New Zealand in South Africa 2012-13

Steyn's 'angry eyes' South Africa's trump card

New Zealand did not put up much resistance against South Africa, but there was still a job to do and Dale Steyn performed it in some style

Firdose Moonda

January 15, 2013

Comments: 97 | Text size: A | A

Dale Steyn took three of New Zealand's wickets in the second innings, South Africa v New Zealand, 1st Test, Cape Town, 3rd day, January 4, 2013
Dale Steyn was always likely to be too good for New Zealand's batsmen © Getty Images
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That Dale Steyn still deserves to be called the best bowler in the world was evident during New Zealand's first innings in the Port Elizabeth Test. That he is still Graeme Smith's go-to man was obvious as well.

Steyn has been a priceless performer for many years, but with Test matches and series often rolling into each other there has not always been time to reflect on his achievements. In this series, Steyn claimed his 300th wicket in his 61st Test. At his current rate of five wickets a Test, he could become the joint-fastest seamer to 400 and 500 scalps and second fastest on the overall list, behind Muttiah Muralitharan.

At St George's Park, the same place that he made his debut, Steyn his took his 19th Test five-for to put him second on the list of South African five-wicket haulers, one behind Allan Donald. It speaks of his consistency to make breakthroughs and increase his intent when it is needed but also of his individual quest for success.

Steyn clearly wants more, regarding this as just another milestone on the road of the "many more Tests," he hopes to play. Ask him what the 19th haul means and he has a prudent way of comparing himself to another player in the South Africa XI whose hunger for achievement appears to know no bounds. "It means I am on level terms with Hashim Amla's hundreds," Steyn said.

Amla and Steyn's 19th both came in the same match and while Steyn continues to sit atop the bowling charts, Amla is not far behind in batting stakes. The latest ICC rankings have him in second position and he has the opportunity overtake Michael Clarke in the upcoming series against Pakistan.

That would give South Africa the world's best batsman and bowler to add to their status as the No.1 ranked Test side and it is that sort of unit Steyn is savouring being part of. "Everybody just plays their part in this team," he said. Steyn's part contributes heavily to South African success and he was willing to indulge in a few moments of self-reflection as he looked back on his proudest moments so far.

Steyn could point out two five-fors which meant the most to him in his nine-year career. Interestingly, neither were at home or in helpful conditions.

"There was one in the West Indies in 2010 in the first Test," he remembered. "I was coming around the wicket and the ball was reversing. They had a couple of left handers and guys were leaving the ball and I got a few wickets. I thought to myself then I don't think I couldn't have bowled any better and everything just worked out perfectly."

Steyn's 5 for 29 included four left handers: Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Narsingh Deonarine, Suliemen Benn and Ravi Rampaul. He made the crucial breakthrough when Chanderpaul was going about a repair job and then nipped out the tail with three wickets in two overs.

 
 
Sometimes you're up for it, sometimes the body doesn't quite agree. I've been fortunate that in this match the body has said yes. I was also able to make the ball swing and Vernon wasn't so there was more for the taking Dale Steyn on knowing when to push himself
 

"And then there was Nagpur where I got seven. Just getting somebody like Sachin Tendulkar... but also I got the ball to swing both ways that day on a really flat deck," he said. That performance won Steyn ESPNcricinfo's award for the best Test bowling performance of 2010. Again, he was hostile to the lower order and plucked five wickets in four overs to finish with 7 for 61.

Even against New Zealand, Steyn went hard at their tail and seems to have made a habit of returning to sweep lower orders away quickly although he said it has not been intentional. "I try to run in and bowl quick every time and I don't really pick and choose who to run in and bowl quick to, it just sort of happens.

"Sometimes you're up for it, sometimes the body doesn't quite agree. I've been fortunate that in this match the body has said yes. I was also able to make the ball swing and Vernon wasn't so there was more for the taking," he joked. "But the back end batters; you're not expecting them to go out there and score heaps of runs so it's good to get over with fast."

Steyn also has the advantage of being able to bowl in short bursts with maximum effort while his team-mates do the donkey work. Over the years Graeme Smith has learnt how to read Steyn better and to bring him on when the angry eyes start flashing.

"It's about understanding him tactically," Smith said. "Once the batsman shows him something and gives him a little opening, he has a wonderful ability to drive it home. When he is steaming in at 145kph and swinging it, it's great to be in the slips and be a part of that. It's not so great when we have to face him in the nets."

His aggression is what Smith said "lifts the whole team," but what motivates Steyn himself? Knowing that he can meet the challenge of performing where it will be tough.

"Those two five-fors that stand out most for me even though there have been big games like against Australia in Melbourne in 2008 when I picked up ten because those two were completely different," he said. "Melbourne was always going to offer something like a little bit of bounce. But when you are playing in places like West Indies where there is not a lot of bounce and in India and subcontinent; it's more memorable."

Those who appreciate the combination of swing and pace will hope there are many more memories to be made.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by Alexk400 on (January 18, 2013, 7:28 GMT)

I never liked mcgrath. May be he was canny to buy wicket. No one like to watch mcgrath bowling. May be he mastered a method of taking wicket. But no one really feared mcgrath. People fear steyn when ball swinging. if god create fast bowler it has to be steyn who can also get wicket in flat wickets. Hahaha. His run up and finish at wicket is full speed and never slow down. Mcgrath on the other hand kinda jerk his body to make bastman make first move. Mcgrath bowling is more trickery than bowling. Steyn rules!!!. No comparison. Akram may have many many skills in bowling. The one akram got dravid out was out of the world. Ball curved one way and came out other way. There is no one can beat Younis toe crushers not even malinga because toe crushers come from height is thunder bolts. Steyn bowling is like bmw machine in high speed acceleration without slowing.

Posted by PaulJvR on (January 18, 2013, 4:45 GMT)

@SurlyCynic: I worry about de Lange as stress fractures sometimes do end up badly, such as the sad case of Ngam. I am merely saying Morkel is a really useful 3rd bowler in a pace attack but could never lead one, i just don't see him capable of wiining a match on his own, he barely averages under thirty in tests, plus morkel needs to work on bowling less wide as half of what he bowls need not be played.

Posted by SurlyCynic on (January 17, 2013, 14:35 GMT)

@ScumsieFraudneer: I think Morkel is the perfect complement to Steyn and Philander as he is effective in different conditions, with pace and steep bounce. It would be less effective to have three identical style of bowlers. I think most teams around the world would be happy to have Morkel, and De Lange could provide cover when he recovers.

