After six-for, Dale Steyn the batsman frustrates India

Dale SteynDale Steyn hit seven boundaries during his 44, outscoring Jacques Kallis in a crucial 86-run partnership for the sixth wicket (AP)

If there's one thing that Dale Steyn takes as seriously as hurling thunderbolts at batsmen, it's his own batting. He certainly wouldn't be the first fast bowler to share that particular quirk. But with Steyn, his preparation for a Test match with the bat is quite intense. False shots and mishits are berated. Sometimes even the stumps get a hammering. Bowlers who beat him are acknowledged but are then charged at.

It's not surprising then that the South African pacer should have been upset when he was jeered at the Wanderers last week. It was not just his judgement being questioned. It was his ability with the bat that had come under the scanner. And you could almost have imagined Steyn accept the role of night-watchman at Kingsmead like a blessing. This was his chance to set the record straight. In Johannesburg, he was marked out as the chief culprit for having denied South Africa a dramatic victory. Here on Sunday, it was he who probably set up a series winning chance for his team, with the bat.

Into the lead

South Africa would eventually rake up 500 in their first innings, a lead of 166 runs. Steyn's contribution of 44 might not seem as significant as the others, including Jacques Kallis 115 in possibly his last Test innings. But it was his gung-ho knock that returned the momentum to South Africa, after they had lost it briefly on Day Three thanks to Ravindra Jadeja's left-arm spin. There were a couple of drives that would have given him a lot of joy but mainly Steyn's innings was based around resolute defence and a number of violent blows - three of which hit the top-edge and flew over the slips. He even charged the likes of Zaheer Khan and Mohammed Shami on a few occasions as India continued to wheel away with a ball that resembled a rotten apple - the visitors would eventually take the new-ball in the 147th over of the innings. Once Steyn departed, in walked Robin Peterson, who along with justifying his selection ahead of Imran Tahir, also played a vital in South Africa taking the game well and truly away from the Indians.

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