Team-mates stand up for Steyn

2013-05-22 14:14
Dale Steyn (File)

Boucher bats for rhinos

2013-05-21 10:08

Watch former Proteas wicketkeeper Mark Boucher working to save Rhinos.

Cape Town - Fast bowler Dale Steyn has received backing from his past and present Proteas teammates after England's bowling coach said James Anderson is more skilful than the No 1-ranked SA Test bowler.

David Saker's comments caused a stir on Monday when he told the Guardian's website of his admiration for Anderson, who returned match figures of 7-70 in England's 170-run Test victory over New Zealand at Lord's over the weekend.

"To me he is the most skilful bowler in the world.

"I know Dale Steyn is an outstanding bowler but when you watch Jimmy and the way he went about things, he has got more skills than Dale Steyn in his locker.

“Steyn is a little bit quicker but when you watch Jimmy deliver those skills, it is just mind blowing," Saker was quoted as saying.

Saker's remarks caused widespread disbelief in the cricketing community, with Proteas Test skipper Graeme Smith taking to Twitter to add his views.

According to The Sun website, Smith wrote: “Are you being serious? Those were his comments?”

Before following up with: Credit to sa journos and bloggers today!ive been proud reading stories on @DaleSteyn62

Retired former Proteas wicketkeeper Mark Boucher followed suit, tweeting: "Reading Sakers comments on Steyn v Anderson. Both quality bowlers but seriously David,get back in ur box...thought u would know better..."

Steyn has taken 332 wickets in 65 Tests to date at an average of 22.65, including 21 five-wicket hauls and five 10-fers.

Meanwhile, Anderson, the sixth-ranked Test bowler, has 305 Test scalps to his name in 81 matches at an average of 30.14, with 13 fifers and a single 10-fer.

Anderson himself appeared taken aback by his coach's statements.

He told The Sun: “It’s a lovely thing for Sakes to say - but it’s his opinion.

“It’s strange when you hear things like that because I look up to Dale Steyn.

“He is obviously very quick. He has the ability to hit people in the head at 90mph and swing the ball.

“Steyn is a bowler that everyone looks up to. When you see someone like him at the top of his game, it makes you want to improve and try to compete with him.

“He is also relentless with his accuracy - a very formidable bowler.”

HAVE YOUR SAY: If you were picking a team to face Martians from Mars, who would you select in your Test team, Dale Steyn or James Anderson? Send your thoughts to Sport24.


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