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'India didn't have a wicket-taker vs England'

Last updated on: March 1, 2011 18:05 IST

'Our emphasis is on fielding'

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South Africa pacer Dale Steyn said the nerve-wrecking tied match between India and England highlighted the importance of fielding, which the Proteas will focus on in their World Cup matches.

A total of 676 runs were scored in the thrilling match and Steyn said despite the mammoth scores, all that mattered in the end was just one run.

 - World Cup coverage

"It was a big game. Wasn't it? We had our meeting this morning and we put emphasis on fielding... on where and how we can save runs," Steyn said after the team's practice session in Mohali, ahead of their match against the Netherlands.

"When you score 338 you think you have got enough runs. But it was a run short for both. We can learn a lot from that," he added.

Besides focusing on fielding, the 27-year-old also stressed that on the subcontinental pitches, bowlers need to be very careful with their line and pace.

"In South Africa, you can get away sometimes because of the bounce. You may get away with full wide balls. In India, it does not bounce and finds the middle of the bat and goes flying to point or extra cover for four.


Image: Dale Steyn
Photographs: Getty Images
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'India didn't have a wicket-taker among them'

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"In South Africa it might find the edge or may not find the bat, so you can get away with some bad balls. You got to be street smart I suppose when you bowl in India. You can't bowl at the same pace at the same place. Guys will work you out. In my second over (against the West Indies), I was cut and then I changed from 140kmph to 120kmph. You have got to have better understanding. You have got to be pretty smart," explained the pacer.

So far the batting powerplays have not exactly worked for teams, with wickets falling in heaps, and Steyn said it was always meant to work both ways.

"There are two ways of looking at the powerplay. We saw the other day it did not work for England. It is an opportunity to change the game. We didn't take it against West Indies...it is about mindset. Sometimes we plan for it," he said.

- Images: India vs England

Steyn said during the India-England match it seemed the hosts did not have any wicket-taking bowler but after England opted to take the powerplay, things changed.

"India looked like they couldn't get a wicket. They didn't have a wicket-taker among them. And, then, the powerplay came and wickets started falling," said Steyn.

Image: MS Dhoni unsuccessfully reviews an LBW appeal against Ian Bell
Photographs: Getty Images
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'Every team has some kind of injuries'

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The pacer on Sunday suffered a minor bruise on his right thigh during team training while Imran Tahir and JP Duminy were given rest due to throat infection and stiff back respectively, but the fast bowler said everyone would be up for selection for Thursday's game.

"There are a couple of niggles in every team. Every team has some kind of injuries. But every single guy will be up for selection come Thursday," said Steyn, who bruised his right thigh in a collision with captain Graeme Smith while playing football.

"It wasn't a tackle. Looking at the ball...bang...I was actually competing against a heavyweight," Steyn joked.

Supporting the ICC's decision to keep long gaps between matches, Steyn said, "We played India (in South Africa) in quick succession. It's nice to have some time off. You pick up an injury, if you have a long break, you can recover.


Image: Smith with his ace bowler, Dale Steyn
Photographs: Reuters
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'Mohali is a quicker deck'

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"It's nice, helps stay fit and makes everybody available for selection. With different conditions there will always be a dilemma in selection. We find it pretty good as all the players are available for all the games and are fighting for a place in the team. It is a healthy competition."

The Mohali pitch will offer good bounce, but would not provide much movement to the bowlers.

When Steyn was asked to comment on the wicket, he said, "When I played the IPL it was a little bit more greasy than what I came across in the other game. It was a night game. This is our first day game here.

"We don't know how the conditions would remain. Actually, I haven't gone and looked at the wicket. From what I have heard, it is a quicker deck."


Image: South Africa's Dale Steyn (left) and teammate Faf du Plessis share a light moment during training
Photographs: Reuters
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