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Match-winner Steyn, and winless Windies

Dale Steyn's stats in Test wins are second to none; for West Indies, wins in Australia have completely dried up since 2000

S Rajesh

February 8, 2013

Comments: 41 | Text size: A | A

Dale Steyn gestures after claiming Michael Hussey's wicket, Australia v South Africa, 3rd Test, Perth, 4th day, December 3, 2012
Dale Steyn is the only bowler with more than 150 wickets in Test wins at a strike rate of less than 30 balls per wicket © AFP
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In the Johannesburg Test against Pakistan, Dale Steyn bagged the most inexpensive ten-for ever by a South African bowler in Tests: he gave away only 60 for his 11 wickets, which, in terms of runs conceded, was 31% lower than the next best, Peter Pollock's 10 for 87 against England in 1965. The win was the 33rd in Steyn's Test career, which is exactly as many as Allan Donald achieved in his career, but Steyn has 38 more wickets from those matches. That match-winning act was also a quick reminder that, after a slightly below-par 2012 - he took 39 wickets in ten Tests at 29.71 - he is back at his best in 2013.

South Africa's bowling attack has several go-to options, especially since the meteoric rise of Vernon Philander over the last year, but Steyn still remains the main act. When he bowls well and is among the wickets, the match result is seldom anything other than a South African win. Steyn's bowling average in the 33 Test wins that he has been a part of is a stunning 15.79; in the 30 Tests that South Africa have either drawn or lost, Steyn has only managed 98 wickets at 38.48.

As a match-winner, Steyn is quickly climbing the rungs among the best there have ever been. Only eight bowlers have taken more wickets in Test wins, but among those with 150 wickets in wins, just two have a better average, while none have a strike rate as good as Steyn's 29.9 balls per wicket. Among South Africans, only Makhaya Ntini has taken more Test wickets in wins, but his tally of 233 is one that Steyn can overtake if he has another Test like the one at the Wanderers. As it stands, Ntini has featured in 17 more wins than Steyn, but he has only eight more wickets.

Despite being a part of a side that has had other top-class bowlers, Steyn has still taken a high percentage of wickets in wins. His tally of 225 in 33 wins means he averages 6.82 wickets per Test, which is next only to Muttiah Muralitharan (8.11 wickets per Test in wins) and Richard Hadlee (7.86). Murali took a whopping 438 wickets in 54 Test victories at 16.18, and while 21 of those wins were against Bangladesh and Zimbabwe, even excluding those games, he finished with 269 wickets from 33, at an average of 17.89 runs per wicket, and 8.15 wickets per Test. Hadlee had the best average and the second-best wickets-per-Test ratio among the bowlers who took 150 wickets in wins, but even he once went wicketless in victory: against England at Headingley in 1983, he bowled 47 overs without striking once, even as Lance Cairns, Ewen Chatfield and Jeremy Coney shared the spoils in a five-wicket win. Steyn's poorest match haul in a win is one wicket, against Bangladesh in Centurion in 2008 - the only batsman he dismissed was the No. 10, Shahadat Hossain.

Best averages in Test wins for bowlers (Qual: 150 wickets)
Bowler Tests Wickets Average Strike rate 5WI/ 10WM Wkts per Test
Richard Hadlee 22 173 13.06 33.5 17/ 8 7.86
Imran Khan 26 155 14.50 38.3 11/ 6 5.96
Dale Steyn 33 225 15.79 29.9 17/ 5 6.82
Muttiah Muralitharan 54 438 16.18 42.7 41/ 18 8.11
Malcolm Marshall 43 254 16.78 38.1 17/ 4 5.91
Allan Donald 33 187 16.79 35.5 14/ 3 5.67
Curtly Ambrose 44 229 16.86 44.4 13/ 3 5.20
Fred Trueman 34 177 17.30 40.8 11/ 2 5.21
Waqar Younis 39 222 18.20 35.0 14/ 4 5.69
Dennis Lillee 31 203 18.27 39.0 17/ 6 6.55
Shaun Pollock 49 223 18.30 47.5 9/ 1 4.55
Michael Holding 31 152 18.36 40.1 6/ 1 4.90
Wasim Akram 41 211 18.48 42.3 13/ 2 5.15
Anil Kumble 43 288 18.75 44.4 20/ 5 6.70
Lance Gibbs 30 154 19.16 60.4 14/ 2 5.13
Glenn McGrath 84 414 19.19 47.7 18/ 3 4.93
Courtney Walsh 52 239 19.72 46.2 10/ 2 4.60

