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I think Ottneil Baartman definitely stands the better chance of going to World Cup: Dale Steyn

Former South African fast bowling legend Dale Steyn, currently serving as the Bowling Coach for Sunrisers Eastern Cape and Sunrisers Hyderabad, expressed his confidence in the team’s abilities ahead of the Betway SA20 final. Steyn stressed the importance of red-ball cricket in shaping bowlers’ skills for shorter formats, highlighting the stellar performance of Australian bowler Daniel Worrall, who has seamlessly transitioned his test and first-class skills into the T20 format for Sunrisers Eastern Cape.

Speaking on how important it is for bowlers to focus on the red-ball aspect of the game in order to improve their performance in the shorter formats, former South Africa fast bowler Dale Steyn said “My main focus is on the SA20 right now, as the Bowling Coach of the Sunrisers Eastern Cape. We have got some wonderful bowlers there and some of them might not go on to play test matches, who knows, they might. Daniel Worrall is a fantastic bowler from Australia.

He’s a red-ball bowler who has played for Surrey. And I’ll tell you one thing, he is able to maximize those test and first-class skills he’s got to use them in the shorter format, and he has proved to be one of our best bowlers. So it comes back to the point that I think good test match bowlers make good T20 bowlers. 

They will have good skills as to when to use a change of pace, when to use the slower ball, and when to use the bouncer. But the fundamentals of bowling really do remain how hard you can hit a good length and hit the off stump or just about the off stump. That is an incredible skill and if you can do that in four-day cricket or test match cricket, it can make you a really good short-format bowler.

So I’m hoping a lot of bowlers will come on to that and realize that more first-ball and red-ball cricket they play, the better shorter-format bowlers they will become. So I have faith that bowlers will continue to pursue a career in red-ball cricket, and if they do really well there, it will translate into the shorter format.”

Steyn also acknowledged the formidable challenge posed by Durban Super Giants batsman Heinrich Klaasen, lauding the batsman’s dexterity while expressing excitement at the prospect of facing him in the final. Recognizing the value of testing oneself against top-tier talent, Steyn underscored the significance of a victory against the Durban Super Giants.

Steyn spoke about the Sunrisers Eastern Capes preparations to tackle Heinrich Klaasen in the final of the Betway SA20, he said “He’s phenomenal, he really is a wonderful batsman. I think we are all extremely excited about going up against somebody like him in the form that he’s in. You want to test yourself against the best, isn’t what this game is all about. It would be really silly if we had to go out there and play against guys who are not up to the standard. That would be just boring.

So it would mean so much more if Heinrich Klaasen is able to get a 100 against us and we are still able to win. That would be fantastic, it would be great to watch from the sideline too, because he is a fantastic batsman and I’m a big fan of cricket, so I like watching how guys go about playing their roles. It’s great that we have got him at Sunrisers Hyderabad because he is going to set the world on fire in the IPL this year, I can guarantee you that. But I’m hoping that just for one game, he doesn’t score too many runs. That will be good for us.”

In praising the Sunrisers Eastern Cape bowling unit, Steyn particularly commended the impact of Simon Harmer, whose strategic bowling has been instrumental in the team’s success this season. With a nuanced understanding of match-ups and pitch conditions, the bowling unit has operated cohesively, with various members stepping up to deliver match-winning performances.

Steyn lauded the performances of the bowlers in the team, particularly highlighting the impact of Simon Harmer for the side this season in the SA20, he said “Yeah it’s massive. Between him and Aiden, Aiden hasn’t bowled a lot this season, last year he was our standout player, I think he got player of the tournament, he got wickets, he got runs, we had Roelof van der Merwe who wasn’t able to come this year, but Liam Dawson has kind of taken over the role.

Simon (Harmer) has played his part, the pitches here in South Africa don’t spin like they do in India, so you have to be smart about where you bowl your spinners and your matchups are big. So you always try to make sure that the matchups are between Dawson and the guys we think can’t handle the spin very well, like the left-handers. Very often we have found that Dawson has got the left-handers out and Harmer has got the right-handers out, so it’s quite the opposite. I think our bowling unit gels very nicely, they all know when they have to do what and they pick up for each other. 

So all in all our bowling unit is playing really well and if it is their game they grab it with both hands. We have seen Bartman win matches, Simon win a man of the match, Marco Jansen wins man of the match, and even Dawson who hasn’t won the man of the match, he’s putting in big performances every single time, so our bowling unit has shone very nicely and they have operated well together and we haven’t really relied on one guy so everyone just does their part. So hoping tomorrow one of them will shine and everyone else will just do their part again.”

Looking ahead to potential selections for the upcoming T20 World Cup, Steyn singled out Ottneil Bartman and Jordan Hermann as standout performers deserving of consideration. Bartman’s consistent performances and impeccable seam position him as a strong contender, while Hermann’s destructive batting style and exceptional fielding skills make him a promising prospect for future selections.

Steyn also spoke about the inclusion of standout performers for the Sunrisers Eastern Capes – Ottneil Bartman and Jordan Hermann ahead of the Men’s T20 World Cup later this year, he said “I’ll be honest with you, I think Ottneil Bartman definitely stands the better chance of going to the World Cup. I think he’s put his hand up for the last two years now in a row, in terms of the SA20. He was wonderful last year, he’s been amazing this year, and he’s really knocked down that door to go to the World Cup. He reminds me a lot of a Mohammed Shami where his seam comes down, he’s got a great wrist and his lines are perfectly straight, so very rarely does he bowl a short wide-cut ball, or a ball which goes down leg.

Something similar to Anriche Nortje, his lines are gun barrel straight and his seam is really good. I think he is someone who comes with little problems, he’s easy to coach and it’s easy for him to kind of zone in on a particular area which is important when you’re playing at the highest level. And Jordan Hermann, I think he’s still young, he’s a great batsman, he reminds me a little of David Warner, the way that he bats.

He’s quite short, he’s punchy, he takes the bowlers on, he’s got a great attitude and is a phenomenal fielder, and with South Africa’s batting currently, if you look at our batting – Quinton de Kock, Ryan Rickelton, Aiden Markram, Henrich Klaasen, David Miller, Tristan Stubbs, it’s going to be a difficult thing for Jordan Hermann to get into that right now. But give him another year and a half, and if an opportunity presents itself I can guarantee you that he will be one of the first names that hopefully, the selectors will be penciling down. But I think these guys should be something South Africa should consider before the T20 World Cup.”

Also Read: IPL is important for any player to be performing to get T20 World Cup selection, says Tom Moody

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