Cape Town – Dale Steyn is landslide leader at present in a
global cricket website’s poll to establish which paceman is the most menacing in
In reply to the question “Who is the fiercest fast bowler in
the world at the moment?” readers of www.espncricinfo.com are virtually unanimous that the South
African spearhead, who is about to do thrilling battle with India’s emerging
band of new strokeplayers on our soil, is top of the pile.
At the time of writing, as many as 1,908 of 2,611 voters –
or 73.08 percent – had opted for Steyn in a six-strong list also including
Mitchell Johnson and Ryan Harris (Australia), Mohammad Irfan (Pakistan), Stuart
Broad (England) and Steyn’s Proteas colleague Morne Morkel.
A distant second is Irfan, the towering left-arm strike
factor who missed the recent Pakistani limited-overs visit to South Africa
through injury (though he was a handful in the United Arab Emirates), with
13.63 percent of the vote.
Johnson’s frenzied blitz on England in the first Ashes Test at
Brisbane recently, where he got match figures of nine for 103, has clearly not
been enough yet to constitute a serious threat to Steyn: he lies third with
10.92 percent of approval.
Morkel is fourth (1.23 percent), Harris fifth (0.61) and
Broad sixth (0.54).
Steyn still leads the ICC Test bowler rankings, with fast-medium
compatriot Vernon Philander next and then spinners occupying all of positions
three to five: Rangana Herath (Sri Lanka), Saeed Ajmal (Pakistan) and
Ravichandran Ashwin (India) respectively.
The Phalaborwa Express has also rocketed back up to No 5 on
the ODI bowlers’ chart, on the back of 14 wickets in his last three appearances
in that format.
Of the fast bowlers in the poll, only Johnson (eighth) and
Morkel (ninth) crack the top 10.
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