Posted by Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on (January 17, 2013, 14:25 GMT)

@TATTUs, it's Steyn's wish when he wants to end his career. Meaning, taking the highest number of wickets or 400 or 500 is not at all a criterion to say a bowler is great or not. Tomorrow, he might find himself in a situation where he wants to or has to call it a day. So do those life events make him a less than a great bowler on the field? Where's the connection between ending a career and greatness on the field? Whispering Death ended his career even without taking 300 wickets. So, his overall numbers make him not a great bowler while facing him on the field? I just don't get your 'POINT' of 'WAITING' till the end! Even IF Steyn had to end his career tomorrow morning, he has already shown us what greatness means and why he has won a coveted place alongside Marshall, Waqar and Wasim.

Posted by PaulJvR on (January 17, 2013, 13:09 GMT)

Well one thing about having Steyn about and thankfully now Philander, it papers over how decidedly average Morne Morkel is. His record belies the claims made about his effectiveness really. Scarily for SA if Steyn and Philander both got injured now at the same time, we wouldn't be able to bowl out Zim. Bowling depth does not look grand if Kleinveldt is the next best thing.

Posted by TATTUs on (January 17, 2013, 10:55 GMT)

@tommyTucker

At this rate I cannot disagree with you. As I said earlier lets wait for the career to end. And strike rate is not the LONE param to judge a bowler. Or else Shoaib Akthar is one of the all time greats. But what is the fact? He might have been and had the potential but he is not. In my first comment I said if Steyn maintains this he will be in the top 10 of all time great bowlers. So again, lets wait till the career ends.

Posted by TommytuckerSaffa on (January 17, 2013, 10:05 GMT)

@tattu Yes McGrath was a strike bowler. I agree. But Steyn takes his wickets faster in less ball.. So therefore a better and more effective bowler. The only thing he needs to worry about is keeping fit. S.A. have about 10 test matches a year (oz and england play more), he takes 5 wickets a test match. He will will overtake McGrath in 2.5 years in wickets taken.

Posted by Solid_Snake on (January 17, 2013, 9:56 GMT)

@counterstrike1.6 ->Steyn played only 3 matches against Pakistan in South Africa.. Managed to take only 10 wickets in those 3 test matches..According to you Pakistan batting is so pathetic.But Steyn should have taken at least 25-30 wickets in those 3 matches.I wonder what wnt wrong with Steyn at that time or is it that Pak batsmen played well..Now if i may request you to let Steyn play against Pakistan :P

Posted by Solid_Snake on (January 17, 2013, 9:47 GMT)

@counterstrike1.6 ->Yes..The beating that Indian 'World's Best batsmen' team got recently by the hands of England & Australia in Test matches..Seems to me that Pak team comes no where near that batting line up.So yes..You are right..SA should try new bowlers against Pakistan :)

PS->Dont forget that the Same England team came to India,gave another beating in Tests & took the series away.The same England team was like bunch of kids dancing here & there against the same Pakistani team.So yeah Pakistan still deserve to get @nd choice players for sure :)

Posted by Jabulani on (January 17, 2013, 8:59 GMT)

@ObjectiveCricketism - you do know that the rankings are based on a relative moving average of the player ratings, that is to say based on recent performances with regards to previous and the quality of opposition. If you look up their highest player ratings you will find that Swann has a higher rating than Ajmal, 858 vs 836.

Plus I only used Swann as an example as you brought him up, there are numerous others you could compare Ajmal to that would be equally as good if not better from the past 35 years. Herath has had a better best rating than Ajmal...you ranted about stats yet did not check them completely yourself.

Posted by TATTUs on (January 17, 2013, 8:37 GMT)

@TommyTucker.

Mcgrath was an out and out STRIKE BOWLER. STRIKE bowler does not always mean 150 KPHS. He gets top order wickets more than any one.

Posted by cric_J on (January 17, 2013, 8:30 GMT)

Dale Steyn rightfully deserves the top spot that he has now owned for over 3 years. And I do not see him moving from there soon.The best part is that he gets to play lesser matches than his English , Aussie and Indian counterparts and makes the most of it. Someone will have to bowl out of his skin in 2013 to topple Dale.

Posted by TommytuckerSaffa on (January 17, 2013, 8:19 GMT)

@Dravid_Gravitas_Statchin_Selfishkar

I have to agree with you. A Strike bowler is a strike bowler not a line and length trundler. He has the ability to bowl unplayable delivery and get anyone out. When the captain throws the ball to his STRIKE bowler, he obviously wants wickets. If youre ONLY looking at economy rates and averages when evaluating fast strike bowlers then are you are mistaken. Dale Steyn has a srike rate of 41, Glen McGrath as a rate of 51. Thats why to me, Dale Steyn is a more effective fast bowler than McGrath, he takes less deliveries to get wickets. (Waqar - 43, Marshall - 46)

Posted by Solid_Snake on (January 17, 2013, 8:14 GMT)

@counterstrike1.6 ->Yes..The beating that Indian 'World's Best batsmen' team got recently by the hands of England & Australia in Test matches..Seems to me that Pak team comes no where near that batting line up.So yes..You are right..SA should try new bowlers against Pakistan :)

PS->Dont forget that the Same England team came to India,gave another beating in Tests & took the series away.The same England team was like bunch of kids dancing here & there against the same Pakistani team.So yeah Pakistan still deserve to get @nd choice players for sure :)

Posted by TATTUs on (January 17, 2013, 8:06 GMT)

@DravidSelfishkar

If you are talking about variations. I am not sure Marshall had many variations if you have watched him. He bowled basically into the batsman, taking one away pitching it around the off stump. but yes he was a bit more fast than Mcgrath, and had a faster ball rather than a slower one. Mcgrath also had variations, its just that he rarely needed them ;). His off cutter is one of the best if not THE best. His bouncer is faster than you think it is. He rarely swung the ball, But I have seen him feasting on Fleming with his swing. His pace was not 120s as you think, its mid 130s and rare 140s. He won matches for Australia more than Warne ever did. His five fors during wins is just awesome. If I am right 75% of his wickets are toporder wickets. Lastly **^& all the stats, I dont think Lara or Tendulkar, best batsmen in my view of his era ever dominated him for a period of time. I have nothing against Steyn, he is a terrific bowler. But lets wait till he finishes his career

Posted by Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on (January 17, 2013, 6:50 GMT)

@TATTUs, ok, let's discuss about test cricket only. McGrath was a military medium peg away around off-stump kind of bowler. Pace bowling has much more to it than just keep pegging away. Sure he was effective, but his story starts and ends there. There's an unmistakable feel to it when one remembers, for eg. the name Marshall- variety in full flow - just shows us how differently a cricket ball can be made to travel along those 22 yards for each delivery - he has the skill to do it. McGrath doesn't possess that skill - he possesses one skill - send the ball in just one fashion along those 22 yards at military medium pace. Does he have the skill to bowl so many different kinds of deliveries and exhibit immaculate control as Steyn or Marshall or Wasim and Waqar did? It surprises me, after seeing his entire career, how can we even think of putting McGrath in the list of all-time greatest pacers? He isn't a pacer to begin with - always in high 120s to occasional low 130s. Nuff said!

