Monday, December 29, 2008

Steyn-ed for Life

When Dale Steyn picked up 5-23 against India bowling them out for a mere 76 earlier this year, he truly caught my eye.

Sure he had done a lot more before that spell including the demolition of the Windies in a 20-20 game but realising that he had raced to 117 test wickets in only 22 matches, made me take notice.

Back then I wondered how good he was.

Soon after, he jumped to the number 1 rank in ICC's test bowler rankings.

Along with Ntini and Morkel he formed the best pace attack in international cricket in my opinion.

By his standards, Steyn had a quiet first test against the Aussies.

Today, he changed all that.

A 10 wicket haul against the Aussies is big.

In fact its huge if you're a fast bowler.

Not many bowlers have accomplished that.

And when you trim that down to fast bowlers, the list seems to be non existent for the last 2 decades or so.

In recent years its only been the spinners, Muralitharan (once), Kumble (twice), Harbhajan (thrice), and Vettori (once) who have managed 10 wicket match hauls against the Aussies.

In fact this milennium, its only been these spinners who have managed this feat.

Digging a bit more and I had to go as far back as 1990 to find a fast bowler who managed a 10 wicket haul against the Aussies - Wasim Akram at Melbourne.

If I am missing anyone, please enlighten me.

In light of this, Steyn's 10-for today is HUGE.

Its his 3rd match haul of 10 wickets in only his 29th test.

The Englishmen, George Lohmann and Sydney Barnes, had more in fewer matches, but despite that Steyn has made his mark in the record books.

When Steyn picked up Siddle today he had his 150th test victim.

150th test wicket in his 29th test match.

He's gotten there faster than Dennis Lillee! Faster than Warne! Faster than Allan Donald!

Ian Botham and Hugh Tayfield got to the mark in the same number of matches.

And only Sydney Barnes, Waqar Younis, and Clarrie Grimmet got there faster.

Steyn is already in the company of legends and dare I say, ahead of some.

Whats more, Steyn's 10 wickets in today's match puts him 2nd on the list of best strike rates of all time, jumping slightly ahead of JJ Ferris. Only Lohmann stands ahead of him.

Waqar Younis is the only bowler in the 'top 10 best strike rates list' to have played more than 30 tests.

Steyn, I reckon, will end as the second. Probably ahead of Waqar as well.

Make your pitch on this post...

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7 Pitched:

  1. Poshin_david said...

    Wat a match!!!!!!!!!

    And how unlucky Lee was.......bowling mckenzie on a noball!!!!!!1

    I just created a new blog for the Chennai Super Kings at
    I would like you to be a memeber in it.
    If interested send me a mail at


  2. David Barry said...

    If I am missing anyone, please enlighten me
    Ntini at Joburg, 2005/6
    Caddick at Sydney, 2002/3
    de Villiers at Sydney, 1993/4
    Ambrose at Adelaide, 1992/3

    Then Akram.

    Then before him, Richard Hadlee three times in the 1980's.

  3. Q said...

    Wow. I missed quite a few DB. Thanks. I don't know what went wrong in my search.

    Knew about Hadlee but when trying to figure out who the last paceman was to pick 10 wickets against Aus, I didn't find anyone till Akram...

    Must have done something wrong.

  4. Soulberry said...

    That series against India was where he came of age.

    Congratulations to Steyn on his 150th. Quite a grand fashion to get ther as well.

  5. Damith S. said...

    a truly brilliant fast bowler. i cant wait to see him destroy batting attack for yrs to come. just vicious pace and swing.

    brilliant ! good post q, even though you missed the other guys who got the 10 fers :)

  6. Q said...

    Damith, despite the other guys that I missed, his 10-for was HUGE!

    I look forward to it too man.. fast bowling today lives through him.

  7. Q said...

    Truly Grand SB..

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