Much has been made of the pink ball innovation but it makes little difference to Proteas pace lynchpin Dale Steyn, although he has some concerns about the ball’s longevity.
Speaking in anticipation of South Africa’s visit to Australia where Steyn and company will get their first taste of pink ball action, the quick believes the day/night Test is unlikely to go the distance.
Steyn told Sport24: “[It might] well go four days maximum. The wicket will be a little greener because if it’s on the drier side, you will struggle to see the ball. So it has to be a bit greener, and will do a bit more.”
While he hasn’t played with the pink ball yet Steyn isn’t too fussed about the whole thing, adding: “I haven’t bowled with a pink ball yet, but we have some two-day warm-up games with it.
“Look, it doesn’t matter to me what you place in my hand … put a tennis ball there at garden cricket and I will still be looking to beat the guy at the other end! Pink, red, white … whatever, let’s just get on with it.”
The paceman is also glad the tour consists only of Test matches allowing him to focus on the longer format’s disciplines.
Steyn continued: “It’s quite nice to know that this will be a tour where I will only have to pack my Test boots … line and length, patience.
“If you go there for a longer tour, you’ve still got in the back of your mind ‘aargh, white-ball cricket yet to come; I’ve got to change things then, up my skills set’. However, this is just about being patient and mentally strong for long periods of time. It’s great not to have to worry about the other formats.”
The 33-year old feels South Africa have to keep it tight against their opponents: “You have to build pressure for long periods of time; wait for their mistake, because they do attack you.
“I feel our bowling line-up will perhaps be a bit more patient and skilled than theirs. Besides Josh Hazlewood, their attack is very conscious of attacking, wicket-taking. If you can bat well you can kind of get through it.”
The fast bowler then went on to compare the Proteas attack to a pack of wild dogs: “Our attack … we are more like wild dogs: we wear you down, wear you down.
“But we are also very capable of breaking your back, and taking you down quickly. We’ve got the guys to do the job … we just need the right number to do it.”