Posted by TATTUs on (January 17, 2013, 4:58 GMT)

@DravidSelfishkar

You sure do know that Mcgrath was 2 years into retirement before he was called up to IPL to boost its image while Steyns career was ' 3-4 year old pacer' when IPL started. C'mon man. Be sensible at least. If I am right Mcgrath has a better economy rate than Steyn in IPL.(Just for arguments sake) Last of all we are talking about test bowlers and test wickets here, arent we?

Posted by SurlyCynic on (January 16, 2013, 22:35 GMT)

@ObjectiveCricketism: That's a very funny post, you 'declared Barry Richards an instant great', then others 'jumped on the bandwagon'! Where would world cricket be without you? I hope Barry is grateful.

People have different opinions which is the point of these comments, and makes cricket debates interesting. Declaring that those who disagree with you have deficient 'cricket knowledge' is usually a sign that you can't win the argument with facts. All the best to you too.

Posted by Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on (January 16, 2013, 21:45 GMT)

I shall wait for the return of Mohammad Amir once he completes his ban. He has the potential to overthrow Steyn and test the batsmen in all conditions. He was just fascinating to watch - hard to believe that he was just 17 or 18 year old when he made the established 'test' batsmen look like rookies. I hope he hasn't lost the fire in his belly for the sake of cricket in Pakistan and for genuine cricket fans like me who admire players of any country. So, there you go, that's my take on McGrath, Steyn, Lillee and Donald. Didn't watch anything of Mohammad Nissar - supposed to be lightning fast and accurate, variety and skill - during his times. So, I couldn't include him either in the list of all time greatest pacers. But he plucked the great Sutcliffe in no time. Troubled the Aussies on Indian wickets - bowleds and lbws - an indicator of pace, skill and variations. If Nissar can't be included because we didn't see enough of him how can one include McGrath after seeing his entire career?

Posted by Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on (January 16, 2013, 21:18 GMT)

What about Fred Trueman? Sheer terror and pace with spells of 5 wickets for no runs and 6 wickets for 4 runs. Unarguably the greatest pacer to have come from the English shores. He would be turning in his grave if McGrath is mentioned alongside the greatests of pace bowlers. Nuff said!

Posted by Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on (January 16, 2013, 20:53 GMT)

I haven't seen all the pacers. But from what I've seen, these make my list of greatests or whatever you want to call them - Marshall, Akram, Waqar, Big Bird, Holding, Sir Hadlee, Kapil Dev, Andy Roberts, Sir Botham, Ambrose, Imran Khan, Donald and the latest inclusion is STEYN. McGrath is one-dimensional + no pace at all whereas Lillee has a dubious action - both these hyped bowlers fall short on different aspects of what a pacer needs to have to be included in the all time greatests. With spinners my list is - Shane 'the genius' Warne, Bedi, Chandra, Prasanna, Saqlain, Subhash Gupte, Abdul 'the genius' Qadir, Anil Kumble and the latest addition is SWANN. Hard for me to pick an order in spinners. Murali and Ajmal can't make the list as they have controversial and suspect actions and it would be injustice and unfair on other great genuine spinners if I put these two 'spinners' in the list of greatest spinners. I'm expecting some flak from boarders. But those are my honest views.

Posted by Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on (January 16, 2013, 20:34 GMT)

Lillee is of course an over-rated bloke with the most contorted action a fast bowler should ever try to have. Allan Donald is miles, I mean, miles ahead of Lillee. Why are we even talking of an over-rated Lillee and an over-rated military medium line and length McGrath when we are talking of the art of fast bowling and it's various skills, facets? I'm glad that Lillee is out of our MRF Pace Foundation in India. We will see less injuries to bowlers. Remember how Lillee suffered a career threatening injury as a result of his action? Waqar too is not a complete bowler because of his body unfriendly action. A complete fast bowler should have all the things in an easy package - Marshall and Akram fit the bill. But Waqar makes it there for me for his sheer numbers and skills that he has. It's a sacrilege to even mention McGrath while we are talking of the greatest pacers. McGrath was benched the whole season at Delhi in IPL. Would you bench Steyn the whole season? End of story!

Posted by naphy23 on (January 16, 2013, 20:29 GMT)

Can't believe all the junk I'm reading. This is what happens when everyone tries to be smartest, most knowledgeable guy in the room.

It's really not complicated. The best bowler is the guy that takes the most wickets at the fastest rate, (strike rate trumps avg for mine). "Best" has nothing to do with swing, seam, pace, aesthetics, athletic ability, skill and whatnot. "Best" is wickets. Period. Glamour and nostalgia has nothing to do with it.

For me, Steyn and Waqar are a class above anyone that's ever bowled fast but it's not an assertion I'm committed to emotionally. Before Steyn it was Marshall and Waqar. If Vern takes 250 at this rate then he overtakes both of them regardless how unexciting or unglamorous he is. I'm all about volume and frequency of wickets, nothing else.

Posted by ObjectiveCricketism on (January 16, 2013, 19:50 GMT)

@SurlyCynic What a silly argument! Will Ntini bowl spin? I prefer three fast bowlers and two spinners in my team. Hence Saeed Ajmal in the reserves.

@Jabulani If Graeme Swann is better than Saeed Ajmal, then how come Saeed Ajmal is rated higher by the ICC in all three formats? As to how many more tests he will play, neither of us knows. It does not matter because his greatness is already assured.

Barry Richards, one of the best opening batsmen ever, and in my team, only played 4 tests. His reputation is based on county cricket and Sheffield Shield performances. I saw him play several times and declared him an instant great. Soon others jumped on the bandwagon and he is considered a very great player with only 4 tests.

As both of you have demonstrated that your cricket knowledge is not as good as it should be, I will say nothing further under this post. All the best to both of you.

