Newsfile, April 25 April 25, 2013

Steyn among top three quicks of all time - Waqar

A round-up of IPL news from April 25, 2013
42

Waqar Younis, the former Pakistan fast bowler who is working with Sunrisers Hyderabad this season, is a "big fan" of South Africa's Dale Steyn. Sunrisers have been on a roll so far in IPL 2013, sitting third on the points table seven games in, and Steyn has played a central role in getting them there with eight wickets at 19.00 and an economy rate of 5.46. "Not only me but everyone in the cricket world loves Steyn for the way he plays the game. That's not only because of his bowling but other things that he brings to the table," Waqar told the IPL website on the eve of Sunrisers' game against Chennai Super Kings. "He likes to talk. He's amazing when he talks to the coaches and youngsters alike. He participates and shows interest in all the team matters. That's one reason why the team is doing so well." Steyn has the potential, Waqar said, to be the greatest quick in the game ever: "There have been some seriously great bowlers in the last four-five decades that I can remember. We've had Imran Khan, Kapil Dev, Dennis Lillee, Glenn McGrath, Wasim Akram, Michael Holding and so many big names. But Dale Steyn is definitely in the top three for me. And if he keeps going like this for the next two-three seasons, he'll hit the top. Not many bowlers have swung the ball at his pace and have had his fitness. He's an amazing athlete."

Vijay still a part of CSK's plans - Fleming
Chennai Super Kings are yet to solve their opening issues in IPL 2013, with M Vijay continuing to struggle at the top. In seven innings, he has 104 runs at 17.33. For now, though, coach Stephen Fleming said the team was backing Vijay to deliver. "He has not been firing for us, true. If you look back, at a similar stage last year we dropped him and he came back stronger," Fleming said. "But this year he is doing all the right things. I am still backing him because when he clicks, he is really good."

Tendulkar's 'tense' birthday bash
On Wednesday Sachin Tendulkar closed 40, and had to put up with much hype surrounding the occasion. In the morning, at a 'cake-cutting ceremony', Tendulkar spoke of his nervousness and gratitude he felt on the day. "[I have] never been so tense actually while cutting a cake," Tendulkar was quoted as saying - with a laugh - by PTI. "While walking to get here, I met Anil Kumble along the way. He wished me happy birthday and told me, 'Don't worry, 40 is just a number.' That was sort of relieving.

"Let me take this opportunity to thank all the people in India and all across the world who are well-wishers of mine. They have supported me and showered their unconditional love on me over the last 23 years. It has been my strength. I thought this was the best opportunity to come here and thank each and every one of them."

Nikita Bastian is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on April 25, 2013, 19:46 GMT

    Those of you who are questioning steyn's limited overs bowling record need to look at the stats. He averages under 17 in T20 internationals... That is simply unheard of for a pace bowler... Not even Malinga (who according to many here is the best limited overs bowler in the world) comes close to having such a good average. Steyn goes at under 6 and a half an over with a strike rate of 15. Both far superior than Malinga. Malinga is inconsistent, too expensive and is somewhat limited in that outside of his yorkers, he doesn't pose as much a threat as Steyn. Steyn has far more variety, guile and skill. His test record is amongst the all time greats and Waqar is spot on, should Steyn carry on at this rate he will be close to, if not number 1.

  • on April 25, 2013, 9:01 GMT

    Waqar himself was a great fast bowler and his judgement of Steyn is spot on . I have not seen bowlers like Gilchrist , Hall , Truman and few other greats but I am 100% certain that Steyn is one of the best fast bowlers to have played cricket . Let us remember that IPL is played in India and even on these docile pitches , Steyn is unplayable . If Gayle's batting instils fear among bowlers , Steyn instils fear in batsmen . Undoubtedly Steyn is the best fast bowler among the present lot and one of the top 3 fast bowlers of all time .

