Dale Steyn: Stats show he’s the best

2014-01-16 00:00

CAPE TOWN — Australia currently boast of having the world’s best bowling attack, but statistics prove otherwise: the Proteas have the best fast bowler yet in Dale Steyn.

Australia and South Africa meet each other in a series of three Tests from February 12 in Centurion, which is when the cricket world will be able to judge for themselves who has the best bowling attack.

Steyn — the heart and soul of the Proteas’ attack — is meanwhile on track to be listed among the top five most successful bowlers ever. It is above all his strike rate that sets him apart.

The stats show that the South African bowler gets a wicket for every 42 balls he sends down, or every seven overs. No bowler in cricket’s history is this effective.

What makes Steyn’s achievement even more worthy of a hall of fame is that these bowling statistics have been recorded in an era dominated by batsmen.

Jimmy Anderson, the English bowler who some see as Steyn’s closest competitor, has an average of 30,67 after getting 343 wickets in 92 Tests. Steyn has an average of 22,90, with 350 wickets in 69 Tests.

It is a giant gap and no bowler from the last decade can match Steyn’s average — yet.

Bowlers like Vernon Philander, after 20 Test, and Australia’s Ryan Harris (21 Tests) are on track to equal him if they maintain current form. But Harris is 34 and struggles with injury.

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