Posted by Inducker on (January 16, 2013, 19:40 GMT)

@m.marshalldgreatest I would like stats on how often Steyn goes past the bat with that unplayable outswinger . I recall a series of such deliveries against England on their last tour of SA when for ball after ball they simply couldn't get a touch. I would say Steyn is simply too good for many current batsmen who can't even get that nick. On your logic he might well have taken MORE wickets by finding the edge. We do see some wonderful bowled wickets like Wagner in this last test and I recall a few against Vaughan. With regard to his fitness, no one can tell when injury might strike but relying on a the natural athleticism of a wiry body with wonderful action, physical fitness and not pounding a heavy overmuscular body weight on to his feet coupled with judicious use of pace might see him around for a good while yet.

Posted by Soso_killer on (January 16, 2013, 18:52 GMT)

@saffie i agree with you if Steyn breaks those records then he will deserve all the accolades he gets.

As for the Lille part i think Steyn should look to be better than Donald as a bowler as i think Donald is and was a better bowler than Lille. Look at his numbers. He got to 300 wickets quicker than Lille in terms of balls bowled in a batsmen era. Enough said.

Posted by Saffie1987 on (January 16, 2013, 17:30 GMT)

That's actually nonsense to say that batsman of the 1980's had better techniques, that's just an " excuse" to down play any performances bowlers from the current " Era" achieve! This is a batsman's era, and i believe Steyn would have created even more problems in the 1980's, like all other sports, Cricket evolves, and so do certain bowlers or batsman, not all of them of course, but only the " High-Class" ones! Some people yearn too much to the glory days, like Highflyer_GP rightfully pointed out! If Steyn surpasses Malcom Marshall, Lilleee etc in terms of wickets taken, strikerate etc, he will be rightfully called the best ever, and if people even refuse to admit that, in such a " situation" as i have just described, then too me, those people are just biased, end of story!

Posted by SurlyCynic on (January 16, 2013, 16:02 GMT)

@m.marshalldgreatest - Marshall was also not the biggest of men. His pace dropped but he improved his inswinger and became more skilful. Let's see if Steyn can do the same. But don't judge Steyn on size alone. The SA cricket staff say Steyn is physically a 'freak' with incredible fast-twitch muscle and stamina to go with it - athletes like him don't come along every day.

Posted by m.marshalldgreatest on (January 16, 2013, 15:44 GMT)

Steyn will undoubtedly go down as a great but he is bowling in an era where batsmen have dodgy techniques especially now with the advent of the 20 over limited series. However, that said, pitches are now made to compensate for poor batting techniques. He has to work hard for his wickets alot of the time. I would have loved to see him bowl in the 70's or 80's. Again, batsmen of that time had superior techniques. He will get more wickets based on skill not his pace as I think it will drop off in the next few years and he won't be able to "crank it up" when needed. I sat next to him some years ago on a plane ride from Joburg to Durban. I thought to myself afterwards that he was a slightly built man who would not manage bowling fast for too long. Unless he works on his game like Sir Richard Hadlee did after turning 30, his strike rate will drop alarmingly.

Posted by Highflyer_GP on (January 16, 2013, 15:38 GMT)

@Seether1: Fair enough, but that's what makes these cross-era comparisons a bit dodgy, there are too many variables at play. We can't predict what would have happened, we only know what did happen. Also, I'm not sure that the 80s had greater batsmen than we did in the 90s and 00s. It seems to be a case of yearning for the glory days of yore, which I too am guilty of on occasion :-)

Posted by Seether1 on (January 16, 2013, 14:26 GMT)

@Highflyer_GP: I say Marshall was the greatest not because he is late, but because he really is the greatest. I have no doubt that Steyn will overtake Marshall in terms of wickets taken, but will that make him better? I beg to differ. Saying that Marshall played in a bowlers era is a valid point. However Marshall bowled to better quality batsmen, unlike today's batsmen with dodgy techniques. Also, Marshall had to share his wickets with 3 other fearsome bowlers. Steyn shares his wickets with Philander and occasionally Morkel.

Posted by TommytuckerSaffa on (January 16, 2013, 14:24 GMT)

@solo_killer No not tongue and cheek. Steyn is far more entertaining to watch, just ask the Indians in Nagpur. He bowls faster and with more venom and can swing it both ways. McGrath was an accurate line and length bowler, just outside off stump waiting for a mistake. So who would I wake up to watch...without doubt Dale Steyn. Thanks.

Posted by Jabulani on (January 16, 2013, 13:57 GMT)

@ ObjectiveCricketism - you claim that you are objective but want to add a player who is 35 years old (approaching end of carreer) has only played 23 tests with an ave of 27.09 and a SR of 61.3...take Swann as an example, he has two years on Ajmal, played twice as many tests has a slightly worse ave of 29.13 but a better SR at 59.9. You are showing a non-objective slant towards this guy admit it!

Posted by Soso_killer on (January 16, 2013, 13:23 GMT)

@SurlyCynic thats because Steyn is consistent too, lets put it this way would you wake up at 2 am (South African time) to watch Virender Sewhag in Australian condition? Or if you are Australian wake up in the am to watch him in South African conditon where his average is a lousy 17? After all he was an entertainer at his best.

My point is entertainment has to go with consistency (non-negotiable). Which is why i have always been perplexed about Botham regarded as a great, just because he picked up a 5-for and a 100, 5 times out of 108 test to be exact. What a joke.

Posted by SurlyCynic on (January 16, 2013, 13:18 GMT)

@ObjectiveCricketism: I would have Warne in the team and Murali as the spin reserve. Then 3 of Marshall, Steyn, Waqar and Wasim could start. What an attack.

Again this is all just subjective opinion. But all the other bowlers in that squad are greats of the game, if Ajmal improves his figures before he retires perhaps he would make it into an extended squad. His current figures are not much better than someone like Ntini.

Posted by ObjectiveCricketism on (January 16, 2013, 12:52 GMT)

@SurlyCynic My friend, again you disappoint me with your ill-judged comment. Saeed Ajmal is in the reserves as the spin bowling cover for Shane Warne and Muttiah Muralitharan. Had Anil Kumble, Abdul Qadir, Graeme Swann or Saqlain Mushtaq (the four other leading spinners of the last 35 years) been more deadly, or had superior figures, I would have selected one of them.

Posted by SurlyCynic on (January 16, 2013, 12:43 GMT)

@Soso_killer - I have the greatest respect for McGrath, I think he is one of the greatest bowlers ever as I mentioned below. But you're wrong, I would 'wake up' to watch Steyn ahead of him.