  • McGorium on April 28, 2013, 20:27 GMT

    @riz309: Putting Saeed Anwar in the same list as Haynes, Greenidge, et al. is an insult to the them. Saeed Anwar was a flat track bully who'd pulverize bowlers on flat subcontinent wickets (especially against ones of Indian extraction), but you just have to look at his overseas record to see how poor he really was. Saeed Anwar wasn't even the best batsman in his own team (that's Inzy), never mind being comparable to these all-time greats. Or did you mean ODI's? Even there, I rate Inzy better than Anwar, though the delta is lesser because of flatter tracks. Either ways, Anwar isn't a patch on Gilchrist, Haynes, Greenidge, or Hayden. Hell, I'd rate Sehwag higher than Anwar.

  • ansram on April 27, 2013, 15:58 GMT

    @Blue Boss - Kapil Dev averages 26 odd in 65 matches played on dead or spin friendly tracks of India. If he is not a great bowler I do not know who else is great. Kapildev is much superior to many bowlers with better averages than him who bowled under very helpful pace bowling conditions in England, Australia, South Africa, New Zealand etc. The big test of a fast bowler is to be able to get wickets in India and Kapil dev has proved that he is up there with the best.

  • riz309 on April 27, 2013, 3:22 GMT

    Styen was lucky never had to put up with aggressive opners like Gilchcrist, S.Anwar,D.Hynes,G.Greenidge,or even Lara, S.Waugh these opners were capable of taking care of any genuine fast bowler and put some dent into any bowler's ave.

  • manishwa on April 26, 2013, 14:14 GMT

    I think the key here is to pick the captain's delight - who do I toss the ball to? Probably a good indicator would be the bowling strike rate - the number of balls per wicket. And Steyn is at the top at the moment - 41.1, though he still has a couple of years to go. Waqar probably had this stats in mind, because he himself (43.4) and M. Marshall (43.6) have one of the best strike rates.

    However, I would sneak in one other name - Sydney Barnes, who got 189 wickets at a SR of 41.6 and incredible average of 16. He is part of many lists of all time great bowlers.

    My top list of 4 all time top bowlers would be, in no particular order - Marshall, Steyn, Barnes and Waqar

  • Soso_killer on April 26, 2013, 11:15 GMT

    Easilly in the top 5 of the greatest bowlers of all time.

  • priceless1 on April 26, 2013, 8:38 GMT

    Yesterday's game showed all of us where Steyn stands at limited over games ( in fact he had been showing it for long time in IPL remember last year when the game was in balance with RCB then AB took Steyn to the cleaners and won the game easily the end )

  • Harmony111 on April 26, 2013, 8:06 GMT

    Stark62: I sort of agree with Greatest_Game here. If anything then we should be diluting the records of several batsmen who have scored buckets of runs in the last decade as the world has suffered from a lack of quality fast men. Most of the good ones retired around 2002 and very few came up to take that space. Barring Steyn and Lee I honestly can't recall anyone else worthy of being mentioned here. Yes there were a few who did well for a while but that is insufficient. I'd rather say that Sanga, Mahela, Kallis and to some extent Cook are the ones who have prospered and made their records better than they ought to be as they don't have to face good bowlers. Kallis in particular doesn't have to face the ONE TOP bowler of the times - Styen (& Morkel & Philander too).

    Till I had seen Steyn bowl, I used to think he was hype but once I had seen him bowl I was mesmerized. When in flow each of his ball is capable of taking a wicket.

  • on April 26, 2013, 6:56 GMT

    Kapil Dev ? Waqae, why do you have to mention Kapil Dev in the list of great bowlers. Oh I just remember that he was speaking to IPL website :D. But then why did Waqar missed Srinath, Prasad, Mohanty, Agarkar, Munaf Patel, Nehra and Zaheer Khan. :O

  • on April 25, 2013, 19:46 GMT

    Those of you who are questioning steyn's limited overs bowling record need to look at the stats. He averages under 17 in T20 internationals... That is simply unheard of for a pace bowler... Not even Malinga (who according to many here is the best limited overs bowler in the world) comes close to having such a good average. Steyn goes at under 6 and a half an over with a strike rate of 15. Both far superior than Malinga. Malinga is inconsistent, too expensive and is somewhat limited in that outside of his yorkers, he doesn't pose as much a threat as Steyn. Steyn has far more variety, guile and skill. His test record is amongst the all time greats and Waqar is spot on, should Steyn carry on at this rate he will be close to, if not number 1.

