Brisbane: South African pace spearhead Dale Steyn is aiming to use his ex-coach's jibes to motivate him ahead of this week's opening Test, the South Africa's current mentor Gary Kirsten said on Tuesday. Kirsten said the world's number one Test bowler was fired up after he was reminded of Australian coach Mickey Arthur's assessment of Steyn's apparent weakness bowling against left-handers.
"It's no secret that Dale (Steyn) hasn't bowled well to left-handers," Arthur, a South African who coached his homeland from 2005-2010 had told reporters ahead of the Gabba Test this Friday. "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 snared 287 Test wickets at 23.5, leads an attack that South Africa's 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 number one 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 - the same pace attack that routed Australia for 47 in Cape Town a year ago - Kirsten raised the prospects of 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. Any coach will tell you that they would like a spinner in the team."