Posted by Highflyer_GP on (January 16, 2013, 12:31 GMT)

@ Seether1: With all due respect to the great Malcolm Marshall, does the title of 'greatest ever' only go to him because he is late? What if Steyn matches or surpasses him when he plays the same number of matches that Marshall played? Also, Marshall played in a bowler's era.

Posted by Soso_killer on (January 16, 2013, 12:18 GMT)

To those rating Steyn ahead of McGrath must tongue in cheek right?

First and foremost lets talk about a) skill b) entertainment c) consistency

McGrath may not be described as an entertainer or skillful, but by the virtue of his consistency he was both.

Think about it what makes Messi the best player in the world? The 1st thing that comes to mind is skill and dribbling, but you are wrong, its his consistency. Dribbling past 4/5 players is amazing, but doing it week in week out is incredible.

Greatness cant be valued on skill and entertainment alone, otherwise Arshavin, Nani could be great footballers too (which they are not).

You will tune in at crazy hours of the morning to watch consistent players (Messi, McGrath, Kallis), but you will never wake up to watch skillfull and entertaining, but inconsistent players.

Consistency is the greater prerequisite, hence consistency is skill and entertainment in one.

Posted by SurlyCynic on (January 16, 2013, 12:04 GMT)

@ObjectiveCricketism: You're right, statistics can be found on Cricinfo. Try looking up Ajmal's average (>27), you'll find it far higher than any of the other bowlers in that 'best of 35 yrs' team. So including him is not objective but subjective.

Posted by AllroundCricketFan on (January 16, 2013, 11:35 GMT)

Steyn is scary, especially those 'angry eyes'. And his wicket prowess is something to behold. He is defo in my top 5 best bowlers ever. Behind only Murali, Warne, Waqar and McGrath. This is from stats and seeing all of these players live. I did not have the chance to see the triple towers of the windies of the 70's

Posted by Pathiyal on (January 16, 2013, 11:24 GMT)

we have seen his bowling in the flat pitches in India where Steyn was generating swing and pace on unfriendly conditions. After Wasim & Mcgrath era, this is THE bowler i would rate No. 1. i think he is in the same class of those greats. his body language is always very aggressive. all together Steyn is a classy competitor package. congrats to him and waiting for many more accolades to follow.

Posted by TommytuckerSaffa on (January 16, 2013, 10:34 GMT)

This is the challenge for teams facing S.A. fast bowling attack. One bowler is going for the fastest to 100 wickets, having broken the 100 yr old record on fastest to 50. The other is going for fastest to 400 test wickets, having equalled the great malcolm maeshall to get to 300 wickets!!

Posted by ObjectiveCricketism on (January 16, 2013, 10:30 GMT)

@virgoman73 Please do not make ill-informed comments. Steyn's strike rate upon reaching 300 wickets is exactly the same as Waqar Younis' strike rate was upon reaching 300 wickets. Both had strike rates of 42.0 as this article shows. http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/content/story/599788.html Can somebody explain why posters repeatedly make ill-informed comments when all the statistics can be easily found right here at Cricinfo?

Posted by Soso_killer on (January 16, 2013, 10:20 GMT)

I get the same feeling with Ian Botham, overrated. A bowling average of 28 and a batting average of 33 and you are an all time great?

Then where is Shaun Pollock, coz he had far superior bowling figures in an era thats difficult for bowling, and a slightly lower batting average.

You cant tell me about taking a 5-for and scoring a 100 is yard stick for a great all-rounder, if you did then you cant do it 5 times out of 100+ games. You have to do it in at least 35-40% of those games. Which is near impossible.

I would pick Pollock with out a blink ahead of Botham, to think that the so called "experts" pick him ahead of Kallis, what a joke.

Posted by Soso_killer on (January 16, 2013, 10:09 GMT)

@dravid_gravitas McGrath and Anderson in the same breath? What a joke.

Is it just me or are English players overrated. Think about it, they have always produced mediocre to maybe good"ish" cricketers. So as soon as they produce a decent cricketer he is "an all time great" or the best in the "world".

Remember a year ago they were disrespecting Steyn saying an ordinary bowler who happens to have had a good 2 years or so with an avarage of 30 is better than Steyn, his name is Jimmy Anderson.

Remember a year ago Swann and Jimmy were "the best combination" equivalent of Warne and McGrath, what a joke.

Posted by TATTUs on (January 16, 2013, 10:05 GMT)

MD Marshall (WI) Sir RJ Hadlee (NZ) DK Lillee (Aus) FS Trueman (Eng) Imran Khan (Pak) GD McGrath (Aus) Waqar Younis (Pak) MA Holding (WI) Wasim Akram (Pak)

These are the top 10 fast bowlers ever, for me in that order. I have left out Sid Barnes because of the era in which he played. If he retires now Steyn will be in the top 10 fast bowlers ever for me may be displacing Akram.

Posted by Seether1 on (January 16, 2013, 10:03 GMT)

@virgoman73: The SA team of the 1970s were very very good although largely untested. Sure they whitewashed the Aussies 4-0 in their final series before isolation but how much can we really read into that? The Aussies were returning from a tour of Asia and were not exactly world beaters at the time of that series. SA had never toured Asia so we will never really know how good they were. SA had potential to be the best team from 1970 to about 1975/76, however I believe thereafter they would have been soundly beaten by the Windies.

Posted by Soso_killer on (January 16, 2013, 9:36 GMT)

It was good to see Steyn, acknowledge Philander as the best bowler in the world :-), he was very lucky that Vern wasnt there otherwise he would have gobbled them out.

Posted by virgoman73 on (January 16, 2013, 9:20 GMT)

@ All of you:

1. Look at the statistics when comparing Steyn to Akram and Younis. They have similar averages and economy rates but Steyn is miles better when it comes to strike rates. 2. @sanman12; couldn't agree with you more! 3. @2nd_Slip; couldn't agree with you more! 4. @Dravid_Gravitas_Statchin_Selfishkar; if you want to imagine a GREAT 70's/80's bowling attack, thank your lucky stars South Africa was banned from international cricket during that period. You would have had to face the likes of Clive Rice, Mike Procter, Vince van der Bijl, Garth leRoux and Dennys Hobson (see article by Mark Nicholas on cricinfo). If the bowling attack didn't fire you could be sure the batsmen would; Eddie Barlow,Peter Kirsten in his prime, Barry Richards...and then at number 4...Graeme Pollock with a test average of over 60. At number 5 would be Allan Lamb, who went on to play test cricket for England.

