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South Africa look to Steyn to replicate magical spell

cricket Updated: Feb 13, 2010 17:36 IST

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Dale Steyn produced one of the best spells by a fast bowler in India to help South Africa win the opening test and captain Graeme Smith is hoping he can replicate his performance in Kolkata.

Steyn returned a match haul of 10-108 to help set up South Africa's innings victory in Nagpur as the tourists took a 1-0 lead in their quest for a first test-series victory on Indian soil in almost a decade.

"I just think he has matured a lot, the way he has grown into...himself as a cricketer, the way he thinks about the game and obviously the skills he has got (are) a great asset to have," Smith told reporters on the eve of the second and final test starting on Sunday.

Steyn, the world's top-ranked bowler, returned career-best figures of seven for 51 in the first innings which Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni described as the best display of conventional swing bowling he had seen in India in a long time.

"Dale Steyn, the way he bowled...he was the best I have seen in the last two years, at least as far as conventional bowling goes," Dhoni said.

The 26-year-old Steyn is five short of 200 test wickets and South Africa expect a big contribution from him as they seek to reclaim the number one ranking from India.

"He (Steyn) has been able to adapt to all the conditions that he has played in and the attack...has adapted to the roles around him which has allowed him to play his role," Smith said.

"Dale has been consistently really exciting, really good over the last couple of years. You can't argue with performances he has put in around the world."

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