South African fast bowler Dale Steyn rated his match-winning performance in the Galle Test against Sri Lanka among his best and said watching videos of former fast bowling great Allan Donald inspired him ahead of the series-opener.
The 31-year-old right-arm fast bowler took a match haul of nine wickets on a flat track to inspire South Africa to a 153-run win over Sri Lanka in the two-Test series on Sunday.
“I’ve played in some pretty tough conditions before, but this is right up there,” said Steyn after taking the man-of-the-match award.
“It’s not the fastest wicket in the world, that’s for sure, but if you can get pace through the air with a bit of aggression and land the ball in the right areas then you always stand a chance of taking a wicket.
“If you leave it then you can be bowled with a bit of reverse swing, or even with the wind.”
“Landing the ball in that area means that lbw, bowled or caught behind are always a factor,” he said.
Steyn’s figures were the best by an overseas fast bowler at this venue renowned for helping the spinners.
“I don’t even know who’s on the list, to be honest with you,” said Steyn.
“I’m just happy to be here wearing this shirt and this cap which I was awarded 10 years ago.”
“Numbers, stats…I don’t even know how many test wickets I have to be honest with you.
“I just enjoy running in, bowling quickly and trying to knock over batsmen,” he said.
Steyn also thanked Donald, currently South Africa’s fast bowling coach, for inspiring him.
“I actually watched a couple of his videos before I bowled in this test,” said Steyn.
“He’s always telling us how good we are and what legends we are – it must take a bit out of him to do that because he was a legend himself.
“For him to say those things to youngsters like us, I really appreciate that,” Steyn said.
“The wickets are for the whole country but I like to say thank you to him,” he added.