Posted by TommytuckerSaffa on (January 16, 2013, 9:08 GMT)

Kallis is the great cricketer to ever live (please try to find me a greater contributor to a game if you disagree.) Steyn is the best modern day fast bowler and Hashim Amla will be one of the greatest batsmen ever !!!! All hail the Proteas, All hail !!!

Posted by jaitalreja27 on (January 16, 2013, 8:28 GMT)

A Champion bowler and a great cricketer. I am sure he will end up in the top 7 bowlers of all time by the end of his career. Irrelevant to compare him with Mcgrath as the two are very different bowlers. Experts at their own skills.

I however feel that Steyn needs to work on his in-swinger a bit more as a surprise weapon. Although his natural outswinger is giving him enough wickets. But getting the ball to come back in will add to bowl and LBWs. In testing conditions like Subcontinent, ability to move the new ball both ways will come really handy.

Posted by ObjectiveCricketism on (January 16, 2013, 8:01 GMT)

@SurlyCynic Stop making assumptions and please try to be informed and objective. I am a Pakistani fan only in your imagination. Saeed Ajmal is already a great bowler as those facing him have discovered and pointed out. There is nothing wrong with his action either as Dave Rrichardson of the ICC explained to George Dobell in Cricinfo. http://www.espncricinfo.com/pakistan-v-england-2012/content/story/552586.html

Posted by Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on (January 16, 2013, 7:58 GMT)

@Seether1, while I agree that Marshall is one of the best, it's hard to say who is the best ever. It's just impossible to leave out Wasim Akram and Waqar. These two bowlers simply took the pitch out of the equation with their ability to bowl yorkers at will at anywhere between 140-150 kmph in any venue. Their bouncers are as surprising as they can get. My all time best three would be Waqar, Marshall and Wasim in no particular order. Just imagine them bowling in 70s/80s or on uncovered pitches.

Posted by Wise_Cricket_Fan on (January 16, 2013, 7:33 GMT)

Well Done Steyn. You have been a treat to watch. You, Amla & Kallis have made a real mark in cricket

Posted by Narayan.Shastri on (January 16, 2013, 7:29 GMT)

Even the great fast bowler Brett Lee had said somewhere that facing Dale Steyn would give him the jitters. Probably this could put a stamp that Dale Steyn is the fastest active bowler in world cricket right now.

Posted by Seether1 on (January 16, 2013, 6:57 GMT)

@Saffie1987: As a South African I would like nothing more than to agree with you. However to be realistic, Steyn would probably end up in the top 10 pace bowlers of all time. The title of greatest bowler of all time can only go to the late great Malcolm Marshall.

Posted by 2nd_Slip on (January 16, 2013, 6:55 GMT)

Not yet the greatest of all time but definetly by a country mile, the greatest of the past decade

Posted by sanman12 on (January 16, 2013, 6:50 GMT)

Those comparing dale steyn to mccgrath should wait until steyn has played 100 tests. Then they can compare stats. But while mccgrath was 50% more economical steyns strike rate is about 40 % better than maccgraths. In a test match where time and wickets are of untmost importance I take dale steyn on current form.

Posted by Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on (January 16, 2013, 6:43 GMT)

McGrath never inspires awe or fear when he bowls. He keeps pegging away on and around off-stump. His armoury is limited. Talk of over-rated military medium bowler, look no further than McGrath. He is a very very good bowler. But, please don't insult the greats like Marshall, Big Bird, Waqar, Imran, Holding, Hadlee, Wasim and Steyn by putting him in their league. Anybody who watched an aged Botham troubling Sachin would know Botham's skill level. Anybody who watched Kapil clean-up the Aussies in Australia would know the skills of Kapil or his 9 for against the mighty Windies with injured finger at Ahmedabad would know what Kapil's lovely variations were. McGrath is one-dimensional - keep pegging away around off-stump. No variety. Anyway, the discussion is about Steyn. No, he shouldn't be compared with Anderson or Philander or Zaheer or what have you among the present day pacers. May be Mohd. Asif or Mohd. Aamir would have come close to him among the present day pacers.

Posted by Saffie1987 on (January 16, 2013, 6:27 GMT)

I am sure when Steyn has finished his career, he will once and for all prove he is the greatest fast bowler of All-Time, he will end up with 600 Test wickets or more!

Posted by Yakka-04 on (January 16, 2013, 5:54 GMT)

Glen Mcgrath and Dale Steyn, absolutely no comparison. Mcgrath is mile in front but then again they both are very different bowlers. More batsman feared Mcgrath then any other fast bowler, not because of mcgrath's pace (he does not have much pace) but because of his accuracy over and over again. If I had to choose one of them 2 in my team, Mcgrath would be an automatic choice.

Posted by neo-galactico on (January 16, 2013, 5:30 GMT)

McGrath is statistically one of the greatest bowlers of all time, but because he was scientific in his methods, a metronome and not as exciting in his run up, on the crease or when delivering the ball makes some to question his greatness. Steyn is exciting to watch and even more so when them 'crazy eyes' are going. This is similar to Kallis not being rated as high amongst the great batsmen of his generation because he's not as aesthetically pleasing (although I disagree) as a Lara although he's statistically superior.

Posted by mukesh_LOVE.cricket on (January 16, 2013, 5:00 GMT)

One more thing is Dale steyn is not as fast as lot of people here are making him out to be , look at brett lee , shoaib akhthar and shane bond in their younger days , they used to consistently top 95 mphs ! and that was some serious pace not the 140 kmphs of steyn , (but that doesn't make steyn any less bowler)

Posted by mukesh_LOVE.cricket on (January 16, 2013, 4:52 GMT)

Saw some negative comments about mcgrath here , he is an all time great and i would say steyn is still some distance away from being one.. and they are 2 different kinds of bowlers , while steyn relies on pace and out swingers mcgrath relies on accuracy and subtle seam movements , both are gr8 in their own way .... but in my opinion WASIM AKRAM IS THE BEST , his skill levels are just out of this world and he was so successful on some of the flattest of pitches !

