Dale Steyn has maintained the Proteas’ tradition of producing some of the world’s great fast bowlers and has succeeded the likes of Allan Donald, Shaun Pollock and Makhaya Ntini as the leader of the South African attack. He is the complete package with athletic ability that enables him to bowl at high pace, to swing the ball late and to get it to skid through off the surface. Altogether it makes him a lethal package.
He took more than 80 wickets in the period between October, 2007, and August, 2008, to be named the ICC Test Cricketer of the Year for 2008. It also earned him the No. 1 ranking, a position he held from July, 2009, until December, 2013, when he was briefly overtaken by his team mate, Vernon Philander.
He has also been named in the ICC Test Team of the Year for the past 6 years.
He has the best strike rate (42) of any bowler who has taken more than 200 wickets. He was the fourth fastest to 200 wickets in terms of matches played and the second quickest to 250 in his 49th match, behind the legendary Dennis Lillee who took one match fewer. He then joined the 300 club in his 61st Test match, the joint third quickest of all time. He did even better in reaching 350 wickets in 69 matches, the second quickest of all time.
One of the many highlights of his career came when he returned career best figures of 7/51 to bowl South Africa to an innings victory over India at Nagpur in 2010. He also became one of the few foreign fast bowlers to take 10 wickets in a Test match in India.
His match-winning performance at Melbourne in 2008 when he made 76 and shared a partnership of 180 for the 9th wicket with JP Duminy and took 10 wickets in the match is one of South Africa’s greatest all-round performances of all time. He is currently ranked No. 8 on the ICC rankings for Test all-rounders as he closes in on 1 000 career runs.
More recently he took a staggering 6/8 to bowl Pakistan out for 49 at the Bidvest Wanderers Stadium. He holds the South African record for the most fifers (22) and the most 10-fers (5).
He is used sparingly in limited overs matches to manage his workload but he nevertheless recently took his 100th ODI wicket and is also ranked No. 2 in this format.