  • on April 25, 2013, 9:01 GMT

    Waqar himself was a great fast bowler and his judgement of Steyn is spot on . I have not seen bowlers like Gilchrist , Hall , Truman and few other greats but I am 100% certain that Steyn is one of the best fast bowlers to have played cricket . Let us remember that IPL is played in India and even on these docile pitches , Steyn is unplayable . If Gayle's batting instils fear among bowlers , Steyn instils fear in batsmen . Undoubtedly Steyn is the best fast bowler among the present lot and one of the top 3 fast bowlers of all time .

  • McGorium on April 28, 2013, 20:27 GMT

    @riz309: Putting Saeed Anwar in the same list as Haynes, Greenidge, et al. is an insult to the them. Saeed Anwar was a flat track bully who'd pulverize bowlers on flat subcontinent wickets (especially against ones of Indian extraction), but you just have to look at his overseas record to see how poor he really was. Saeed Anwar wasn't even the best batsman in his own team (that's Inzy), never mind being comparable to these all-time greats. Or did you mean ODI's? Even there, I rate Inzy better than Anwar, though the delta is lesser because of flatter tracks. Either ways, Anwar isn't a patch on Gilchrist, Haynes, Greenidge, or Hayden. Hell, I'd rate Sehwag higher than Anwar.

  • ansram on April 27, 2013, 15:58 GMT

    @Blue Boss - Kapil Dev averages 26 odd in 65 matches played on dead or spin friendly tracks of India. If he is not a great bowler I do not know who else is great. Kapildev is much superior to many bowlers with better averages than him who bowled under very helpful pace bowling conditions in England, Australia, South Africa, New Zealand etc. The big test of a fast bowler is to be able to get wickets in India and Kapil dev has proved that he is up there with the best.

  • riz309 on April 27, 2013, 3:22 GMT

    Styen was lucky never had to put up with aggressive opners like Gilchcrist, S.Anwar,D.Hynes,G.Greenidge,or even Lara, S.Waugh these opners were capable of taking care of any genuine fast bowler and put some dent into any bowler's ave.

  • manishwa on April 26, 2013, 14:14 GMT

    I think the key here is to pick the captain's delight - who do I toss the ball to? Probably a good indicator would be the bowling strike rate - the number of balls per wicket. And Steyn is at the top at the moment - 41.1, though he still has a couple of years to go. Waqar probably had this stats in mind, because he himself (43.4) and M. Marshall (43.6) have one of the best strike rates.

    However, I would sneak in one other name - Sydney Barnes, who got 189 wickets at a SR of 41.6 and incredible average of 16. He is part of many lists of all time great bowlers.

    My top list of 4 all time top bowlers would be, in no particular order - Marshall, Steyn, Barnes and Waqar

  • Soso_killer on April 26, 2013, 11:15 GMT

    Easilly in the top 5 of the greatest bowlers of all time.

  • priceless1 on April 26, 2013, 8:38 GMT

    Yesterday's game showed all of us where Steyn stands at limited over games ( in fact he had been showing it for long time in IPL remember last year when the game was in balance with RCB then AB took Steyn to the cleaners and won the game easily the end )

  • Harmony111 on April 26, 2013, 8:06 GMT

    Stark62: I sort of agree with Greatest_Game here. If anything then we should be diluting the records of several batsmen who have scored buckets of runs in the last decade as the world has suffered from a lack of quality fast men. Most of the good ones retired around 2002 and very few came up to take that space. Barring Steyn and Lee I honestly can't recall anyone else worthy of being mentioned here. Yes there were a few who did well for a while but that is insufficient. I'd rather say that Sanga, Mahela, Kallis and to some extent Cook are the ones who have prospered and made their records better than they ought to be as they don't have to face good bowlers. Kallis in particular doesn't have to face the ONE TOP bowler of the times - Styen (& Morkel & Philander too).

