge. Deccan have played three matches so far and a win still eludes them. In their opener against Chennai Super Kings, they were thrashed by 74 runs. They improved their performance by leaps and bounds in the next two matches against Mumbai Indians and Rajasthan Royals as both ties went to the last over, but the Hyderabad team still failed to close it out in their favour. Steyn believes a little bit of the rub of the green would have shown them in a much better light.
“We have been a bit unlucky in the last two matches. We played really well. We brought ourselves into a position where we could have won both games. It could have been very easily two wins and one loss for us. But that’s how this game is,” the South Africa bowler told CricketNext.com in an exclusive interview ahead of their tie against Delhi Daredevils at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium on Thursday.
“We are not much worried over our losses. One thing I have learnt about this competition is that it’s not over till it’s over, till the last ball is bowled. There is a long way to go. As I said, we were in winning positions in the previous two matches but lost them off the last few balls. We have only played three games and [there are] 13 more matches to go. It’s not over yet.”
Talking about the match against Delhi, the 28-year-old said, “It’s a big game for us. We need to put a ‘W’ on the board. Honestly, all the teams are good here. Every team has some fine players. It’s just a matter of going out there and outsmarting the opposition. Hopefully, we open our winning account tomorrow.”
When asked how different it was bowling in T20s than Tests, the pacer, who joined Deccan from Royal Challengers Bangalore last season, said: “You have to have all your bases covered. Being able to bowl to your field is important. It’s just about being well prepared, bowling in the right areas. Bowling in Test matches is not different from bowling in T20s. The fundamentals of bowling are the same in all formats.”
Asked what rules his mind when he bowls - pace or line and length, he said: “It’s a combination of both. There is a time to bowl really fast, and there are times when I am more concerned about line and length. I have been relatively fast so far. In one of the matches I have clocked around 154 [kmph] so the pace is up. But it’s about bowling in the right areas.”
The South African started his IPL campaign on a very good note. Against CSK he gave away just 24 runs off 4 overs and took two wickets amid other bowlers being put to the sword. Against Mumbai, he went one better as he returned with figures of 3 for 12. But against Rajasthan Royals he had a bad day at the office as the team couldn’t defend a mammoth 196 for 2, with Steyn conceding 44 off 3.4 overs. When reminded of the highs and lows he had seen so far, he said:
“You are bound to have your bad days. It was one of the bad days for me. If every game was good for me, then cricket would be so easy. That’s life. One day you’re on top, the next day it’s the reverse.”
Steyn, who has represented South Africa in 54 Tests and holds the number one spot in the Test rankings for bowlers, put his country above the high-profile league amid growing clamour for a window for it in the International Cricket Council’s calendar.
“I have featured in all IPL editions. But when I was a child, the first thing I wanted to do was play for my country. If there is an international series at the time of the IPL, then unfortunately I will have to go. If there is a window for me to play the IPL, I will play. It’s as simple as that.”
South Africa, who are currently number two in the Test rankings, are travelling to England for a three-match series come this July and will take the top spot in case of a win. However, Steyn said for him rankings don’t matter much.
“I don’t think about rankings at all. I am very honest about that. If we win and become number one that would be the icing on the cake. It’s a difficult place to tour. It’s a long tour as well. It’s a different ball there, it’s Duke there and bowling with it is different. Honestly speaking, there are more things to worry about than the rankings. But if we go on to take the top spot that would a big bonus.”