There was alarm when Steyn went back to Hampshire to play first-class cricket after South Africa’s Test series in Sri Lanka in July instead of staying on for the one-dayers.
With a World Cup looming in England next year shouldn’t he have stuck around?
Perhaps not‚ if you take Steyn seriously when he says “one-day cricket kind of followed” his rise to the top — by the time he played his 10th ODI he had 18 Test caps.
“My base was Test cricket: run in‚ hit the top of off-stump with an odd bouncer‚ and consistently try and do that over and over and over again for five days‚” Steyn said.
“I’ve got that base and I always go back to that base. It will always be the same.”
Even so‚ some people will remember Steyn for little else than laying flat on his back on the pitch at Eden Park late on the night of March 24‚ 2015.
Grant Elliott had smacked him over his head for six to put New Zealand into the World Cup final and to send South Africa home to think again for another four years.
“Any player would like to win a World Cup‚” Steyn said.
“That is‚ strangely‚ how they get judged.
“You can have as many Test wickets as you want but if you’ve never won a World Cup it’s one of those things.
“There’s a bragging right about winning a Cricket World Cup that not many have achieved.
“I’d love to have one of those medals. I’d be able to go to a bar or a restaurant and say I’ve achieved that. That would be fantastic.
“I think that looms over every cricket player’s head‚ not just mine.
“I haven’t yet ticked that box.”
Yet. It’s a big word fuelled by hope.
And‚ to be running in and bowling after everything‚ how could Steyn possibly not have hope?