I am not the best: Steyn

2012-11-01 09:09

Sydney - Dale Steyn believes there are better bowlers in world cricket and it is simply his durability and consistency that have enabled the paceman to rise to the top of the ICC Test bowling rankings.

There are many who would disagree with the South African, not least those who have faced his blend of ferocious pace and pinpoint accuracy at the crease and count among his 287 test victims.

Now part of the most feared pace attack in cricket along with Vernon Philander and Morne Morkel, Steyn looked relaxed and confident at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) on Thursday as he pondered this month's three-test series against Australia.

That this relaxed demeanour was a contrast with his sometimes fiery on-field persona was not lost on the 29 year old.

"Cricket brings out a more aggressive side of me, to be honest," he told reporters with a laugh. "Where else in the world do you get the chance to basically kill someone with two bouncers in an over. Legally.

"I think that can bring out the anger in anyone. Off the field I'm pretty chilled, but on it, it's all business."

As one Australian newspaper pointed out this week, Steyn's Test bowling figures (287 wickets in 57 Tests at an average of 23.50) stack up pretty well compared to West Indies great Malcolm Marshall at a similar stage of his career.

Steyn, though, seems genuinely uncomfortable talking about his prolific wicket taking and his reign at the top of the rankings.

"In all honesty, there are probably a lot better bowlers than what I am," he said.

"I guess I am just one of the guys that consistently plays for South Africa and has performed well.

"I think that when (captain) Graeme (Smith) needs a wicket or something like that he hands me the ball and I've been fortunate enough to take the wickets for him.

"If I'm playing every Test match and I'm taking wickets, those points ranking system is always going to mean that I'm going to be up there.

"But, like I said, it doesn't necessarily mean that I'm the best or the most skilled bowler in the world."

With Australia sweating over the long-term fitness of young fast-bowling talent Pat Cummins, there was plenty of interest too in how Steyn has managed to stay healthy throughout his eight-year Test career.

"I'm definitely not strong, I'm pretty thin," he laughed, adding: "I've been managed well, the message that's been sent back to our coaches from the trainers has been the right one.

"I've only played a handful of one-day internationals (considering how long I've been playing). So they've managed me very well and I'm stoked about that.

"When I was younger, I probably over-bowled myself. Now, it's about managing myself and knowing that I've got to bowl my best deliveries in the game. You don't see Usain Bolt breaking 100 metre world records during training sessions."

South Africa play a three-day match against Australia A at the SCG starting on Friday.

The Test series begins at the Gabba in Brisbane on Friday week before matches at the Adelaide Oval (Nov. 22-26) and the WACA in Perth (November 30-December 4).

Steyn played a key role with both bat and ball to help South Africa clinch the second Test in Melbourne and thus their first ever series victory in Australia four years ago.

They arrive this time fresh, in Test terms, from a series victory in England which put them top of the ICC rankings.

"I think that ranking was something that we wanted to achieve for a long time," Steyn said. "But that doesn't mean anything when you go up against any team, they don't play you any different really."


  • marcello.plaatjies.5 - 2012-11-01 09:26

    Its going to be good series. The team who holds on to their catches will sneak it.

  • wesley.rousseau.58 - 2012-11-01 09:31

    You Biscuit!

  • gordon.turner.37 - 2012-11-01 09:36

    Finally, away with the bubblegum crap we have been served from the T20 and into real cricket. Steyn is the best SA has ever produced and he should be proud of it. Marshall played against unfit and under protected batsmen, and although his skill level was exceptional, he Benefited from long tails and lack of chest pads and face visors on helmets. He also played in an era when run rates where under 3, not closer to 4.

      guus.vandergot - 2012-11-01 10:24

      Of course run rates would be low in the 70s and 80s because batsmen faced bowlers like garner, holding, khan, lilee, thompson, botham, hadlee, dev etc. Its a batsmen era we living in today all the rules are changed to accomodate the batsmen

  • daleinn - 2012-11-01 09:39

    In the eyes of SA fans and the rest "you are the best"!

      wesley.rousseau.58 - 2012-11-01 09:59

      Simply the best

  • Jeremy - 2012-11-01 09:51

    This sounds like a bit of gamesmanship ahead of the Aussie test series! The figures don't lie - and I hope he cracks 300 test wickets during the three tests....

      jasper.benadie - 2012-11-01 10:13

      He just got they aussies heads turning- MINDGAMES, lol!!!

