Came here to silence Sehwag and others: Steyn

Updated: 04 February 2010 15:14 IST

Dale Steyn says and his his bowling colleagues have arrived with plans to tame Sehwag in the forthcoming Test series against India.

Came here to silence Sehwag and others: Steyn

Nagpur:

The 2008 battering in Chennai still fresh in mind, South African pace spearhead Dale Steyn said he and his his bowling colleagues have arrived here with plans to tame Virender Sehwag in the forthcoming Test series against India.

Sehwag had blasted a 304-ball 319 in that drawn Test with the help of 42 fours and five sixes but Steyn said the Proteas have already sorted out the Delhi dasher.

"It is a challenge. He showed us in Chennai that on flat wickets, he could score runs. But once we exploited what his biggest weaknesses were, he wasn't able to get away again after that," Steyn said at an interactive media meet ahead of the Test series opening here on Sunday.

"We definitely have our game plans against somebody like him. What's happened in the past has happened in the past," Steyn.

Putting behind the two-year-old plastering, Steyn said, "It was definitely not the pitches, it was the mind-frame that we definitely got into. I am not giving everything away here, we still have got to play two Test matches against him. But whenever we go out to bowl in the Test match, you will obviously see what's going to be coming his way."

In fact, the 26-year-old right-arm pacer said, the South Africans have separate plans to silence all the Indian top guns.
"I am not going to single out Sehwag because (Sachin) Tendulkar is also a marvellous player and he has shown what a record he has got. (Gautam) Gambhir too has shown what a record he has got."

"It's not specifically Sehwag that we are afraid of not to say that we are afraid of anybody. I am just saying that he is not the only key player in their side. There are massive other players that we are prepared well for and we will go out there and try to exploit their weaknesses," Steyn said.

The lanky pacer was also of the view that India would struggle to fill the void created by injuries to Rahul Dravid, Yuvraj Singh and V V S Laxman even though they have drafted in Rohit Sharma as a cover for the stylish Hyderabadi.

"I guess you could say yes with the absence of guys like Yuvraj, Rahul, and Laxman with their massive experience. If they fill them in with a couple of debutants, obviously that will play in our favour," he said.

Steyn, however, warned his teammates not to underestimate the Indian youngsters, saying they were capable of springing a surprise or two.
"At Test level, you never replace experienced player with someone who is average or borderline average. You always replace him with somebody that has got equal quality. Certainly that's what we try and do in South Africa.

"Whoever steps in their places must have shown his worth at the domestic level and he will obviously step into those shoes knowing he is capable of playing at the highest level," Steyn pointed out.

Steyn said the key for fast bowlers to do well here was to bowl aggressively though they may not get the sort of bounce or seam movement they experience back home.

"The biggest thing about India is that you have to hit the deck. Obviously the truth is that we are not going to get the movement and the bounce that we get at the Wanderers (in Johannesburg) where we just played against England.

"However, the aggression and the way that we bowl doesn't change. The bowler himself, his attitude towards the game, towards each and every delivery he bowls doesn't change at all, regardless of the pitch.

"I've said it many times before, a 150 or 145 km yorker is absolutely no different whether you bowl it here in Nagpur, Chennai, Johannesburg, Perth...It's the skill behind the delivery, what the planning is behind the delivery that is what counts," said the bowlers who represents Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Indian Premier League."

He also predicted South Africa's latest pace find, left-arm Wayne Parnell, would trouble the Indians.

"Historically, if I am correct, India have not played left-arm fast bowlers well at all. Sides like Sri Lanka produce a lot of left-arm bowlers purely because of the conditions and Wayne falls into that bracket for us."

"He bowls low, is skiddy and he is almost a mirror image of myself. He gets good swing, he gets good reverse swing and he is quick. He has got a nice step bouncer," Steyn said.

"His preparation so far has gone quite well, he bowled well in the warm-up match. He got three wickets, he has got a good taste of what these Indian wickets are like. He feels at home in this side already. He has played a lot of one-day games for us, so he is not a stranger to international cricket," Steyn added.

The South African said his team came prepared to play on pitches similar to the one they played in Kanpur, which drew lot of flak and an ICC censure after the Test match got over inside three days with India winning the match by eight wickets to level the series.

"I don't want to dwell back into what happened in Kanpur. Both sides had an evenly matched chance in that game. India obviously set up a Bunsen burner for and it obviously paid off for them. It could easily have gone against them and they could have gone 0-2 down in that series. But it's the risk that they took and it paid off for them.

"We are just looking to come here and play in Indian conditions. If it was easy, then everybody would be playing Test cricket. We are looking for the most difficult conditions, we prepare for the most difficult conditions.

That's obviously what we expect," he explained. Dishing out such a track which "is ripping square and turning square" may suit the spinners but it would negate the threat posed by in-form Zaheer Khan, reckoned Steyn.

"If they want to take somebody like him out of the game just to try and beat us, then that's a feather in our cap already," Steyn said.

Topics : Cricket Sreesanth
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