Dale Steyn sprinting in full-throttle is a sight that could intimidate even the best in the World. His fiery pace, lethal bouncers, and accurate Yorkers are what makes him arguably the best fast bowler South Africa has ever produced.
The talismanic pacer has donned the South African jersey in 93 Test matches and 125 One Day Internationals and has taken a whopping 439 Test and 196 ODI wickets. While Steyn for his bowling exploits worldwide, many might not know that he was a batsman during his initial days.
In a recent interaction with Sanjay Manjrekar, Steyn revealed that during his academy days, he batted at number three and has even received an award once.
“When I was in my first academy year after school, I had a bad hamstring injury. So about six months, I didn’t really bowl. So, I decided I was going to bat. I batted at number three and ended up getting Batsman-of-the-Year at my academy. I mean it’s ridiculous. And then I went to Pretoria to join the Titans,” Steyn said on a chat show for ESPNCricinfo.
Gave up batting after meeting Faf and AB: Dale Steyn
Steyn said that after meeting the likes of Faf Du Plessis and AB De Villiers, he decided to shift his focus towards bowling.
“When I got there, I met Faf (du Plessis), AB (de Villiers). Then I started to rub shoulders with Alviro Pietersen. I quickly realized that I was a decent batter but these guys were batsmen. And, I thought if I am even going to play for South Africa or for Titans, I need to focus primarily on my bowling.”
Dale Steyn also jokingly added that he regrets his decision of giving up batting, as the all-rounder tag would have fetched him more money in the Indian Premier League.
“I little bit regret it right now because I think I could have averaged closer to 20 and who knows gone for more money in the IPL if I was a better all-rounder like Chris Morris,” he added.