ICC World T20 - Men

Dale Steyn is not dangerous: Shahzad

Afghanistan's confident keeper-batsman was entertaining both during and after his side's defeat to the Proteas

Callum Kanoniuk

21 March 2016, 12:51 AM AEST

Spectacular Shahzad gives Proteas a scare

It seems Afghanistan’s big-hitting opener Mohammad Shahzad isn’t afraid to keep swinging long after the final ball has been bowled.

Fresh from his scintillating knock of 44 from just 19 balls in his side’s 37-run defeat to South Africa, Shahzad used his post-match press conference to reveal his disappointment at missing out on the opportunity to take down champion fast bowler Dale Steyn.

Quick Single: De Villiers helps SA past brave Afghans

Steyn was left out of the contest for tactical reasons as cricket’s new cult hero slammed five sixes and three fours, including 22 runs from one Kyle Abbott over.

Speaking to the media after play, the confident wicketkeeper-batsman didn’t shy away from sharing his thoughts on how he would have handled the Proteas quick, who boasts 638 international wickets.

WATCH: Dale Steyn is not dangerous: Shahzad

"It doesn't matter which bowler is playing because the wicket is very good," Shahzad said.

"I love playing Dale Steyn because Dale Steyn is not dangerous.

"Morris is very dangerous because he has height and swings the ball.

"Dale Steyn (has) only pace, so this wicket is good to face a pacer, the ball is coming onto the bat.

"So no, I am not happy that Dale Steyn is not playing."

David Wiese, Steyn’s replacement in Mumbai, finished with the unflattering figures of 0-47 from his allotted four overs.

Former players including South Africa’s Graeme Smith and Australia’s Tom Moody were among those to share their surprise at Steyn’s omission.

Very surprised this legend isn't playing today!! @dalesteyn #wt20 #WankhedeStudium

A photo posted by Tom Moody (@tommoodycricket) on

The Proteas were playing at the same venue as that which held Friday’s run-fest against England, in which Steyn conceded 35 runs from just two overs in a record-breaking run chase.

WATCH: England complete record WT20 run chase

Captain Faf du Plessis insisted it was the right selection decision for the conditions.

"We played here the other night, and the thinking behind the wicket was that for seamers who skid on, especially in the first six overs, there is not much swing," du Plessis said.

"And (Dale) goes down as quite a skiddy bowler. A wicket like this wouldn't suit him as much.

"It's not the Mumbai wicket where there is a bit of pace and bounce – it just skids through.

"We wanted to bring in a guy like David Wiese that bowls a bit of variation.

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"The wicket looked a bit brown as well, so we thought pace off the ball would help.

"Wiese also strengthens our batting unit more. So yeah, it was the right decision for us as a team."

Shahzad’s thrilling knock gave his more-fancied opponents a scare until the introduction of seamer Chris Morris brought him undone, with a send-off to go with it.

"Morris bowled very well, with good line and length," Shahzad added.

"I was waiting for the full-length delivery, and I missed, he hit."

Shahzad, who once said, "There is no plan, only to hit every ball to the boundary," has won over cricket fans around the world with his performances throughout the World T20.

The powerful right-hander has blazed 194 runs at a strike rate of 145.86 on top of some entertaining exploits behind the stumps, as seen in the video below.

WATCH: Shahzad continues to charge through World T20

Afghanistan now turn their attention to a clash in Delhi against England on Wednesday, while Steyn will be hoping for a recall to the Proteas XI for the crucial match against West Indies in Nagpur on Friday.