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Interview

Anand Subramaniam in Ranchi

Steyn stands out in Ranchi run-fest

SRH pacer reveals how he maintained sub-six economy rate during Dhoni’s blitz

That swift run-up, those eyes gleaming with vigour and a smooth action – Dale Steyn the bowler is a pure delight to watch. He was a delight to watch at the JSCA stadium in Ranchi as well, even on a day when rest of the bowlers found the going tough. He ended up with the most economical figures in the match between the Chennai Super Kings and the Sunrisers Hyderabad. Steyn gave away just 23 runs in his four overs with two wickets to his name.

He got Murali Vijay out for a duck in his very first over and towards the end of the innings he got rid of Run Machine Raina (who scored 84). Still, the Sunrisers went down fighting, falling just 12 runs short of the target.

Despite the loss, Steyn spoke about the fighting spirit of the closely-knit SRH unit. In his exclusive post-match chat with clt20.com, Steyn also talked about bowling in the shortest format of the game and bowling to one of the most destructive batsmen in the world – MS Dhoni.

Excerpts from his interview:

With Parthiv Patel and Shikhar Dhawan going great guns at the start of the innings, did you guys back yourselves to get the target?

I do not know if we would have backed ourselves, but we too got to 190 at the end of it, falling just 12 short. This is how you would want to lose a game. It would have been disappointing had we ended on 150/7 or thrown the game away or something. But we fought all the way to the end and that shows the kind of character and what this side is made of. We may have one or two areas to work on with the ball, but we came out beautifully tonight with the bat.

Two wickets for you while giving away just 23 in 4 overs on a day when the rest went for runs. You would be happy on a personal note?

Look, you want to win the game at the end of the day; that is the main thing. I bowled nicely tonight; I thought I took my time and I was a bit clearer on my plans. Definitely with the dew around, I put a lot more thought in my bowling.

What is the key to bowling to guys like Suresh Raina and MS Dhoni, who are going after almost every bowler?

I think when you are bowling to guys like Raina and Dhoni, you got to be very specific. You got to be smart about where you want them to hit the ball.

Dhoni was severe on Thisara Perera in the 18th over of the match. Being the senior bowler in the SRH side, what do you tell a Perera after that kind of an off day?

It happens and there is nothing you can do. You do not expect guys to come out here and bowl badly, we always plan to do the best and you kind of just have to roll with the punches. Perera was probably our best death-over bowler in the last game in Mohali, where I went for 41 that day. And today I ended up being the most economical. Maybe it just wasn’t Perera’s day today. But that is the way it goes you know – one day you are the hero and the next day you are a zero.

You have bowled to some of the most destructive batsmen in world cricket like Chris Gayle, AB de Villiers, MS Dhoni, etc. Who would you pick as the most destructive of the lot?

Look, they all have got their own term. It all depends on how well they are striking it on that night and especially how you are bowling. There are some days when I have felt that I could not have bowled better and I have gone for runs and there are other days when I have not bowled my best and have gone for no runs. That is just cricket!

How do you bowl to MSD when he is in the kind of mood he was in during this match? Does he make you think a lot more as a bowler?

You got to think about everyone you are bowling against, especially someone like MS, who can hit the ball out of the ground. You got to think smartly, because you know that if you miss your length, he is going to hit you at the ‘V’ or out of the ground. Someone like AB de Villiers doesn’t necessarily hit you down the ground; he can hit you 360 degrees. So some players like that are probably more difficult to bowl to.

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