A big improvement in Steyn's stats over the last three years has been his distribution of wickets, more specifically his results against left-hand batsmen. Till around 2009, he clearly preferred bowling to right-handers: his average against them was almost twice as good as his average against left-hand batsmen.

While there isn't a huge improvement in his overall average since 2010 (21.20 compared to 23.97 till 2009), the stats against left-handers have improved significantly, from 35.98 to 23.14. Among the left-handers he has had success against recently are Narsingh Deonarine (four dismissals conceding 20 runs), Michael Hussey (three dismissals for 44), Alastair Cook (three for 94) and Chris Gayle (two dismissals for 50). Steyn's improved stats against left-handers have made him a more well-rounded bowler, and a bigger threat for opposition batsmen. That can only be good news for South African fans.

Steyn v right- and left-hand batsmen before 2010
Batsman type Wickets Average Strike rate Econ rate
Right-hand batsmen 119 18.62 32.07 3.48
Left-hand batsmen 53 35.98 57.81 3.73
Total 172 23.97 40.0 3.59
Steyn v right- and left-hand batsmen since Jan 2010
Batsman type Wickets Average Strike rate Econ rate
Right-hand batsmen 109 20.45 40.51 3.02
Left-hand batsmen 42 23.14 45.21 3.07
Total 151 21.20 41.8 3.04

Winless in Australia
On November 23, 2000, West Indies were thumped by an innings and 126 runs at the Gabba in the first Test of the five-Test series in Australia. They lost all the Tests in that series, and the six ODIs that followed, and since then it has been one long losing spree for them in Australia. Since the beginning of 2000, and against all opposition excluding Zimbabwe and Bangladesh, West Indies have a 1-29 win-loss record in all international matches in Australia, their solitary victory coming against Pakistan in a VB Series match in 2005. Against Australia, West Indies have been winless in 30 international matches, losing 27, with one draw and two no-results.

West Indies' win-loss ratio of 0.03 in international matches in Australia is the poorest by a team in a particular country (excluding all matches involving Bangladesh and Zimbabwe). As the table below shows, not only do West Indies have the worst win-loss ratio in a country, they also have the second- and third-worst, in New Zealand and South Africa. That's a pretty telling comment on how badly West Indies have fallen away, especially when playing away from home.

Poorest win-loss ratios for a team in a country in all international matches* since 2000
Team Host Matches Win-loss Ratio
West Indies Australia 33 1-29 0.03
West Indies New Zealand 23 2-14 0.14
West Indies South Africa 26 4-20 0.20
New Zealand India 25 4-16 0.25
South Africa Sri Lanka 23 5-16 0.31
West Indies Sri Lanka 25 5-15 0.33
Sri Lanka India 30 7-19 0.36
Sri Lanka South Africa 36 9-25 0.36
Pakistan Australia 33 9-24 0.37
New Zealand South Africa 47 12-31 0.38
* Excludes matches involving Bangladesh and Zimbabwe

The table below shows the decline - first gradual, then steep - in West Indies' results in Australia, over five 33-match periods. In the period between 1980 and 1984, they won more than three times as many matches as they lost; between 1985 and 1988, they won twice as many as they lost. Those were the days when West Indies were clearly the dominant side in world cricket. Then followed a period of parity in the 1990s, when West Indies won about as many matches as they lost. Since 2000, though, the results have turned downright embarrassing.