    Till I had seen Steyn bowl, I used to think he was hype but once I had seen him bowl I was mesmerized. When in flow each of his ball is capable of taking a wicket.

  • on April 26, 2013, 6:56 GMT

    Kapil Dev ? Waqae, why do you have to mention Kapil Dev in the list of great bowlers. Oh I just remember that he was speaking to IPL website :D. But then why did Waqar missed Srinath, Prasad, Mohanty, Agarkar, Munaf Patel, Nehra and Zaheer Khan. :O

  • Greatest_Game on April 26, 2013, 6:33 GMT

    @ Stark62 wrote "Tendulkar and Ponting were reaching their end, same can be said for Laxman and Dravid."

    Really?

    Steyn's test debut was in 2004, but in 2006 his international career took off.

    India toured SA in 2006 Sewag, Jaffer, Dravid (Captain,) Tendulkar, Laxman, Dhoni were all in that team. Steyn bowled to them. Laxman retired 18 Aug, 2012. Dravid retired 9 March 2012. Tendulakr is still playing, Sehwag is still trying to play. Ricky Ponting announced his retirement on 29 December 2012. Mahela Jayawardene is still playing, Kumar Sangakkara is still playing, Shiv Chanderpaul is still playing. These are all amongst the top scoring batsmen of all time, & Steyn bowled to all of them, & is still bowling to some. Pietersen, Cook, Clarke, Gayle, Younis Khan are all in the top 50, and making their way up. They'll have to do so facing Steyn.

    I challenge you to tell any of them that they were reaching their end in 2006!

  • BillyCC on April 26, 2013, 6:26 GMT

    Steyn's all right, he's top 15 and improving. Top 3 is probably a stretch but he might get there. He'll need to get his average down about 2 extra runs and keep that strike rate low. The interesting comparison will be against Philander in the coming years. Currently, Philander averages heaps less and has a better strike rate, but it's early days for him.

  • pulkit10 on April 26, 2013, 1:29 GMT

    Most people don't give Steyn enough credit because he isn't talked about that much but the matter of fact is that just purely by statistics, he is easily one of the greatest pacemen to have ever existed. It's not just that either. What makes him special is his versatility, brilliant technique and fitness. He takes that odd limited overs series off but he bowls long hard spells constantly around the 140-150 kph mark and swings the ball immaculately. I can't think of anything more you'd want from a fast bowler. Add to that the fact that he has a great record everywhere in the world. Doesn't matter if it is a flat pitch or a pacy track - he'll hit the deck hard, get the same swing and pace and beat the batsmen. Seriously, this is a man with a 7 wicket haul in Nagpur. Easily one of the finest.

    And people keep claiming he isn't a "great limited overs bowler" even when he has repeatedly destroyed batting attacks and has a great average and strike rate.

  • sportofpain on April 26, 2013, 0:49 GMT

    @Rally-Windies: I have to agree with you. Marshall was incredible. I have watched him live at Chepauk in 1984. I remember the first delivery he bowled - the applause started with his run up and built to a crescendo when he delivered the ball and then there was silence for a brief second as the crowd tried to digest what they had just seen and then a collective oooooooooooh from 50000 fans who couldn't believe someone could bowl so fast. For the record India were reduced to 0-2 with both Gaikwad and Vengsarkar fending off those bouncers to be caught at slips. Sunny then scored 236 not out and Viv told him - maaan it doesn't matter whether you open or come no. 4. The score is still zero when you bat:-) I digress a bit but coming back to the subject, I'd say MD Marshall was the best ever. Dale Steyn will be second to him.

  • Sir_Francis on April 25, 2013, 23:06 GMT

    Waqar isn't old enough to make such a claim. However, the acknowledged top 25, or so are probably interchangeable.

  • penagamuri on April 25, 2013, 21:44 GMT

    waqar is right.. dale steyn is right up there with munaf patel, vinay kumar, ashish nehra ..

