x Abu Dhabi, UAE Friday 21 July 2017

Mickey Arthur quote stirs up Dale Steyn

Gary Kirsten, the South Africa coach, reacts to his Australia counterpart's view that fast bowler is not as good against left-handers by saying 'we will use it as motivation'.

Dale Steyn is leading a pace attack that his bowling coach Allan Donald called the 'best ever'. Greg Wood / AFP
Dale Steyn is leading a pace attack that his bowling coach Allan Donald called the 'best ever'. Greg Wood / AFP

Gary Kirsten believes Dale Steyn will use jibes from his former coach Mickey Arthur to motivate him when he bowls for South Africa in the first Test against Australia, which begins in Brisbane on Friday.

The South Africa coach said the world's No 1 Test bowler was fired up after he was reminded of Australian coach Arthur's assessment of Steyn's apparent weakness bowling against left-handers.

"It's no secret that Dale hasn't bowled well to left-handers," Arthur, a South African who coached his homeland from 2005 to 2010 had said.

"Let me just rephrase that. He's bowled a lot better to right-handers than to left-handers," he added.

Asked if Arthur's comment would motivate Steyn, Kirsten said: "Put it this way, we will use it as good motivation."

Steyn, who has taken 287 Test wickets at an average of 23.5, leads an attack that Proteas fast bowling great Allan Donald has rated South Africa's "best ever".

But Kirsten, perhaps mindful of providing incentive to an Australian side hoping to snatch the world No 1 Test ranking from South Africa in the coming three-Test series, was not so sure.

"I am mindful of saying it is the best ever - there's been a lot of Test cricket around in the last 100 years," he said.

"They are an experienced bowling attack, there is good variety within the attack and most importantly they back themselves in certain situations."

While the focus has been on Steyn, Morne Morkel and Vernon Philander, Kirsten raised the prospects of the spinner Imran Tahir playing in the Brisbane Test.

"A lot will depend on the wicket and what it is come Friday but looking at it now it looks like a pretty good wicket," he said. "A spinner always plays a role in a Test match in my experience."

That is the same view point that Arthur is looking at, with Nathan Lyon expected to be part of the Australian bowling line-up.

He said: "If everything's equal we'll probably go in with a spinner, which means there's three guys going for four positions.

"We'll see how that unfolds during the week. We could go with an all-pace attack, I don't know. As it stands we would like to play a spinner."

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