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Ken Borland

‘KG is our best player but we can win without him’ – Steyn

Posted on September 27, 2022 by Ken

Dale Steyn believes Kagiso Rabada is “our best player, the leader of the attack”, but South Africa’s most prolific wicket-taker is still sure the Proteas can win the first Test against England starting at Lord’s on Wednesday even without their spearhead.

Rabada is apparently making good progress after an ankle injury, and while he is bowling again, there is still some concern over whether his workloads have been enough to get him through five days of Test cricket.

“KG is the leader of our attack, our best player and most experienced bowler,” Steyn told The Citizen. “Obviously we want him out on the park, KG gets wickets even when he’s not bowling because batsmen play our other bowlers differently.

“KG just has that presence and x-factor, but I’m certain we can still win without him. Other guys will have to step up, but the Duke ball does enough for us.

“If we are going all-out attack then Anrich Nortje has the pace and he can be used in short bursts to really attack. But for me, our most consistent bowler is Lungi Ngidi.

“The two best bowlers in England for years and years have been Jimmy Anderson and Stuart Broad. They don’t have the speed to scare anybody, but they use the ball so well, they have incredible skills and they know how to use the pitches.

“Lungi is straight in between those two in terms of skills and getting bounce,” Steyn said.

According to Steyn, South Africa have another trump card who also might not take the field at Lord’s in Simon Harmer. The off-spinner arrived in England five years ago on a Kolpak deal and has become a much beloved player for Essex, taking 354 wickets in just 73 matches at an average of only 20.65, leading them to a handful of trophies and being widely acknowledged as the best bowler in county cricket.

“I’m sure our captain, Dean Elgar, is in Simon’s ear having lots of discussions because he has played plenty of county cricket and will provide incredible information on what the pitches will do.

“Simon has done so well there, has played the most county cricket out of anyone in the squad, but whether he gets picked or not will depend on conditions.

“Keshav Maharaj, as a left-armer, provides other options and can hold up an end or take wickets. Normally we play a waiting game, but if England are going to bat so aggressively then we won’t have to be that patient.

“If the wickets are doing something, then England playing with an aggressive mindset will increase our chances of taking wickets. Our fielding will also have to be really good to take the different types of catches that could come,” Steyn said.

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