He does consider the current Indian batting line-up a formidable one but South Africa’s world number one pacer Dale Steyn on Tuesday said nobody comes close to being the nightmare that the recently-retired Virender Sehwag was in his prime.
The bowler, whose lethal pace is intimidating for most batsmen around the world, said he always found the going tough against an on-song Sehwag.
“In the past times that I have played here, I have bowled against guys like Virender Sehwag, that guy was a nightmare. He scored 300 in Chennai and if you missed him by a small margin, he would smoke you out,” the 32-year-old said in an open session with the media ahead of the Test series against India starting November 5 here.
Steyn said even now India has a power-packed batting line-up “but not someone like Sehwag who would blaze right from word go.”
Sehwag called time on his international career after being out of favour with the selectors due to a decline in form in the last couple of years. He would now be seen in action in an All-Star league set to be jointly conducted by Indian batting legend Sachin Tendulkar and Australian bowling great Shane Warne.
Speaking about the Test series against India, where South Africa would have the psychological edge after resounding victories in the limited-overs series, Steyn said he does not consider his side to be the favourites despite those results.
Steyn said his team believes in making clear strategy for each of the opposition players.
“...It’s not rocket science, if you have got a guy like Sachin (Tendulkar) and you bowl a top of stump to him, he will hit you through the point, when you bowl it to Murali Vijay, he will probably hit you through the covers, so it’s important to know where you want the fielder to be positioned. The delivery stays the same, but the batsman’s shots will change,” he explained.
“So, it’s about getting into his head a little bit and looking into his last 10 dismissals. Position a fielder there and if he gets out in a similar fashion, may be laugh at him too.. Its not rocket science,” Steyn said.
“I don’t think we are favourites, we are playing in India’s back garden. It’s going to be extremely difficult. I think we are coming to this series with a lot of expectations after winning the T20s and the ODIs, so we’ve got confidence on our side and ideally we would like to win, that’s what we are here for,” he asserted.