Posted by Integrity1 on (January 16, 2013, 4:04 GMT)

@redneck. I agree with Dravid_Gravitas...on McGrath being a tier below Steyn. Using Vernon Philander's success as an analogy, if you were to compare the stats of Dale Steyn to that of Vernon Philander over the last year, you can argue that Philander is statistically the better of the 2 bowlers. Vernon Philander (nicknamed Vern McGrath), like Glenn, is a line and length bowler who has greatly benefited statistically by bowling line and length deliveries with subtle variations (with the aid of a highly performing batting lineup) and taking wickets. Philander, like McGrath has been reaping rewards on one side of the wicket, while his counterpart bowlers attack on the other side. Great bowlers have great skills (Marshall, Hadlee, Akram) and Steyn is better skilled than both Philander and McGrath. Steyn has speed. He varies it (anywhere from 130-150+). He can swing, seam and cut the ball on flat tracks. (See 7-51 in Nagpur test) He is also fearsome. Cant say the same about McGrath

Posted by BaasHerman on (January 16, 2013, 4:01 GMT)

Dravid_Gravitas_Statchin_Selfishkar You must be crazy!! McGrath is most definitely one of the best fast bowlers ever!! Steyn is great but he still has some way to go to be mentioned among the best that has ever lived like McGrath, Lillee, Marshall, the West Indians of the 80's etc...

Posted by Alexk400 on (January 16, 2013, 3:47 GMT)

What i mean is i have seen him many times a passenger when wicket or ball or conditions do not help him swing. He do not try something different. He got carted to all parks by sehwag in chennai but same time he got 100 times sehwag when ball swings. He is probably close to akram but not exact , slightly less because i have seen him not doing much. That said he is best fast bowler last 10 years in the planet. There are batsman you like to watch even if he is opposite team. Steyn is one bowler whole world to watch because he brings perfection and fury. Absolute best when ball is swinging. Someone try to compare anderson , anderson is zaheer khan level which is like 5 level down. When team needs a wicket steyn can bring a wicket because has many gears, He can go full throttle. I am not sure zaheer or anderson has that extra gear when ball is old. I think it is a crime to compare steyn to anyone except akram , marshall , waqar younis. He is awsome.

Posted by redneck on (January 16, 2013, 1:15 GMT)

@Dravid_Gravitas_Statchin_Selfishkar why dont you just come out and say i hate australia and dont give them credit for anything!? mcgrath took 563 wickets at an avg of 21. what the hell does one have to do to make your top tier? take the most wickets taken by a fast bowler in test history at an increadable avg and cant meet your criteria? i agree with you cant compare steyn and anderson but thats about where the intelligence ends with your post!

Posted by SurlyCynic on (January 15, 2013, 23:23 GMT)

@ObjectiveCricketism - I realise you're a Pakistan fan, but there's no way Ajmal would get into a 'best test' squad over the last 35 yrs. He averages over 27 which is good but not comparable to the others in there, even ignoring the controversy over his action.

@Dravid_Gravitas - Not sure how you can put Kapil Dev (avg 29.6) in your top ranking and McGrath (21.6) in the second tier. I guess you're an Indian fan but Kapil was a very good allrounder, not an all-time great bowler like McGrath.

Posted by Rahulbose on (January 15, 2013, 22:56 GMT)

Steyn is a special bowler, who stands out even more because no other current team has a comparable spearhead. Also, compared to his peers he doesn't have injury/ fitness problems. He is almost like a great fast bowler from the 80s/90s somehow transported into the future.

Posted by Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on (January 15, 2013, 21:58 GMT)

Steyn should never be compared to Anderson. Anderson is very good. Really really good. But Steyn is excellent. Exceptional. A different tier. A different pedestal. Something like Wasim Akram or Big Bird or Waqar Younis, Malcolm Marshall and Imran Khan or Hadlee and Kapil or Botham. But Anderson, Zaheer, McGrath - all very very good bowlers, but not in the league of Steyn.

Posted by DeckChairand6pack on (January 15, 2013, 21:26 GMT)

What a champ, the fastest gun in town and rightly world number 1 right now. Time and time again over recent years the Proteas bat and the pitch looks like a road. We have a bowl and suddenly it's unplayable. He keeps running in and never gives up, has supreme fitness and hardly ever misses a game. Bowls as quickly in the evening as he does in the morning.

Posted by ObjectiveCricketism on (January 15, 2013, 20:42 GMT)

@m.marshalldgreatest My test team from the last 35 years in batting order would be: Barry Richards, Sunil Gavaskar, Brian Lara, Sachin Tendulkar, Vivian Richards, Imran Khan (Captain), Adam Gilchrist (Wicket-keeper), Malcolm Marshall, Shane Warne, Waqar Younis and Muttiah Muralitharan.

Reserves in the squad would be Curtly Ambrose, Wasim Akram, Dale Steyn, Saeed Ajmal, Kumar Sangakara, Javed Miandad, Jacques Kallis and Ricky Ponting.

@SurlyCynic Good to know we agree about Waqar Younis.

Posted by SurlyCynic on (January 15, 2013, 20:10 GMT)

Alexk400: There is no such thing as 'swinging pitches'. Swing is provided by the condition of the ball, atmospheric conditions and bowler skill. Pitches provide bounce, seam or spin. To say that Steyn 'lacks heart' on flat pitches just proves you haven't followed many of his performances.

The flattest pitch I've seen in a long time was the Oval last year when SA declared on 630-2. Steyn then took a 5-fer to bowl England out. Without Steyn that match would definitely have been a draw. Look at his performances in Asia too.

Posted by SurlyCynic on (January 15, 2013, 20:03 GMT)

@ObjectiveCricketism: I haven't forgotten about Waqar Younis at all, on another cricinfo article I posted the full list of 'quickest to 300 wickets' bowlers and yes, Waqar is the only one to get to 300 faster than Steyn, by 4 balls.

I posted Steyn v Marshall and Lillee in response to another poster who said they would be in a team ahead of him. I wasn't talking about Waqar so calm down, everyone knows he's a great bowler.

Posted by THE_MIZ on (January 15, 2013, 19:43 GMT)

@ Alexk400, he lacks heart on flat tracks? What? Have you forgotten his best figures are 7/61 in Nagpur. By flat tracks do you mean in the subcontinent? He has 57 wickets and averages 21.33 on those flat tracks in Asia. He's not the greatest of all time, but he will go down as a legend!

Posted by Rakesh_Sharma on (January 15, 2013, 19:33 GMT)

@m.marshalldgreatest . I would take out GAvaskar, Akram and Imran from your list. Undoubtedly put in Ponting, Curtly Ambrose and Richard Hadlee. The list should include straight match winners and Gavaskar comes nowhere. Richard Hadlee was a master of a bowler and fit to be an alrounder. Curtly was undoubtedly a better bowler . Akram played more in fancy matches and ODI.Imran and Akram are among those who generally fare slightly better against india and New Zealand rather than all teams uniformly. GAvaskar without doubt was a flat track bully. During Gavaskar's time Vishwanath was a much better batsman.

