Waqar lauds 'amazing' Steyn
Cape Town - Dale Steyn ranks among the top three fast bowlers of the last four or five decades, says his Indian Premier League bowling coach Waqar Younis.
The pair work together at new IPL franchise the Sunrisers Hyderabad, who are riding high in third place in the tournament this season - significantly aided by the bowling prowess of the Phalaborwa Express.
Steyn has bagged eight wickets at an average of 19 and admirable economy rate of 5.46 thus far, and Pakistan legend Waqar, one of the pioneers of fast reverse swing, admits he is a “big fan” of the Proteas spearhead.
Speaking to the official tournament website www.IPLT20.com, Younis said: “Not only me but everyone in the cricket world loves Steyn for the way he plays the game.
“That’s not only because of his bowling but other things that he brings to the table: he likes to talk. He’s amazing when he talks to the coaches and youngsters alike.
“He participates and shows interest in all the team matters ... that’s one reason why the team is doing so well (five wins from seven matches thus far).”
Asked for comparisons between Steyn and other reasonably modern pace icons, Waqar said: “There have been some seriously great bowlers in the last four-five decades that I can remember.
“We’ve had Imran Khan, Kapil Dev, Dennis Lillee, Glenn McGrath, Wasim Akram, Michael Holding and so many big names. But Dale Steyn is definitely in the top three for me.
“If he keeps going like this for the next two or three seasons, he’ll hit the top: not many bowlers have swung the ball at his pace and have his fitness - he’s an amazing athlete.”
The Sunrisers play second-placed Chennai Super Kings in a key clash on Thursday (16:30 SA time).*Follow our chief writer on Twitter: @RobHouwing