  • on April 25, 2013, 21:36 GMT

    Look at the stats for Joel Garner and talk to the batsmen who could not play him and then amend your list.

  • on April 25, 2013, 21:36 GMT

    Ok ok Waqar, you like the guy, its obvious, well done. Write the guy for his autograph. But to suggest he is top 3 of all-time, you must be kidding. Top 20, maybe, just maybe.

  • Stark62 on April 25, 2013, 21:25 GMT

    That is quite laughable!!

    You can't just consider records and statistics because you have to take into account the opposition batsmen and the type pitches he mainly played on.

    What competition does he have in front of him? Tendulkar and Ponting were reaching their end, same can be said for Laxman and Dravid, Lara wasn't around but you could say he has bowled to Clarke, Cook and Pietersen but then again, are they the same quality as the guys mentioned above?

    For me Wasim was the best because he faced the likes of: Lara, Tendulkar, Ponting, Kallis, Dravid, Laxman etc during their younger years or midway and the fact, he played most of his matches on flat tracks but yet, still managed to maintain a fine record and was a nightmare for batsmen to face.

    Next to Wasim would be Malcolm Marshal, for obvious reasons.

  • on April 25, 2013, 20:33 GMT

    Steyn is already a LEGEND @30 yrs age only.

  • Shan156 on April 25, 2013, 19:57 GMT

    Dale Steyn is awesome... Marshall was better.

  • Patdabac on April 25, 2013, 18:37 GMT

    Steyn showed why he isn't a good T20 bowler today, he cannot bowl yorkers as well as Malinga does. Currently Steyn is the best Test fast bowler and Malinga is the best limited overs fast bowler to me.

  • Rally_Windies on April 25, 2013, 15:05 GMT

    of all the fast bowlers ...

    Marshall is considered the greatest, because he finished with 376 Wickets from 81 Tests. With a strike rate of 47 ..

    47 ....

    If Marshall had played with lesser bowlers like Hadlee did, Marshall would have finished with 500 + wickets ...

    Marshall had 22 5wicket hauls and only 4 10wicket hauls , because there are only 20 wickets in a game .. and if he took a rest, the innings was over before he could come back to bowl ...

    Styne is the ONLY bowler who can compare to Marshall ....

    the ONLY one ....

    If you want to compare Marshall to Trueman , there is still NO comparison...

    Trueman bowled on horrible pitches.. In Marshall's day, pitches were MUCH better prepared and batsmen were much better padded up ...

    If Marshall Bowled in Trueman's era -- his strike rate may have been sub 40 ....

  • SeamingWicket on April 25, 2013, 14:58 GMT

    Steyn is currently the best fast bowler in Test matches With Malinga being the best in limited overs But to say Steyn is in the top 3 greatest ever is a bit ridiculous to me

  • on April 25, 2013, 14:51 GMT

    If he continues to perform the way he has for next 3-4 years, surely he will be the greatest fast bowler of all time. I mean he is playing in IPL, ODIs and Tests and performing in every format. Surely light years ahead of his generations. The second best may be Anderson. Right now I will put him in the ranks off Lillie, Marshal, Akram as the complete fast bowler. Waqar in the early 90s was also on that level.

  • on April 25, 2013, 14:25 GMT

    My top 10 would be ... 1. marshal 2. Akram. 3. Steyn. 4. McGrath , 5. Lille , 6. Ambrose. 7. Waqar. 8. Donald . 9. Imran . 10. Hadley .

  • mukesh_LOVE.cricket on April 25, 2013, 14:15 GMT

    wasim akram and mcgrath are the best fast bowlers i have seen , steyn is the best of our generation , but a all time top 3 ? i don't think so , only time will tell

  • InnocentGuy on April 25, 2013, 14:14 GMT

    I'd like to see Steyn and Gayle go at each other for like 5 overs straight. Just to see how many times Gayle can play a good shot off Steyn and how many times Steyn can beat Gayle's bat or get him out.

  • Dazzling_Devil on April 25, 2013, 13:50 GMT

    Steyn will hit the top of what? He is No. 1 Test bowler for about 5 consecutive years now!

