Former captain AB de Villiers has praised fast bowler Dale Steyn, who became South Africa’s leading Test wicket-taker on day one of the series opener against Pakistan at SuperSport Park in Centurion on Wednesday.
Steyn removed opening batsman Fakhar Zahman to reach 422 wickets, surpassing the 421 amassed by former seamer Shaun Pollock between 1995 and 2008.
De Villiers held the catch that yielded Steyn’s 350th wicket in the longest format of the international game in December 2013, and five years later lauded his former teammate.
‘We salute you. What a man, what a player,’ tweeted De Villiers, who ended his Proteas career earlier this year.
Dale Steyn, we salute you! What a man, what a player. Fitting that “Simply the best” is playing at Supersport Park, where everything started! Congrats legend @DaleSteyn62
— AB de Villiers (@ABdeVilliers17) December 26, 2018
The 35-year-old Steyn has the 11th-most wickets in the longest form of the international game.
Nine more and he will have as many as New Zealand’s Richard Hadlee.
Two more than that and he will level the 433 gathered by Sri Lankan spinner Rangana Herath and England seamer Stuart Broad. While Herath retired recently, Broad is still playing.
A dozen more wickets than Steyn’s current tally will equal Indian Kapil Dev’s 434, who boasts the seventh-most wickets in Test cricket.
A move into the top six is highly unlikely for Steyn. West Indian Courtney Walsh is in sixth position with 519, followed by Australian Glenn McGrath’s 563, England James Anderson’s 565 and Indian Anil Kumble’s 619.
Australian Shane Warne’s 708 is second only to Sri Lankan Muttiah Muralitharan’s 800.
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