Centurion - Shaun
Pollock on Wednesday described Dale Steyn as "the best fast bowler that
South Africa has produced" after Steyn beat his record for the most
Test wickets for the country.
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Steyn broke the record he shared with Pollock when Pakistan's Fakhar
Zaman became his 422nd victim on the first day of the first Test at
SuperSport Park at Wednesday.
Zaman's dismissal brought to an end more than three years of
frustration during which the fast bowler missed no fewer than 27 Test
matches because of injury.
Steyn, 35, was mobbed by his teammates and hoisted on the shoulders
of new-ball partner Kagiso Rabada after Zaman (12) edged the ball to
Dean Elgar at third slip, reducing Pakistan to 17 for two after winning
the toss and batting first.
"His performances both home and away have been remarkable," said
Pollock in a statement issued by Cricket South Africa.
"His injuries of
late have been in stark contrast to how well he has managed his body and
fitness throughout his career."
Pollock said Steyn's record stamped him as South Africa's all-time best fast bowler.
"I have enjoyed so many attributes of Dale's bowling, the ability to
swing the ball at high speed upfront, reverse-swing the ball with
devastating effect and bowl with great control, as well as being able to
crank it up with high-speed, hostile bowling on very flat surfaces at
times," said Pollock.
before a groin strain ruled him out of action midway through a Test in
India, Steyn had been remarkably durable for a fast bowler, playing in
48 consecutive Tests from December 2009 to November 2015, during which
he took 232 wickets at an average of 21.72 and dominated the
International Cricket Council Test rankings for bowlers. He spent a
record 263 weeks in the top spot.
Steyn took his 400th Test wicket in his 80th Test in July 2015 - the
second-fastest in the world to reach the milestone - and it seemed
Pollock's record was about to fall.
But four serious injuries delayed what had seemed imminently inevitable.
The groin injury in India was followed by a shoulder injury during
the first Test against England in December 2015 and, after a brief
comeback, a more serious shoulder injury against Australia in November
2016 which caused him to miss 15 Tests.
Just when it seemed he had made a full recovery, he suffered a freak
heel injury in the first Test against India in January this year, which
caused him to miss the remaining Tests against India and a series
After a slow recovery, Steyn spent time with English county Hampshire
and returned to Test cricket in an unproductive series in Sri Lanka
during which he took only two wickets in two Tests to be stuck level
Steyn is now 11th on his own on the all-time world list, needing to
match New Zealand's Richard Hadlee on 431 to claim a place in the top
Steyn has had success in all Test-playing countries in taking five
wickets in an innings on 26 occasions, with five 10-wicket match hauls.