West Indies in Australia, over five 33-match periods*
Period Matches Win-loss Ratio
Jan 2000 onwards 33 1-29 0.03
15 Dec 1992 - 31 Dec 1999 33 17-15 1.13
18 Nov 1988 - 14 Dec 1992 33 16-13 1.23
9 Nov 1984 - 17 Nov 1988 33 21-10 2.10
20 Jan 1980 - 8 Nov 1984 33 24-7 3.42
* Excludes matches involving Bangladesh and Zimbabwe

S Rajesh is stats editor of ESPNcricinfo. Follow him on Twitter

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Posted by tappee74 on (February 11, 2013, 2:18 GMT)

Beside the Clive LLoyd era,WI has not been an impressive side.Today more than ever they are exposing their inability to compete in world criket.I think the public especially west indians are concerned about the state of their cricket.As soon as LLoyd departed the scene WI cricket started to slide.Carl Hooper tried,but unfortunately he had to go.Under the present administration and coach things don't seem promising.

Posted by diri on (February 10, 2013, 10:21 GMT)

@fastbowling and all the other people commenting saying that steyns average and strike rate is good because he plays most of his games in SA conditions...well in the same light we can say that if Jaques Kallis played most of his cricket in india he would have an avearge of over 65 with more hundreds and runs than Sachin Tendulkar...Kallis would be the god of cricket and not Tendulkar??? am I right?? anyway I still think Kallis is the MVP in world cricket and the greatest cricketer of all time. its only in 20 years time when you look back you will realize I am right....KING KALLIS is the best.

Posted by   on (February 9, 2013, 22:58 GMT)

Steyn is a great and has a couple more ears to become greater. Just love watching him bowl.

Posted by mcsdl on (February 9, 2013, 18:31 GMT)

Greatest test bowlers in this order: Murali, Mcgrath, Ambrose, Marshall, Akram, Warne, Steyn, Hadlee, Waqar, Lilee, Donald, Pollock, Imran, Garner... Saying that Steyn has the potential the climb up the list. Downfall for Steyn will be other great bowlers were brilliant in both Tests and ODIs but Steyn is ordirany in ODIs...!

Posted by Soso_killer on (February 9, 2013, 12:56 GMT)

I should add Steyn has a good average in ASIA, and does have an inswinger in his armour. Like SurlyCynic just said his outswinger is to deadly to an extent that he could not be bothered with anything else. If all these muppets you hail as greats because they had "more variation", why does a "limited" Steyn have a far superior strike rate to any bowler that has 200+ wickets?

Also keep in mind that this is a batsmen era, no uncovered pitches, a limited amount of short balls etc. Get a clue you guys!!

Posted by SurlyCynic on (February 9, 2013, 10:06 GMT)

getsetgopk: If you think Steyn can't bowl reverse swing or inswing you obviously didn't see his 7-fer in Nagpur. Have a look online. His inswinger featured against NZ this year too, but obviously his outswinger is so effective he uses that most of the time. If you think he's still 'poor' against lefthanders you obviously didn't read the article above.

Posted by SamRoy on (February 9, 2013, 7:54 GMT)

@GrindAR Sorry mate, the worst test cricket years were between 2002-2006 when apart from Australia (and for a brief period of one year 2004/05 England) nobody else had a good bowling attack. Pitches were flat (except in SA and sometimes in England and NZ) and everyone was having outrageously inflated batting averages.

Posted by aa61761 on (February 9, 2013, 5:16 GMT)

@All Stern Fans - Stern has taken only one 5 for against Pakistan in Asia and only one 5 for against Sri Lanka in asia - and these were not any sizzling performances. Most of his Asian wickets are against India and in only two matches one 10 wicket haul. If you go test by test against India most of his wickets are Tail Enders, example,

Test # 1870 MS Dhoni† c †Boucher b Steyn A Kumble* b Steyn Harbhajan Singh b Steyn RP Singh b Steyn

Test # 1871 V Sehwag b Steyn R Dravid b Steyn Harbhajan Singh lbw b Steyn RP Singh c Smith b Steyn S Sreesanth b Steyn

Test # 1873 V Sehwag lbw b Steyn SC Ganguly c Amla b Steyn Harbhajan Singh lbw b Steyn

Do not count any wickets against Bangladesh. In his most recent tour of Asia he was a total flop.

