An insult on his ODI debut from Ricky Ponting inspired the firebrand bowler to become a living legend of cricket
The first time Dale Steyn bowled to Ricky Ponting, he was a 22-year-old kid playing his very first game of 50-over cricket for South Africa. He started with a no-ball, and followed it up with a second soon after, then a third, and a fourth, until his captain Graeme Smith finally decided to pull him out of the attack.
Steyn finished with five overs for 58 runs. Years later it wasn’t the pain of how poorly he had played that stayed with him but the way Ponting treated him later on, after Australia had won. He blanked him as they were shaking hands. Ponting, who was already the best batsman in the world, likely didn’t think twice about it but Steyn, who wanted to be the best bowler, never forgot the insult.
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The harder it got, the more it hurt, the more it hurt, the angrier he was, the angrier he was, the better he bowled
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