South Africa former captain Shaun Pollock has described fellow pacer Dale Steyn as ‘the best fast bowler that South Africa has produced’ after Steyn created history with the ball on the first day of the Boxing Day Test match against Pakistan. Steyn picked up a wicket in the 1st innings of the Test to become the leading wicket taker for South Africa in this format.
Going into this Test match, Steyn with 421 wickets was in level with South African former pacer Shaun Pollock. Steyn snapped the wicket of Pakistan opener Fakhar Zaman in his fourth over to take this bowling record for himself. Owing to his injuries in the recent past, Steyn took a long time to get to the record but he got there eventually!
“His performances both home and away have been remarkable. His injuries of late have been in stark contrast to how well he has managed his body and fitness throughout his career,” said Shaun Pollock referring to Dale Steyn’s feat.
“I have enjoyed so many attributes of Dale’s bowling, the ability to swing the ball at high speed upfront, reverse-swing the ball with devastating effect and bowl with great control, as well as being able to crank it up with high-speed, hostile bowling on very flat surfaces at times,” added Pollock.
With 422 wickets in this longest format of the game, Dale Steyn is currently the 11th highest wicket taker. He needs to pick up 9 more wickets to break into the top 10 in this list. New Zealand’s Sir Richard Hadlee with 431 Test wickets is currently the tenth highest wicket taker in this format.
Dale Steyn had missed over 25 Test matches for South Africa in the last three years due to injuries and the wicket of Fakhar put an end to the frustration he has had in the recent past due to injuries. Fellow pacer Kagiso Rabada lifted Steyn on his shoulder to acknowledge the feat achieved by the premium pace bowler!
Just for the record, Dale Steyn picked up the injury during South Africa tour of India in 2015 which was followed by a shoulder injury in the England series that played after. After a brief comeback, Steyn sustained a more serious shoulder injury against Australia in 2016 in the 1st Test match of the 3-match series and left the field just after removing David Warner for the first time in the 90s.
And just when Steyn seems to be fully recovered, he sustained a heel injury against India in the Test series earlier in January this year. However, he completely recovered from injuries and made a comeback to the national side during the Sri Lanka tour in July this year. Here is the list of leading wicket-takers for South Africa in the longest format of the game.
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