Posted by ObjectiveCricketism on (January 15, 2013, 18:57 GMT)

@SurlyCynic It is quite extraordinary how you and other readers have forgotten the great Waqar Younis. He took 300 wickets in 12601 balls at an average of 22.45. This was an astonishing achievement and better than those of Steyn, Marshall or Lillee as Pakistani pitches are notoriously unhelpful to pace bowlers. If you compare Waqar's overall strike rate (43.4) to that of other great Pakistani fast bowlers like Imran (53.7) and Wasim (54.6), you will realize just how much better Waqar was.

This information is available via http://www.espncricinfo.com/allrounder/content/story/89765.html and http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/content/records/283274.html

Posted by Alexk400 on (January 15, 2013, 18:49 GMT)

Steyn is full speed BMW machine in swinging pitches. Actually a terror. But in flat wickets he lacks heart. Aggression do not work on flat wickets. ANyway they have philander to complement Steyn. Morkel is more variety bowl..if they find better super fast bowler they have to dump morkel. But kleinveldt is not the answer

Posted by sasi on (January 15, 2013, 18:22 GMT)

@samRoy you forgot one more name Veron Philander

Posted by ImpressiveTeer on (January 15, 2013, 18:17 GMT)

Great bowler in all formats. Is there a stat to show how he performed in knock-out games? I seriously wish he keeps this intensity and wins the team its first world cup. Its now or never for SA in post-Steyn/Kallis era.

Posted by Porky_PigTheToon on (January 15, 2013, 18:12 GMT)

I just love Steyn-Gun !

IMO, for the upcoming series against Pakistan, CSA should give rest to their main bowlers Steyn and Morkel in particular and give chance to domestic fast bowlers. Pak batsmen are ordinary. Getting them out should not be that difficult for SA 2nd choice bowlers.

Posted by SurlyCynic on (January 15, 2013, 18:00 GMT)

Balls to 300 wickets: Steyn 12605, Marshall 13755, Lillee 14942.

That is all.

Posted by Praxis on (January 15, 2013, 17:52 GMT)

Steyn is simply the best, everyone agrees to that. Test cricket is surviving through players like these.

Posted by PPD123 on (January 15, 2013, 17:50 GMT)

Awesome bowler. On his way to becoming a legend of the game - one of the best of all time. Pace, swing and accurary he has it all. That spell in Nagpur was memorable. Absolutely top class swing bowling... one for the ages. SAF are blessed to have found him. Savour while he lasts... cos he is one in a generation...realistically I think he can overhaul warne's 37 five-fers. Murali's 67 five fers and 800 wkts will stand for the next 200 light years....

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge on (January 15, 2013, 17:33 GMT)

Steyn's Eyes: Ban them immediately, cricket is meant to be a family friendly game after all isn't it? How dare Dale Steyn even possess a pair of eyes yet alone use them to give batsmen angry stares......... hehe :)

Posted by m.marshalldgreatest on (January 15, 2013, 17:16 GMT)

Best team of the last 35 years Barry Richards,Sunil Gavaskar, Brian Lara, Sachin Tendulkar, Viv Richards(capt) Jacques Kallis, Adam Gilchrist,Wasim Akram,Shane Warne, Dennis Lillee, Malcom Marshall Squad: Muttiah Muralitharan, Greg Chappell, Matthew Hayden, Glenn McGrath, Dale Steyn, Imran Khan. I think Dale belongs in there

Posted by cheeseburgers on (January 15, 2013, 17:07 GMT)

Bowling well in sub continental drench is no mean achievement - hail steyn!!

Posted by SamRoy on (January 15, 2013, 14:59 GMT)

Statistics aside, Steyn is the only true great bowler of this generation. It is a pity, as I have said many times before on this cricinfo forum that Mohammad Amir isn't playing international cricket as he was shaping up to be a true great fast bowler of the next generation.

Posted by tickcric on (January 15, 2013, 14:51 GMT)

Often both experts ( non- experts as well) say the batting averages of the batsmen batting in the 70's & 80's would be better had they played today- flat tracks, better bats, DRS, so on and so forth. In that vein it should be said then the bowling averages of current generation of bowlers would be better had they played in 70's or 80's. Imagine then Dale Steyn bowling on uncovered pitches, with no restriction of bouncers, against batsmen without helmets! A dangerous scenario!

Posted by Tigg on (January 15, 2013, 14:39 GMT)

I'd describe a century as a five wicket innings, a double ton as a ten wicket match, and a triple as a ten wicket match comprised of two 5 wicket (or better) innings.

Posted by jwayong on (January 15, 2013, 14:29 GMT)

I saw the interview on TV, he wasn't serious when comparing himself to Amla. he's just trying to find some stats excuse..what kind of question is that anyway? obviously getting 19 fivers is a great milestone and he's just pointing out that it doesn't matter, it's all about team game and so long the team wins, he's happy.

Posted by StaalBurgher on (January 15, 2013, 14:07 GMT)

I think the mathematicians should sit down and analyse the historical data to give us an equivalent. Maybe it would have to be by decade. Ok, guys, get to it. I would like something interesting to read over my morning tea next monday.

Posted by Romanticstud on (January 15, 2013, 13:57 GMT)

Stats show 3596 hundreds and 2642 fifers ... only 319 double hundreds and 387 10 wicket hauls ...

Posted by Romanticstud on (January 15, 2013, 13:49 GMT)

Dale Steyn has no peers although he has got accomplices in Vernon, Morne, Robin and Jacques ... If You look at the make up of the team ... It is hard to imagine that Dale and Vernon are breaking records together ... Not forgetting about the other bowlers ... There are 4 possibilities of fifers in a test where 20 wickets are taken ... Centuries, however, are dependent on the batsmen in the team ... But can be as much as 8 in a game ... Yes it can be easier to score 100 but a fifer is like a 100 and 10 in a match like a double ... Although they are not equal ... because of the nature of the game ... They are equally important to players' careers ...

Posted by SurlyCynic on (January 15, 2013, 13:31 GMT)

Yes, great to see him hitting the high 140s and swinging the ball both ways in this test. Haven't seen him bowling inswingers for a while and this makes it much harder for batsmen to leave him.

He was obviously just joking when comparing himself to Amla. You can't really compare hundreds and 5-fers, and in this innings 3 batsmen got 100s while there are only 10 wickets for the bowlers to share. It's much easier getting 5-fers if you're a Murali bowling with lesser bowlers, than if you have to share with Philander, Morkel and a couple to Peterson and 'golden-arm' Kallis.

There are a few top batsmen in the world, there is only one Steyn.

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