Steyn crucial to Proteas' Test hopes: Faf
Photo Source: AP
South Africa captain Faf du Plessis claims the fitness and form of Dale Steyn will go a long way to deciding whether the Proteas can beat Australia in next month's Test series.
The South Africans will travel to Australia for the first Test in Perth on November 3 full of confidence after thrashing Steve Smith's men 5-0 in a one-day series which wrapped up in Cape Town on Wednesday (Thursday AEDT).
But spearhead Steyn's performances in the rout have raised concerns about the 33-year-old's ability to reach the heights of his great career.
In his first ODI series in more than 12 months Steyn took five wickets at 50.80 - including figures of 2-96 in the third game of the series in Durban, the most expensive by a South African in ODI history.
Du Plessis is confident Steyn will be a different bowler come the Tests and says he'll have to be if the Proteas are to win a Test series in Australia for the third time in a row.
"When Dale gets that red ball in his hand, he's just a different bowler," du Plessis said.
"He's still our number one in Test cricket and for us to have a successful tour of Australia, Dale Steyn will make or break that for us because he's a huge player in our Test team.
"I'm confident he'll have a really good series."
Australia's best batsman on the ODI series, David Warner, says it would be foolish to write off a man who has 416 Test wickets at a phenomenal average of 22.24 in his career.
Warner says Steyn has the potential to deliver a match-winning spell at any time.
"You've always got to respect Dale. World-class bowler, great athlete. Always charges in," Warner said.
"He's a guy that can really get on top.
"He has this spark in him and spell in him and you've got to get through that.
"You've got to work really hard in trying to negate what he throws at you."