Dale Steyn exclusive: Watch out England, South Africa are coming for you
23:38 GMT, 18 July 2012
The South Africa paceman is the world’s No 1 bowler and a series victory over England would propel his side to the top of the Test rankings. He introduces his team-mates…
It’s just amazing that our leader is about to play his 100th Test match. Wow! What an achievement that is. Graeme has captained every game that I’ve played for South Africa and has been a fantastic leader and a great player for the team.
He has always led from the front with the bat. He never has to force people to listen to him.
Be prepared: South Africa captain Graeme Smith at The Oval
I have known Alviro for many years, ever since I started playing for the Titans when I was about 20. One of his biggest assets is how mentally strong he is.
Everything is in order in his game and he’s a very organised person off the pitch too.
I remember going to his flat years ago and everything was so neat and tidy. He brings that to his game.
The silent warrior. He is a very quiet man but just a great batsman for us with a very good head on his shoulders and a real thinking cricketer who has a lot of experience now.
He’s played some county cricket so knows the scene and conditions here well and that should stand him in good stead for this series.
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He’s the ultimate professional with the the most incredible career behind him.
Does everything — bat, bowl, catch, and if he wanted to he could probably captain!
He’s got new hair, too! Jacques steps in when you really need him and has a golden arm with the ball, delivering it with more pace than you realise. But more than anything he’s just a great batter.
Jacques has played a lot of cricket here with Yorkshire but has now come back to play for South Africa again and has been welcomed back to the fold.
He proved that he deserved his recall and then got a hundred against New Zealand. He’s always been a very good player in the 10 years that I’ve known him.
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AB de Villiers
Perhaps the best of the lot. He’s a great batsman, could bowl if you wanted him to and has ridiculously good wicketkeeping skills too.
Would probably be playing for South Africa at rugby or tennis if he wasn’t doing so at cricket, he’s just the complete all-round sportsman.
Another guy I’ve known since I was a teenager, we all grew up together.
A very good left-handed batsman, which is nice to have, and also bowls some off-spin which is a bonus for us.
Whenever there are guys in the team who can bowl some overs and give me a break I’m pleased!
He has always had to fight for a place in the side but got some good runs in Australia and has his opportunity now after the injury to Mark Boucher.
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An awkward customer. His pace and bounce mean it’s really ugly to face him.
All of these tall guys get this bounce from nowhere and no batsmen enjoy the ball coming at their ribs or under their armpits.
And when he drags you forward he still hits the splice, so he’s always bowling those nasty lengths. He really is such an important bowler for us.
Hitting the heights: Vernon Philander
Vernon is unbelievably skilful in the way he can bring the ball in to the batsman and then take it away.
He can swing the ball but he’s probably more of a seamer and batsmen never know when to leave him because he’s so adept at nipping it back and getting lbws.
His career has just taken off since he first played Test cricket last year. Vernon has been around a while but has only just got his chance and has grabbed it with both hands.
He has taken over from Paul Harris but is a completely different spin bowler, with a more attacking style.
has so many variations: leggies, googlies, flippers, top spinners or
whatever. Morne, Vernon and I are mature enough to hold up an end now
when necessary to allow Imran to attack from the other end.
feel good, fit and as strong as I can be. I started bowling a little
bit quicker in the nets on Tuesday than I have been doing so far on this
At Taunton and Canterbury I was just
trying to get some miles in my legs and sort out my lines and lengths
but now I feel ready to step it up a level.
It’s now time for me to concentrate on that little bit of extra pace…
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And how about the opposition
I have watched Jimmy Anderson playing a lot for England over the years on TV and he’s a fantastic bowler with the Duke ball.
We’re pretty similar bowlers but I’m probably a little bit quicker and more aggressive in my body language.
At the end of the day we’re both trying to get away shape with the ball so in that regard we’re similar bowlers.
He would be the guy in the England team I would look at to say ‘what works for him might work for me’, whereas Stuart Broad is more like Morne in height and what they are trying to achieve.
Similar bowlers: James Anderson bowls during a net session at The Oval
Will my battle with Jimmy be the key to the series Not necessarily, because you can sometimes see someone bowling outstandingly well and ending up on the losing side. I don’t really care if I get one or 20 wickets in this series provided I do what the team needs from me to win Test matches.
Don’t get me wrong, I would love to take a lot of wickets here but there is something that is more important than the individual and that is the team.
We don’t think we’re going out there to dominate, but we’re confident in our preparations and the batsmen look ready while the bowlers look hungry.