Getting RP SINGH or S Sreesanth does not make for very good reading, you need to get Sehwag, Dravid, Tandulkar, etc. as bulk of your wickets to impress on Asian wickets.

Posted by getsetgopk on (February 9, 2013, 3:15 GMT)

LIke I said before, the best chance to neutralize the Steyn threat is to pack the side with lefties. His stats against lefties is very very average if not down right poor. Proves one or two things, first, he swings the ball one way and thats all he can do. He doesn't have the inswinger or the off cutter and doesn't get any seam movement even on wickets helping seam bowling. He doesn't have the reverse swing so he's basically an average bowler once you play out the initial 20 overs as was shown by Pakistan in the 2nd innings at wonderers. But, since both the potential lefties, TAufeeq and Haris Sohail are injured there is not much hope other than to promote batsmen with sound technique to open the innings which is Jamshed with Azhar Ali.

Posted by   on (February 8, 2013, 23:22 GMT)

I think if you put any of the modern greats on the pitches Lohman and Barnes bowled on, then you would find some seriously skewed stats emerging. Batting in those days was a nightmare. That is why they are not included.

Posted by Bystander_test on (February 8, 2013, 17:40 GMT)

One thing is clear reading the comments about all these guys saying Steyn is an average bolwer in Asian conditions, FACT, steyn averages below 25 in Asian conditions. Please ensure you have facts to backup your conclusions.

Posted by InsideHedge on (February 8, 2013, 17:36 GMT)

@Henrik Loven: You make valid points but remember those guys bowled on uncovered wickets. However, I don't doubt their greatness, SF Barnes had massive hands with long fingers, he made the ball talk in every sense of the word. I'm currently reading a book on Barnes by Leslie Duckworth.

Posted by InsideHedge on (February 8, 2013, 17:34 GMT)

(1) Pakistan's record in Australia is truly embarrassing, teams including Wasim Akram, Waqar, Inzi failed thru the entire period when Australia were top dogs. Now that SA are #1, expect to see no change in their record. Plenty of myths about how they challenged the great West Indies team, again they flattered to deceive. It's 2013 and Pak still don't have a Test series win in the West Indies despite the last 15 yrs being probably the worst in WI history.

(2) When comparing great fast bowlers, Lillee ought NOT to be considered. He had a grand total of ONE wicket (against Pak in a 3 Test series) on sub continent wickets. Hadlee too only toured reluctantly but when he felt compelled to tour India (in order to break Botham's highest wickets tally), he probably surprised himself with his success, proving unplayable. Steyn has a very good record on the slower, sub continent wickets and deserves to be considered as an all-time great.

Posted by   on (February 8, 2013, 17:17 GMT)

I hope he gets to 450 wickets and continues like this. Its a pity most teams have and will prepare lifeless wickets to neutralise his threat(recent Aus v Sa series had even the Gabba as flat as a road). Hope he doesnt get injured and bowls more inswingers to right-handers. But despite all that he is still making a strong case case to be a legend! Hail Dale Steyn

Posted by GrindAR on (February 8, 2013, 17:12 GMT)

If you have seen the bowling's of Malcom, Hadlee, Akram, Waqar, The frequency of different varieties and variations, generally made the matches wanting to watch. The passion they expressed on field, is not there now-a-days. Everything became plain professional statistics including how they play the game, not adding any kind of value to the game. Probably a generation gap is needed for tests to take rebirth.

