No slowing down for Dale
SOUTH African fast bowler Dale Steyn is in no mood to ease off the gas heading into the Super Eights of the World Twenty20 this week.
Steyn, the head honcho of the fast-and-furious club of international bowlers, set the tone for the South African attack in the group stages last week.
He found prodigious swing and bounce with the new white ball in Hambantota and bowled faster than 140km/h.
After victories over Zimbabwe and hosts Sri Lanka, South Africa enter the Super Eights unbeaten.
Their status as one of the favourites to win the event has also been enhanced by their ruthless effort against Sri Lanka in a seven-over shoot-out.
But their Super Eight Group F opponents India, Australia and, probably, Pakistan have produced impressive performances of their own over the past few days.
India's slaughter of England must be of particular concern to South Africa, who recently completed a close-run series against Stuart Broad's side. Australia wiped the floor with the West Indies and Pakistan were clinical against New Zealand.
For South Africa to be successful they are going to have to adapt to the surface at Premadasa stadium in Colombo, where all of their Super Eight matches will be played.
Steyn believes South Africa have the expertise to alter their game but it might not need a major change because seam and spin have enjoyed equal success here.
"It was a good deck in Hambantota, it offered us something. After playing in England on those slow decks we adjusted our game quite nicely so it won't hit us like a train smash when we get there [Colombo]. We hope the wickets are going to be the same," Steyn said.
Steyn promised to test the speed gun even more in the Super Eight stage.
"My game is not going to change too much. I am still going to try to bowl at 145km/h, maybe 150km/h. Whatever I can get it up to, whether it's a slow deck or not, it is going to be tough."
The 29-year-old said the unscheduled two-day break from cricket on Sunday and yesterday had been welcomed by the squad.
"We've been on the road for 11 or 12 weeks. It's ridiculous. It's highly important to get away from this game.
"You have 40000 people going absolutely ballistic, and if that's not pressure then I don't know what is. Three days of extra training is not going to make us a better team, especially since we've been playing since July 1."
SA's Super Eight fixtures
vs Pakistan/Bangladesh (12pm)
vs Australia (12pm)
vs India (4pm)