Proteas

Steyn hunts two massive landmarks

2016-11-02 15:00
Dale Steyn (Getty)

Cape Town – Just one wicket at the WACA over the next few days will guarantee Dale Steyn entry into the exclusive “top ten club” for most Test scalps of all time … and six would make him South  Africa’s leading wicket-taker.

Those are two major achievements for the Phalaborwa Express to target in the first Test against Australia from Thursday (04:30 start, SA time).

The 33-year-old Steyn currently boasts 416 Test victims and lies 11th on the all-time list, just one wicket behind Indian off-spin icon Harbhajan Singh – he played his last Test in 2015 -- in 10th.

But by picking up one wicket at the WACA, Steyn will automatically bump out Harbhajan just by drawing level on 417, as he would have got there in fewer Tests (85 as opposed to 103) and innings (156 against 190).

That would make him the second South African to crack the elite 10 after Shaun Pollock, presently ninth overall and on 421 wickets.

Speaking of Pollock, the next short-term landmark for Steyn is just as tantalising: if he manages half a dozen at the WACA (or just beyond that in the series) he shifts to 422 to become the country’s most prolific wicket-taker.

Pollock, who started his illustrious Test career as a pretty hostile, out-and-out speedster but cleverly adjusted to more of a line-and-length approach as injuries took a gradual toll, needed 108 Tests to get to his tally of scalps.

The former national captain will be in Australia for the imminent series, helping SuperSport and Channel 9 with commentary.

Here are a few other milestones Proteas players may reach over the course of the three-Test series:

*Dean Elgar (8,948) needs 52 runs to reach 9,000 first-class runs

*Hashim Amla (7,470) is 30 runs short of reaching 7,500 Test runs

*Faf du Plessis (1,823, 31 Tests) needs a further 177 runs to reach 2,000 Test runs

*Temba Bavuma (477, 11 Tests) requires 23 runs to reach 500 Test runs

*Vernon Philander (130) needs 20 more scalps to reach 150 wickets in Tests; he is also one five-wicket haul shy of achieving 10 in Test bowling innings

*Kagiso Rabada (96) needs four wickets to move to 100 first-class scalps – he has played 24 first-class games, including eight Tests so far.

*Follow our chief writer on Twitter: @RobHouwing

Read more on:    proteas  |  dale steyn  |  cricket
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