  • JamesSmithee on April 25, 2013, 13:45 GMT

    Anyone missed Sir Richard Hadlee ?

  • stating_the_obvious on April 25, 2013, 13:41 GMT

    Steyn is one the greatest fast bowlers of all time. It is a treat to watch him bowling in full flow. I would rate Kapil and Zaheer highly (but not in the same bracket as Steyn )because they bowled on flat and slow sub-continent decks. Also, one must look into entire bowling attack. India never had a fearsome bowling attack and Zaheer was the leader of the pack. So he is a much better bowler than his figures. Probably, I would consider Jimmy Anderson and Zaheer of similar standards.

  • RAG1966 on April 25, 2013, 13:37 GMT

    Waqar himself in no doubt one of the best speedsters the game has seen. If one could make a fair judgement on Steyn, no doubt Waqar is one of them. It is very refreshing to see such comments from Waqar on Steyn. To me it is a given that Steyn is one of the best ever- any captain would love to pass the ball to Steyn and even the best of batters in the world will have much respect for him when coming at them with the ball. We need to wait and see whether he will ascend to be one among the best three. My hunch is Waqar is right on that.

  • Amit_4_Sachin on April 25, 2013, 12:42 GMT

    Not sure with top three, but I agree he's among the best 6 fast bowlers of all times, with Ambrose, Marshall, Lillee, McGrath & Akram being the other five.

  • on April 25, 2013, 12:06 GMT

    Comparing Steyn with Zahir Khan is like comparing Bradman with Rohit Sharma. Steyn is definitely one of the all time greats of the game. Zak is surely one of the best bowlers India had but nowhere among greats in any conditions.

  • on April 25, 2013, 11:53 GMT

    @ZiggyMarley: As far as rating or run scored by ANY INDIAN BATSMEN is considered, let me tell you one more thing. They have made there heaps of runs ahead of bowlers like Steyn, Malinga, Mcgrath ,Lee.. They never got a chance to perform against poor Indian bowling. Imagine Kallis or Smith playing against Steyn and Phillander, I am sure the batting average will dip down a bit.

    @sandy_bangalore: Steyn is best bowler playing international cricket currently. He does not need to prove himself again and again. Getting swing at that pace does helps. Zak has pretty good reverse swing, we all know that, but when talking about all time favourites there are other factors oo like FITNESS and I dont think Zak is anyway near to Steyn in that department.

  • mautan on April 25, 2013, 11:52 GMT

    Please do not put Kapil and Zaheer in the same sentence...Kapil's performed consistenly for 16 years, Zaheer at atmost 5 good years overall. The accuracy, skill and superb control over swing that Kapil had, Zaheer can only dream of. Zaheer wilted under pressure numerous times (lost the WC final 2003 in the first over itself!), Kapil hardly ever buckled under pressure. Kapil was brilliant, in India and abroad, had a 9 for in inngs against the world beating WI, Zaheer was pretty ordinary in India. Kapil was supremely fit, Zaheer is below mediocrity. Kapil was a fantastic fielder, Zaheer is pedestrian. And Kapil scored 5000 test runs with 10 hundreds in addition to all this. He had the class to hammer SA (Donald, Macmillan and Devilliers) in SA to score a hundred.....PLEASE NEVER PUT THEM IN ONE SENTENCE!

  • pjkaka on April 25, 2013, 11:14 GMT

    I wasn't much of a Steyn believer until I saw the last match of the India-SA series in 2011. Steyn's spell on the fourth day was incredible. He hit the deck incredibly hard, bounced, swung and intimidated the batsmen thoroughly. What a bowler!

    From what I've seen, the following are the modern 'greats':

    1. Steyn 2. Allan Donald (in some ways, better than Steyn) 3. Glenn McGrath (not fast, but extremely effective) 4. Shoaib Akhtar (Akhtar on song was the most glorious sight in all cricket) 5. Wasim Akram 6. Waqar Younis 7. Curtley Ambrose 8. Courtney Walsh 9. Brett Lee 10. Zaheer Khan

    For my money, I'd pick Steyn, Akram, Ambrose and McGrath as the four quicks in my team, supported by Warne.

