The fall and decline of Dale Steyn. Or, is it?

The fall and decline of Dale Steyn. Or, is it?

2 minutes read

The biggest unasked question in cricket right now is – “Where is Dale Steyn?” “Where is the once-most-feared-bowler-in-the-world now?” For a man, who has 400 Test wickets to his name, to play in just 1 match in a complete IPL season indicates a serious fall. Like many fast bowlers, Dale Steyn has struggled with a lot of injuries in the recent times. There has been a drop in his form and effectiveness which has left him carrying drinks instead of the burden of his team.

In the 2015 edition of the IPL, we got to see a not-so-good side of team selection. Sunrisers Hyderabad opted for Trent Boult, the in-form bowler, instead of Dale Steyn, the reputed bowler. Now, an IPL snub should hardly matter to a bowler like him but, for a sportsperson, any kind of snub could be harmful. 2 or 3 years ago, any team would have welcomed him with open arms. In fact, 2 years ago, he looked good to go for another 5 years at the least. Yet, now he stands at the crossroads of his career facing constant rejection in the IPL.

For a fast bowler, involuntary time away from the field rusts his game. Mitchell Starc is not able to replicate his pre-World Cup performance these days. Mohammad Shami is not able to make a comeback after an exceptional initial year.

Dale Steyn is tough. He is going to make a comeback. Only, it is not going to be as easy as it would have been before. He is fierce and he has still got that passion in his eyes. So much so, that in the sole game he played in 2016 IPL, he constantly clocked 145 kmph. That’s worth some plaudits. Many think that Dale Steyn is in a pit of quicksand. I think Dale Steyn is only going to rise from these Ashes.

The fall and decline of Dale Steyn. Or, is it

The question that is rattling my mind is that “Can there be another Dale Steyn as far as South Africa is concerned?” No, I don’t think so. Yes, many bowlers have come up, each with a better debut than the other. But, none have been able to live up to their own performances since their debut. Kagiso Rabada, Kyle Abbott and Merchant de Lange have tried to fill these huge boots but slipped only after fitting in one of their legs.

Believe me, to come in and bowl out-swingers at 150 kmph with the same line and length ball after ball is the most difficult job in cricket. Sadly though, nowadays, viewers are left with a sight of him carrying drinks. Makes you forget about teams ignoring him and you start to think whether the teams deserve him in the first place or not.

Rest assured, when South Africa play their first test this year on August 19, a familiar sight will greet the viewers – Dale Steyn steaming in to bowl with that fiery look in his eyes. I am sure that will give ME goosebumps. As someone very rightly said “To get motivated, you must be inspired. But, to stay motivated, you must be dedicated.” And, Dale Steyn is dedicated. You can see it in his eyes.

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