Though batsmen have hogged most of the limelight in the ongoing fifth edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL), South African Dale Steyn has made everyone sit up and take notice of his sheer pace and disciplined bowling. The fiery Deccan Chargers pacer, who has claimed nine wickets in five matches at an economy rate of 6.30, opened up to SUNDAY MiD DAY in an exclusive chat at the team hotel ahead of their Sunday’s match versus Mumbai Indians (against whom he got his best IPL-V figures so far 3-12 in Vizag on April 9).
What do you tell yourself after being hit for consecutive fours or sixes? How hard is it for a bowler?
All I can do is bowl in the right areas… where I want to bowl and leave the rest. If the batsman hits it for a four or six, I just think that I have bowled in the area I wanted to and move on. I can only have control of myself. I also appreciate it and say it was a good shot. That is how it is. T20 is not just a batter’s game. It is also a bowler’s game. Yes, odds do favour batsmen, but in the shortened format, it allows bowlers to play a crucial role as well.
What would be your biggest takeaway from the IPL?
To win the tournament. I just want to win it. I don’t care how we reach there. I don’t care if we lose the first five games and win the next 10. It doesn’t bother me. We are not out of this tournament by a long way. There is no reason why we can’t be in the Top Four. We play two great games (knockouts) and we are in the title spot. I am not here to win the purple cap or to keep my economy under six an over. All these things don’t bother me. I am here to contribute in whichever way I can in the team’s win.
A big game against Mumbai Indians on Sunday…
Every game is a big game for us. From here on, we have to win everything.
Sunday’s game has two of the most entertaining bowlers in the IPL — Lasith Malinga and yourself. How do you look at the contest?
I will be up against the batters more than Malinga (laughs). He doesn’t look like he is on his game as compared to the previous season. It doesn’t bother me who you are up against. People love to see a great game. Everyone is keen to do their best.
How has the IPL experience been so far?
It’s been very nice… great. Unfortunately, we lost a few games, but if we had won a couple more, it would have been fantastic.