  • on April 25, 2013, 9:39 GMT

    @sandy_bangalore..I think you forget that Steyn has a better record than both Kapil and Zak in India and Sri Lanka as well. He did take a 7-wicket haul in India (Nagpur), something Zaheer has never done. And more than that, its his universality. He is a great bowler in any condition, on any pitch, against any opposition. Not trying to downplay Zaheer or Kapil's achievements. They were great too, but Steyn is a class apart- comparable to the likes of Marsall and Lillee alone

  • NBZ1 on April 25, 2013, 9:29 GMT

    @Sandy: dude are you kidding?? Steyn averages 20 in India and 24 in Asia overall; Zaheer's average in India is 36 (and 34 in Asia)! Steyn is a universal bowler, effective almost everywhere; by contrast Zaheer has been more of a force in more helpful away conditions (though his away average of 30 is much much lower than Steyn's away average of 24). Basically we are talking about two bowlers that are miles apart. Kapil was a better bowler than Zaheer, especially in Indian conditions, but even his record doesn't compare to Steyn's by any objective standard.

  • ZiggyMarley on April 25, 2013, 9:00 GMT

    @sandy_bangalore. By that same token, I would rate Graeme Smith, Jacques Kallis, Hashim Amla and AB de Villiers higher than any Indian batsmen that has ever lived, including Sachin Tendulkar... :)

  • bored_iam on April 25, 2013, 8:56 GMT

    @sandy_bangalore: I would disagree for a couple of reasons. 1. Steyn has been FAR more consistent than Kapil & Zaheer. I definitely rank them very highly but perhaps not as great as that.

    2. Steyn bowled well in India too. Remember the 7-for (in Nagpur i think). India was bowled out for less than 100.

    3. Its not just the wickets, its the way he gets them. Steyn holds u under a psychological hold. Zaheer, Kapil seemed to lack that.

    I rate Zaheer very highly, but saying that he is better than Steyn MAY be stretching it too far in my opinion.

  • sandy_bangalore on April 25, 2013, 8:22 GMT

    I would rate Kapil Dev and Zak Khan higher than Steyn, since they got most of their wickets with under 30 avg on Indian pitches. Steyn was lucky that he got to bowl on wanderers and durban most of the time. I remember venkatesh prasad get a 10 wkt haul in 1997 in Durban. So performing in conditions non freindly, is the true test of a bowler and thats where Zak and Kapil scores. Zaks reverse swing is among the best seen in subcontinental conditions.

  • sandy_bangalore on April 25, 2013, 8:22 GMT

    I would rate Kapil Dev and Zak Khan higher than Steyn, since they got most of their wickets with under 30 avg on Indian pitches. Steyn was lucky that he got to bowl on wanderers and durban most of the time. I remember venkatesh prasad get a 10 wkt haul in 1997 in Durban. So performing in conditions non freindly, is the true test of a bowler and thats where Zak and Kapil scores. Zaks reverse swing is among the best seen in subcontinental conditions.

  • bored_iam on April 25, 2013, 8:56 GMT

    @sandy_bangalore: I would disagree for a couple of reasons. 1. Steyn has been FAR more consistent than Kapil & Zaheer. I definitely rank them very highly but perhaps not as great as that.

    2. Steyn bowled well in India too. Remember the 7-for (in Nagpur i think). India was bowled out for less than 100.

    3. Its not just the wickets, its the way he gets them. Steyn holds u under a psychological hold. Zaheer, Kapil seemed to lack that.

    I rate Zaheer very highly, but saying that he is better than Steyn MAY be stretching it too far in my opinion.

