Black Caps set to target Dale Steyn
New Zealand need another game plan for Dale Steyn after the fast bowler ripped them apart in the recent Test series.
The 24-year-old took 20 wickets in South Africa’s 2-0 Test series victory over the Black Caps and touring vice-captain Brendon McCullum said they will need a new plan to prevent the seamer from dominating the one-day international series.
The two countries square off in a Twenty20 International at the Wanderers tomorrow night before the three-match one-day series gets under way in Durban on Sunday.
“I think we’ve got to be aggressive with him,” McCullum said yesterday. When it comes to the one-day series it’s about us being able to dominate enough to take more risks and probably play a bit more of the short stuff rather than trying to evade it. Hopefully we can take it to him a little bit and see how he responds.
“What we did in the Test series didn’t work so we’ve got to try something different and hopefully that will bring about a different result as well.”
Adjusting from the five-day format to the limited overs game as quickly as possible is going to be key for both sides.
But New Zealand have had more success in the shorter formats in recent years – they are currently ranked third in the world in one-day cricket and reached the semifinals of the inaugural Twenty20 World Cup in September – and are hoping to continue that success on the second half of their tour.
McCullum said they know they can beat any one-day team on the day and their failure in the five-day game probably stems from a lack of confidence and perhaps they just need to adjust their mindset.
“It was obviously disappointing to lose the Test series in the manner we did and we’re looking forward to the opportunity to win the one-day series. If we can walk away with that then we would have salvaged something out of the tour. So it’s definitely a major motivation for us and we’re really looking forward to it,” said McCullum.
This is the first one-day series the Black Caps will play since the retirement of former captain Stephen Fleming from the limited overs format and McCullum said the experienced members of their squad need to play more of a senior role.
“It’s obviously a massive blow for us because he’s such an outstanding performer.
“But it’s up to the other experienced guys in the team now to step up and take ownership and hopefully lead in the manner he did for so long.”