Having mowed down India with a career-best seven-wicket haul in the ongoing first Test, South African speedster Dale Steyn said the scalps of Sachin Tendulkar and Murali Vijay gave him the most satisfaction because of the planning that went behind their dismissals.
"That one (Tendulkar's wicket) and Vijay just before him (were special)," said the 26-year-old pacer at the end of third day's play.
"I worked him (Vijay) out quite nicely with two balls that went away and then bringing one back which he left (to see it hit the stumps). That kind of stuff just doesn't happen out in the middle. We've really planned it, that kind of stuff," explained the pacer.
Steyn said it was important to set the field positions right and that's the reason these dismissals were special.
"It's a challenge for the captain too to make sure the fielders are in the right position for those specific deliveries as well. That makes those wickets so sweet," Steyn said.
He said coach Corrie van Zyl was not happy with the bowlers' efforts in the middle session and during the tea break, he asked them to lift their performance.
"Corrie sat us down at tea and said that the session after lunch wasn't good enough. We didn't get the wickets that we wanted and we went for a few runs. He asked us to lift it up a little bit," Steyn said.
"Corrie said from tea onwards is what really defines a player. You've already been out in the field four hours and now you've got to go and do another two. When you come to India, the days do tend to get warm and there's no real movement off the deck. There's nothing really happening. So little speeches like that can lift the players a lot," he said.
Steyn said the ball, that was changed post-tea, started to reverse swing which helped his cause.
"We had the ball changed because the one we were using had split open, and once it started to reverse and we got one or two lucky dismissals, it just started a roll. Good planning as well with the ball and I think the execution was good," he said about his devastating spell of five for three in 3.4 overs soon after tea.
The pacer, who is eight short of completing 200 Test wickets after today's magical spell, said the team members had talked about the importance of reverse swing in Indian conditions and on pitches which don't offer lateral movement.
"Before the Test started, we said that reverse swing was going to be a key on these flat pitches. You're not going to get a lot of sideways movement off the wicket. There's not a lot of grass on them. You've got to rely on getting the ball to do something through the air," he said.
"I said before that a ball bowled at 145k, a yorker, whether it's in Jo'burg or Nagpur, is still 145ks in the air. The plan was to hit the deck hard, with pace," he explained.
Tendulkar and Vijay's Wickets Most Satisfying: Steyn
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