  • paul.eccles1 - 2012-11-01 10:13

    He didn't mention who is better. Ajmal? If he at least mentioned some names. I can think of no better fast bowler right now, he's just being modest.

  • darren.peach - 2012-11-01 10:16

    This is going to be so good to Watch, Vern, Steyn and Morkel plying their trade and lets not forget Mr Amla.......Peaceful Warrior..

  • willem.rademeyer.9 - 2012-11-01 10:17

    Doen dit vir ons in Oz Dale, groot asb, breek die Australiese kolforde.

  • erich.oosthuizen.3 - 2012-11-01 10:26

    Nicky boje was the best in the world, simply distructive

      jasper.benadie - 2012-11-01 11:21

      I'd like to help you out, which way did you come in?

  • erich.oosthuizen.3 - 2012-11-01 10:30

    Nicky boje was die beste

      jasper.benadie - 2012-11-01 12:06

      Sarcasm is just one more service you offer.

  • roy.wadhams.1 - 2012-11-01 11:11

    Go show these Aussies how it is done Steyn.Morkel & Vernon Philander.

  • peter.neethling.7 - 2012-11-01 11:22

    Dammit, I read the headline and hoped it was about Morne.

      jasper.benadie - 2012-11-01 11:48

      You should have been born in the Dark Ages; you look terrible in the light.

      peter.neethling.7 - 2012-11-01 13:08

      Thanks Jasper. Great chirp. I am guessing that you are around 12 years old and with a name like Jasper you probably get bullied and teased terribly at school. So I guess this outlet is all you have. good luck in the future.

      jasper.benadie - 2012-11-01 14:01

      You know what the sad thing is, I am 12 and my IQ is higher than yours!!! The Article was under CRICKET, with a photo of DALE!!! FFS!!!

  • Sonnyjakes - 2012-11-01 12:21

    @Jasper.Benadie "Sarcasm is just one more service you offer." You talking about yourself? You seem like an arrogant knowitall! Think your cricket knoweledge is limited anyway so stop insulting other people.

      jasper.benadie - 2012-11-01 12:36

      First of all, learn to comment in the right place, 'reply button' Secondly I have plenty of talent and vision; I just don't give a sh+!.

      robin.bradley.9803 - 2012-11-01 13:59

      @jasper.benadie ... What are you on about.. You've clearly showed on the Rugby forum you know absolutely nothing about Rugby.. now you want to try your luck at cricket....??? Please man... Do us a favour... P*SS OFF!!!

      jasper.benadie - 2012-11-01 16:42

      robin.bradley.9803 - ASK me something, I'll google it and answer you!!

  • sdbunce - 2012-11-01 12:53

    Looking forward to it... go Steyntjie are the best

  • kenpeg.dawson - 2012-11-01 13:01

    I agree with you if you feel you are not the best yet. Please go out and make yourself the best. Nothing a couple of 5 fors and 10 fors per match cant fix.

  • KennySven - 2012-11-01 13:55

    He has the best tattoos,vomit,a bad example for the kids.It looks like he was hit with a wet news paper.

      jasper.benadie - 2012-11-01 14:02


      kenpeg.dawson - 2012-11-01 14:48

      He is a professional cricket player not a kindergarden teacher. Kids look up to him not at him.

      PrettyUsefulArt - 2012-11-01 22:41

      Oudedoos much? I think his tats rock! Find them very sexy indeed. If you bring your kids up to judge people on their exterior, I feel sorry for them. I would be proud if my kid looked up to Steyn - the best in the world - tats and all.

  • chrisin.oz.1 - 2012-11-02 04:46

    Very misleading title. I almost got excited and thought Morne Steyn realised he's not the best and decided to retire in Japan or Toulon. I'm a bit disappointed now. However, Dale Steyn, don't worry, you are the best.

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