Steyn credits ball change
Proteas bowler Dale Steyn credited his outstanding bowling display to a ball change on the third day of the first Test against India.
By Rachel Griffiths
Last Updated: 08/02/10 3:00pm
South Africa fast bowler Dale Steyn credited his outstanding bowling display to a ball change after the tea interval on the third day of the first Test against India in Nagpur.
Steyn tore through the hosts' innings with a blistering spell in which he landed a career-best 7-51, bowling India out for a miserable 233 and securing a first-innings lead of 325 for the Proteas.
India had reached tea on 221-4, but Steyn went on to pick up five wickets in 3.4 overs in the final session of the day as the home side crumbled.
"We actually had the ball changed when we came out after tea because the seam had popped open on the old one," said Steyn.
"We hoped to get a bit of reverse swing, it worked in our favour and it was good really."
The day concluded with India on 66-2 in their seconding innings, still 259 behind, with Steyn having claimed his eighth wicket of the game.
South Africa had limited time to prepare for the series, with the few days between the series against England at home and their departure to India eclipsed by the departure of long-standing coach Mickey Arthur, but Steyn believes they have adapted to conditions well.
"We have been speaking about these kinds of wickets and one thing we talked about in the changing room is to try and adapt as quickly as possible," said Steyn.
"I think we were capable of doing that, we hit the right areas with intensity and things went well for us.
"I think we worked out quite nicely what we have to do in these conditions."
Steyn was behind Graeme Smith's decision to enforce the follow-on and is hoping the Proteas can produce a similar performance when the Test continues on Tuesday.
"We already were 325 in front and we thought that if we could pick up a couple of wickets we could speed up the game and hopefully have it in the bag," said Steyn.
"Of course we could have come out tomorrow and done it, but the bowlers said yes. We felt we had enough fuel in the tank and we could do it again.
"Hopefully we can come out and do it again tomorrow."