If Dale Steyn makes a long-awaited comeback to competitive cricket on Wednesday evening for the Titans, expect him to be a changed man.
Don’t expect him to bowl 145+ thunderbolts anymore because those days are over.
It’s a message that comes from the man himself.
“I’m not asking people to sit back and think I’m going to bowl at 150 kmph and that I’m going to take five wickets,” Steyn told the Titans’ official website ahead of their Ram Slam T20 meeting with the Knights in Bloemfontein.
The 34-year-old Proteas quick has been included in the squad.
“If I can get through the game with minimal damage in terms of economy rate and pick up a wicket or two that would be great.”
Steyn’s presence is a great boost for South Africa’s bowling resources at the moment as depth has been questioned following a string of injuries sustained by senior players like him, Vernon Philander, Morne Morkel and Chris Morris.
Yet the complexity of his shoulder injury – which required deft surgery – means some supporters will still be holding their breaths.
After all, Steyn only lasted about three months after his first comeback in August 2016.
He, though, is raring to go.
“I am ready to go. Yes, I haven’t played in a year, but there are no massive expectations. I am just looking forward to playing again and feeling part of the game,” said Steyn.
The Titans made a flying start to their new T20 campaign with an easy win over the Highveld Lions last Sunday, undoubtedly boosted by all their national players.
It means Steyn might not find it all that easy to get into the starting XI.
“I’m going to slot in where I’m needed. We need to play within our strengths. For me, I want to get overs under the belt,” he said.