Posted by GrindAR on (February 8, 2013, 17:03 GMT)

He could be great in numbers for SA. You count on wickets per test to measure-up. With the best athletic fielders in the team, the bowler like Steyn have advantage. He is venomous, thats true. Lets see, how far he takes it to the length of his career. Let him cross 450 wickets and then do the math. Moreover, the test cricket is not played at it best qualities as it was until 2009. In the past three years, the slump in quality is dangerous to the game. Many good teams perform pathetic and worse than so called minnows. Probably they could loose to them as well.

Posted by Shan156 on (February 8, 2013, 16:58 GMT)

@aa61761, what are you talking about? How is 63 wickets in 13 tests @ an average of 23.71 and a SR of 39.3 poor? Steyn has poor stats in UAE and SL but he has played only 2 tests in each country. The so-called great spinner Ajmal has an average of over 100 in both Aus. and SA although he played only one test in those countries. Should we be calling him an average spinner then? Because, his record is great only in the UAE.

Posted by Giri_1980 on (February 8, 2013, 16:56 GMT)

@ aa61761 - I guess it will be great if you looked at his stats before posting something. Steyn has played 13 tests in Asia and has captured 63 wickets at an average of 23.71 and SR of 39.3. I don't understand how that is poor record. His only real failure after becoming a premier bowler in the world was in UAE where both teams found it difficult to bowl each other out on roads. He has excellent records in Pakistan and India

Posted by   on (February 8, 2013, 16:53 GMT)

@aa61761: You clearly don't know what you're talking about. Steyn's taken 63 wickets in 13 matches in Asia at an average of 23.7 and a strike rate of 39 (which is even *better* than his career SR). Seriously, I bet all you doubters eat your words and pretend like Steyn was your favorite player in a decade or two when you're looking back at his stupendous career. Hindsight and all that, eh?

Posted by   on (February 8, 2013, 16:33 GMT)

This is not a good article at all. The author has deliberately and arbitrarily set a limit of 150 wickets in a win, thereby excluding comparison with any but the Modern era "greats", yet he makes the claim that Steyn is an all-time great. A comparison with true giants amongst quicks such as George Lohman and Sydney Francis Barnes reveal that while Dale Steyn thoroughly deserves his rank as a modern era great, he still is some way behind the All-time Greats in some respects.

Posted by AllahKeBande on (February 8, 2013, 16:10 GMT)

@aa61761: Despite of having such a strong bowling line up, look at the record of PAK in AUS, highly overrated bowling line up,good for nothing it seems

Posted by aa61761 on (February 8, 2013, 15:51 GMT)

Stern has poor stats in Asia. Imran, Wasim, Waqar, Marshall, Garner, Walsh, Ambrose, Hadlee, McGrath all of them have good stats in Asia. A complete package delivers on all surfaces, not only on supporting surfaces.

Posted by   on (February 8, 2013, 15:08 GMT)

Really no Shane Warne......?

Posted by TheScot on (February 8, 2013, 15:05 GMT)

After the now famous 11 wicket haul by steyn I was just comparing all the fast/ fast medium bowlers who have taken more than 300 wickets. Among them Steyn has the best wickets per match: 5.12 and strike rate; and that is even better than that of the biggest strikers of all time - Dennis Lillie, Malcolm Marshall, Sir Richard Hadlee, Sir Fred Trueman, Imran Khan, Waqar. After comparing many more figures, like at the similar stage of career, state of play, opposition etc. I could only say that as wholesome package Steyn came out to be slightly better than each one of them. I wish I had saved those figures to back myself up, but I think you guys will agree. Oh, except a certain Pappu_bhai, who has shattered the whole argument by naming some legends of his own. Take bow @Pappu_bhai.

Posted by rocknrola on (February 8, 2013, 12:15 GMT)

@Pappu: Really man. Of all the bowlers out there you are comparing Steyn with Balaji (who even did not play 10 tests) and Kulasekara (who took just 7 wickets against Aus in 3 tests last year)!

And about Sachin against Steyn, Sachin did well against Steyn in one day match not in a test match.