  • ZiggyMarley on April 25, 2013, 9:00 GMT

    @sandy_bangalore. By that same token, I would rate Graeme Smith, Jacques Kallis, Hashim Amla and AB de Villiers higher than any Indian batsmen that has ever lived, including Sachin Tendulkar... :)

  • NBZ1 on April 25, 2013, 9:29 GMT

    @Sandy: dude are you kidding?? Steyn averages 20 in India and 24 in Asia overall; Zaheer's average in India is 36 (and 34 in Asia)! Steyn is a universal bowler, effective almost everywhere; by contrast Zaheer has been more of a force in more helpful away conditions (though his away average of 30 is much much lower than Steyn's away average of 24). Basically we are talking about two bowlers that are miles apart. Kapil was a better bowler than Zaheer, especially in Indian conditions, but even his record doesn't compare to Steyn's by any objective standard.

  • on April 25, 2013, 9:39 GMT

    @sandy_bangalore..I think you forget that Steyn has a better record than both Kapil and Zak in India and Sri Lanka as well. He did take a 7-wicket haul in India (Nagpur), something Zaheer has never done. And more than that, its his universality. He is a great bowler in any condition, on any pitch, against any opposition. Not trying to downplay Zaheer or Kapil's achievements. They were great too, but Steyn is a class apart- comparable to the likes of Marsall and Lillee alone

  • pjkaka on April 25, 2013, 11:14 GMT

    I wasn't much of a Steyn believer until I saw the last match of the India-SA series in 2011. Steyn's spell on the fourth day was incredible. He hit the deck incredibly hard, bounced, swung and intimidated the batsmen thoroughly. What a bowler!

    From what I've seen, the following are the modern 'greats':

    1. Steyn 2. Allan Donald (in some ways, better than Steyn) 3. Glenn McGrath (not fast, but extremely effective) 4. Shoaib Akhtar (Akhtar on song was the most glorious sight in all cricket) 5. Wasim Akram 6. Waqar Younis 7. Curtley Ambrose 8. Courtney Walsh 9. Brett Lee 10. Zaheer Khan

    For my money, I'd pick Steyn, Akram, Ambrose and McGrath as the four quicks in my team, supported by Warne.

  • mautan on April 25, 2013, 11:52 GMT

    Please do not put Kapil and Zaheer in the same sentence...Kapil's performed consistenly for 16 years, Zaheer at atmost 5 good years overall. The accuracy, skill and superb control over swing that Kapil had, Zaheer can only dream of. Zaheer wilted under pressure numerous times (lost the WC final 2003 in the first over itself!), Kapil hardly ever buckled under pressure. Kapil was brilliant, in India and abroad, had a 9 for in inngs against the world beating WI, Zaheer was pretty ordinary in India. Kapil was supremely fit, Zaheer is below mediocrity. Kapil was a fantastic fielder, Zaheer is pedestrian. And Kapil scored 5000 test runs with 10 hundreds in addition to all this. He had the class to hammer SA (Donald, Macmillan and Devilliers) in SA to score a hundred.....PLEASE NEVER PUT THEM IN ONE SENTENCE!

  • on April 25, 2013, 11:53 GMT

    @ZiggyMarley: As far as rating or run scored by ANY INDIAN BATSMEN is considered, let me tell you one more thing. They have made there heaps of runs ahead of bowlers like Steyn, Malinga, Mcgrath ,Lee.. They never got a chance to perform against poor Indian bowling. Imagine Kallis or Smith playing against Steyn and Phillander, I am sure the batting average will dip down a bit.

    @sandy_bangalore: Steyn is best bowler playing international cricket currently. He does not need to prove himself again and again. Getting swing at that pace does helps. Zak has pretty good reverse swing, we all know that, but when talking about all time favourites there are other factors oo like FITNESS and I dont think Zak is anyway near to Steyn in that department.

  • on April 25, 2013, 12:06 GMT

    Comparing Steyn with Zahir Khan is like comparing Bradman with Rohit Sharma. Steyn is definitely one of the all time greats of the game. Zak is surely one of the best bowlers India had but nowhere among greats in any conditions.

  • Amit_4_Sachin on April 25, 2013, 12:42 GMT

    Not sure with top three, but I agree he's among the best 6 fast bowlers of all times, with Ambrose, Marshall, Lillee, McGrath & Akram being the other five.