Dale Steyn will never forget the Proteas’ Boxing Day Test win over Australia at the MCG in 2008 in which he played a starring role.
The 38-year-old announced his retirement from all cricket last week, a decision he said was promoted by Covid-19 and ‘bubble life’.
In an interview with RMS Advisory Global, Steyn was asked about the highlights of his international career, which began in December 2004 and came to a close in February 2020.
“Everything was a highlight! I just loved playing for South Africa,” he said. “But winning away from home, in England, in Australia in ’08 … those types of life-changing moments will live with me forever. My top score of 76 at the MCG, 10-fors, that kind of thing.”
That 76 came at a crucial stage of the second Test of the 2008-09 series. When he arrived at the crease, the Proteas were 251-8 in their first innings after Australia had posted 394. But Steyn’s partnership of 180 with JP Duminy (166) changed the course of the game, which South Africa went on to win by nine wickets and take an unassailable 2-0 series lead. Steyn, who also claimed a 10-wicket haul, was named man of the match.
🔟 wickets at the iconic MCG! 💥
On the day that Dale Steyn retires from cricket, take a look at one of his most memorable bowling performances 👏
— CricWick (@CricWick) August 31, 2021
“The Boxing Day Test at the MCG … the 10-wicket haul … the stand of 180 with JP Duminy, the 76, the first SA series win in Australia after almost 100 years trying. That will forever bring a smile to my face,” he said.
“Every Christmas – at least in South Africa – they love to replay it over and over on TV so I guess if they continue doing that until I’m pretty old, I won’t get ever bored of it. It was a great, great series, and a great game.”
Steyn also reflected on his devastating spell of 6-8 in the first Test against Pakistan at the Wanderers in 2013. The visitors were bowled out for 49 and the Proteas went on to win by 211 runs.
BREAKING: Dale Steyn has announced his retirement from all forms of cricket.
Steyn’s international career spanned over 17 years – he featured in 93 Tests, 125 ODI’s and 47 T20I’s for South Africa 🇿🇦
— SuperSport 🏆 (@SuperSportTV) August 31, 2021
“Well, I must admit that was a great bowling spell. Just one of those days when you get the ball to swing a little bit,” he said.
“We had batted already [making 253], so it was day two and the Wanderers pitch had just started to quicken up a little bit. Most South African pitches can be a bit slow on the first day and then they quicken up. I managed to get a couple of big wickets early and then, with the ball still swinging, I was able to wrap up the tail. If you can do that, you can get those kinds of figures.
“Vernon [Philander] was another bowler who was able to do that with the new ball – go for very few runs, pick up early wickets and then come back into the attack and knock over the tail to finish with five or six for not many.
“But it was a great morning and it was my turn that day. I just felt like I had the ball on a piece of string and could put it wherever I wanted it.”
Steyn said being part of a Proteas team that was ranked No 1 for 39 out of 42 months between August 2012 and January 2016 had also been very special.
“World Cups can be short, and although I never won a World Cup, you can win one without necessarily being the best team in the world. You just have to play well in that tournament.
“But being the No 1 Test team for as long as we were, that requires playing well for a long period of time, many years of dedication and hard work, so that was great.
“However, it would’ve added the cherry on top to bring a World Cup home, [so that’s] possibly the only missing link.”
Photo: Shaun Roy/Gallo Images/Getty Images
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