I do not remember the exact stats but I read in a blog posted on this site:

Of all batsmen against Dale Steyn in Test Innings
Batsmen who've played more balls and dominated Steyn in a Test innings is Kevin Pietersen (64 of 72 balls).
 Batsmen who've played more balls and been tied down by Steyn in a Test innings is Sachin Tendulkar (23 of 83 balls)."

Posted by PkZindabaad on (February 8, 2013, 11:50 GMT)

Wait a minute before claiming Stein as greatest bowler. It was never, only wasim akram can take that credit. And junaid khan may be young, may be not as good as M. Amir but definetly bowls better than Dale Steyn. If somebody watched that 1st test between SA and Pk, steyn got wickets because our batsmen were crap and there was no application but Junaid bowled beautifully and unfortunately couldn't pick more wickets. IMO Junaid is the bowler to be reckon with in the future not Steyn. Please Publish cricinfo this atleast

Posted by   on (February 8, 2013, 10:51 GMT)

Dinnis lillee is rated as a great, His average in asia is 68 plus. Why are some guys worried about steyns abillity in asia. He is good enough.

Posted by Rhygwyn on (February 8, 2013, 10:32 GMT)

@st_aubrun - Unfortunately you have to take a minimum of 150-200 wickets otherwise it is possible for a single season or two to skew the rankings. It is tough on the players from earlier eras but there is not much you can do. Just remember you are also saying then that Imran, Walsh and all the other "modern" bowlers are not good enough.

Posted by Rhygwyn on (February 8, 2013, 10:30 GMT)

@Pappu_bhai - Steyn averages 23.71 and has a strike rate of 39 in the subcontinent. You have no idea what you are talking about.

Posted by   on (February 8, 2013, 9:56 GMT)

A fine and absorbing article on the game's greatest bowler. Thank you Harsha. And mind you, D. Steyn is not only the fastest bowler but he helped SA win in most of matches. And see his bowling average in the 33 Test wins is awesome with 15.79. It is one of the quality bowling in test wins and he stands 3rd in the list of bowlers winning for their country, Richard Hadlee (King of Swing) & Imran Khan(Charismatic leader of Pakitan cricket) and the strike rate is 29.9 for Steyn.And at Wanderers, he was truly outstanding and he conceded just 60 runs for his 11 wickets. And it is also worth to note that Opposing teams were dismisssed below 75 on 3 occasions. (Australia, New Zeland and now Pakistan). It's a phenomenal performance by the Proteas. And Harsha's' writing is of high quality. Keep it up, Harsha.

Posted by ansram on (February 8, 2013, 9:19 GMT)

@Pappu - Balaji and Kulasekara - who?? Steyn will finish as an ATG. Enough of your bias.

Posted by   on (February 8, 2013, 9:14 GMT)

Good article, Rajesh. But you missed the stats of England ODI results in India

Posted by MK88 on (February 8, 2013, 8:42 GMT)

You guys saying Steyn is an average bowler are shocking. How come there isn't any fast bowler challenging him at the top of the ICC's test rankings? The Kulasekaras and Balaji's mentioned by one @Pappu_bhai are not known to the rankings or test cricket. They don't even feature regularly for their countries in test cricket. And judging Steyn's bowling performance by asking a few Sri Lankans is a bad way of judging him; Look at the Stats. ALL HAIL STEYN!!

Posted by st_aubrun on (February 8, 2013, 8:09 GMT)

The requirement of a minimum of 150 wickets from wins alone unfairly skews the results in favour of those players who played in recent decades, as there was a lot less test cricket before the mid-70s. When you reduce the minimum wickets fom wins to 50, or the minimum career wickets to 100 - you get some really surprising results that span a far greater date-spancovering most of the period that test cricket has been played. Interesting among post-war WWII players, for example, are names like Shane Bond (strike rate) and Fazal Mahmood (strike and economy rate) who figure much higher than more expected names.

