England newcomers a mystery to Steyn


Dale Steyn says he does not "know much about" the newer faces in England's squad as South Africa prepare for the first Test in Durban on Saturday.

Steyn has spent the weeks leading up to the first encounter in the four-match series attempting to complete his rehabilitation from the groin injury that kept him out of much of South Africa's 3-0 Test loss in India.

And while he may be the number one player in the ICC Test bowler rankings, the 32-year-old is apparently not a man who feels the need to immerse himself in the characteristics of his likely opponents.     

"If you want me to be entirely honest, I haven't actually looked at England's squad that much," he told The Guardian. 

"I know that sounds really pathetic but I've just been trying to go off and get myself back into full fitness which has meant I've had to avoid actually focusing on who we're playing against or what's coming up.

"I will have a look at it a little bit closer before Durban when we look at the numbers and how long these guys have been playing their cricket; where the strengths and weaknesses are in this England set-up.

"Right now, if you want me to be honest, I don't know. I think the more common players who have been around for a while - Joe Root, Alastair Cook, Jimmy Anderson, Stuart Broad - those guys I know of, they're fantastic players. The other guys coming in and making their way in cricket, I don't know much about them."

England's leading bowler James Anderson was on Thursday ruled out of the first Test due to a calf strain.

That leaves the way clear for Steyn to dominate with the ball in the opener at Kingsmead and the Proteas paceman is confident he will last the distance. 

"I'm feeling good, the ball's coming out fine so I think the key thing for me is to make sure I can get through between 15 and 20 overs in a day and I think I can do that," Steyn added.

"There was a four-day game [I could have played] but I didn't want to risk it, I wanted to give this leg of mine the best opportunity to heal and hopefully I'll be 100 per cent ready. 

"It's almost been 11 years of playing international cricket for me - I think I'll be okay. If I can play the first Test there shouldn't be any issues playing all four."