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Steyn is gem of a bowler: Waqar Younis

While Dale Steyn is currently the most sought-after fast bowler in world cricket, Pakistan’s Waqar Younis, who is the South African’s bowling coach at Sunrisers Hyderabad is an established master of fast bowling.

Waqar Younis
Sunrisers Hyderabad bowling coach Waqar Younis during a practice session at the Wankhede Stadium yesterday. Pics/Suresh KK

Both have been influential role models for aspiring fast bowlers in their eras. When both greats share the same dressing room for nearly two months, the outcome has to be positive and the Sunrisers have been impressive in their debut season.

Waqar, who was known for his lethal reverse swing and toe-crushing yorkers, spoke to MiD DAY about working with Steyn and Indian bowlers ahead of his team’s match against Mumbai Indians yesterday.

Excerpts:

‘It’s a carnival out here’
The experience of coaching an IPL team for the first time has been great. It’s the first time Sunrisers Hyderabad have entered into this competition and we have done a good job so far. I am enjoying every bit of it. I never thought IPL was such a big deal. It is a carnival out here. Once you get a taste of it (IPL), you enjoy it. I have a one-year contract with Hyderabad and I would love to be involved with this tournament in the future.

Steyn is a character
Dale Steyn is a gem of a bowler; is a character as well. There is no doubt that he is a world-beater when it comes to fast bowling. He is a smart fellow, quite fit and hungry for success. I enjoy his company. He is a thinker, always looking to improve. Steyn, Ishant Sharma, Amit Mishra, Darren Sammy — who is another character… they are all good.

Dale Steyn
Dale Steyn in action yesterday

Late swing troubles batsmen
Steyn is a workaholic. He enjoys bowling which is the key and works really hard on his fitness. He is at the peak of his game and has set the tone for us this season. His bowling is not only about pace. The late swing that he generates at that pace is what troubles the batsmen. He varies his pace very well.

Steyn doesn’t need tips
I am not going to share any of those tips in public (laughs). But frankly speaking, he doesn’t need any tips. His hunger is the most important thing (behind his success).

Pace is not everything
Fast bowlers must ensure they keep bowling. It is important to strengthen your body. You don’t have to go mad over attaining express pace. You can be quite effective at a slower pace as well. Like Glenn McGrath. Courtney Walsh wasn’t very quick either, but he took a lot of wickets. It is a mixture where you have to be smart at times. A lot depends on the approach as well. Some like to have that aggression and Styen has both aggression and swing.

Fast bowling is…
… an art which requires a lot of hard work. It is a sight as well.

Indian bowlers are fine
They have got variation and variety. Ishant has pace, Bhuvneshwar Kumar can swing the ball well. Overall, there is a good blend. I am sure they will do well in English conditions during the Champions Trophy.

Needed: A soothing effect
I hope these elections (in Pakistan) will have a soothing effect on both countries. It will help calm things down. We want cricket to come to Pakistan. Hopefully, this new regime will settle things and the new government will take notice of a few things.

Imran’s loss
He has done a fantastic job this time. In the last elections, his party hardly won any seats, but this time, they have done a commendable job. Look at the number of voters who came out. It has a lot to do with Imran Khan. They won some 40-odd seats which is quite a major part of Parliament. He will be a good opposition.
 

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