Posted by Romanticstud on (February 8, 2013, 7:59 GMT)

Very good article, Rajesh. It also leads to the fact that Murali had only himself and Vaas to generate wickets, while Steyn has had Ntini, Pollock, Morkel and Philander also taking wickets on the other side ... Also a good fact about the West Indies. During that time they had lost the services of their fast bowlers ... Ambrose and Walsh ... which had them scurrying around looking for replacements ... Yes Gayle and Co did impress now and again with the bat ... but Australia and South Africa had the Windies number more often than not ... Unfortunately Holding, Marshall and Co have left an impression as has Viv and Lara ... hopefully Sarwan and co will prove us wrong as time goes on ...

Posted by shiven. on (February 8, 2013, 7:45 GMT)

Pappu_bhai you eyes must be deceiving you kulesekra is a odi bowler balaji are ODI player you can't compare them to steyn its like comparing a ferrari to a golf cart these guys are Good but are they match winners ???? Maybe once in a blue moon ...bt steyn is consistent and class he took 7 - 51 in nagpur and 10 in the match a flat pitch his average is below 25 in the sub continent how does that make him a waste bowler maybe u need divine intervention because form is temporary class is permanent he is at the top of the bowling rankings for 4 straight years....the best paceman in the 21 century stats. Don't lie nor does his talent being biased isn't gna help it just makes u a fool

Posted by   on (February 8, 2013, 7:26 GMT)

@Pappu? Are you serious? Steyn is overrated? Yes he was hit by the subcontinental batsmen. But that is in ODIs. No one is claiming he is that good in ODIs. But in tests, at the moment there is no better bowler, and no better attack. I mean in this team Kallis is the 4th seamer. Steyn is such a good baller, I think the fact that the SA batsmen don't face him gives them a huge advantage. Steyn, morkel, philander and Kallis against Smith, Amla, de villiers and kallis is something I would pay to watch

And current top batsmen like dilshan, thirumani and chandimal? Had no idea these were the current top batsmen. And even if they are, when did they say that? I cannot find a single reference to this.

Posted by srikanths on (February 8, 2013, 6:54 GMT)

Steyn is a fantastic bowler who swings at pace. He may be helped by the fact that he is playing for a team that is doing very well , plays in helpful conditions and is assisted by a set of good bowlers. Still one can't take away the fact that he did bowl well in India in Tests also.He is one of the best pace bowlers. He may not have the variation of wasim akram who used to make the ball talk but is a great bowler.

Looking at the batting performance against him, one does look back with appreciation SRT 's knocks in SA against him and co.in 2011 when he scored 2 centuries. Of course since then SRT has been on sliding slope.

Posted by   on (February 8, 2013, 6:19 GMT)

@pappu - jealousy is not ab good thing! it is not steyn's fault that sa does not play many tests in asia. by your logic, tendulkar is overrated by him playing most of his tests on asian pitches that suit him. steyn's best bowling figures are in nagpur . . .

Posted by   on (February 8, 2013, 4:30 GMT)

that final stat about WIndies is amazing. Just shows what everyone knows.

Posted by Pappu_bhai on (February 8, 2013, 3:34 GMT)

Still am saying Steyn is an overrated bowler.I would like him to have the Balajis clever ways of altering the pace when it needs most.Still my mind hasnt changed who the better bowler is.I believe its Balaji,Kulasekara who are better than Steyn.Steyn is playing in pitches that suit him whereas he is a waste bowler outside South Africa.Remember Tendulkar has killed him with ease in WC-2011.Tendulkar has never destroyed Balaji/Kulasekara like he did to Steyn.And current top batsman like Dilshan,Thirumani and Chandimal have already told that steyn is just an average bowler and they have seen many better bowlers than Steyn.

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S Rajesh Stats editor Every week the Numbers Game takes a look at the story behind the stats, with an original slant on facts and figures. The column is edited by S Rajesh, ESPNcricinfo's stats editor in Bangalore. He did an MBA in marketing, and then worked for a year in advertising, before deciding to chuck it in favour of a job which would combine the pleasures of watching cricket and writing about it. The intense office cricket matches were an added bonus.

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