South Africa fast bowler Dale Steyn has effectively excused Friday's 107-run loss to Australia in the first T20I at the Wanderers in Johannesburg.
Australia amassed a final total of 196 for six, after which the hosts were limited to 89 all out in the wake of spinner Ashton Agar's five-wicket haul, which included a hat-trick.
The result afforded Australia an early lead in the three-match series. South Africa and Australia are offered at 2.50 and 1.53, respectively, by bet365 to win in Port Elizabeth.
Steyn on Wanderers ‘blow-out'
“You are allowed to have a blow-out. We played some good cricket against England. It was one of the better series that I've played against England, even though we lost. We batted superbly and we bowled in patches really well. We don't have to be too hard on ourselves,” said Steyn, who was involved in the preceding T20I series against England.
“This team is going to be learning. I hope our growth will be upwards. Even though we are losing, the process that Mark Boucher and Quinton de Kock have put in place is the right one.
“We've got to start learning a little more from the mistakes we made against England. We carried it into Australia. In the first six overs, we were a little bit too wide. We've got to adapt a little bit faster.”
Steyn welcomed the return of fellow fast bowler Kagiso Rabada, who was rested for the limited-overs series against England, but returned for Friday's series opener.
“It's lovely to have Kagiso back with the ball. I know he went for a couple of runs but he hasn't been around, so he is probably feeling ring rust. And the younger bowlers like Lungi Ngidi and Andile Phehlukwayo look up to someone like him. Big time,” added Steyn.
Steyn conceded international cricket is significantly tougher than playing domestic T20 tournaments around the world. He was recently part of the Melbourne Stars' 2019-20 Big Bash League campaign in Australia.
“Although I have played my entire career at the highest level, if you haven't played for a while, you quickly come back and realise that it moves a lot faster than any other level. I went to the Big Bash which was fantastic but this was two levels harder. I can hopefully rewind the clock a little bit and bring some of those golden years back,” he concluded.