Bengaluru: Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), who were on a losing streak, are on a sudden upsurge. This has been possible due to return of the legendary South African pacer Dale Steyn.
They have registered their third win in four games. Bangalore is also blessed with the presence of another legendary South African in AB de Villiers.
Undoubtedly they are two gems of the modern cricket era and can ensure that Bangalore captain Virat Kohli lifts the Indian Premier League (IPL) title this time.
For 35-year-old Steyn this could be his last IPL appearance and his last World Cup appearance too. So Steyn would want to give his best in this IPL. Though he has taken only four wickets so far in two appearance the two wickets each he took against Kolkata Knight Riders and Chennai Super Kings were vital in Bangalore’s victories.
In fact, Kohli needed such a bowler who can handle the four out of the 20 overs effectively. Kohli knows that in the batting department he has another South African in De Villiers, who can win matches.
Steyn’s approach to the bowling crease itself is a treat to watch. The way he generates pace is a lesson for any budding cricketer. It is through hard work that he has mastered the ability to swing both ways. His pace may not be as fearsome as it was during his prime, but his accuracy is still impeccable. It is through sheer hard work he has earned the honour of one of the best pacers of modern cricket.
The fact that Steyn could play for 15 years at the international level ever since his debut in 2004 and still create fear among the batsmen and trap the best batters reveals his mastery over his bowling.
Injuries have tried to pull him back but still he has recovered and come back strongly.
No wonder he could bag the two valuable wickets of Shane Watson and Suresh Raina off successive balls in the first over against Chennai on Sunday.
Through the yorker that got rid of Raina, Steyn showed he is still capable of producing unplayable deliveries.
Incidentally, Steyn got to play as replacement for injured Australian pacer Nathan Coulter-Nile but has performed his role to perfection.
What makes his performance brilliant is the fact that Steyn is playing in the IPL after three years after he last played for Gujarat Lions in 2016 though he had played for Bangalore between 2008 and 2010. Steyn, being a fighter to the core, must be very pleased with his show as after his injury in 2017, he had gone unsold in the 2018 and 2019 editions of the IPL auction.
If Bangalore goes on to create more sensational victories it would be because of Steyn and Villiers, the two South African wizards of the game. Villiers has hit four half centuries from his nine IPL matches so far and remained unbeaten twice. For every fan, watching these two players will remain a memorable treat.