Former South African captain Graeme Smith has heralded fast bowler Dale Steyn for his star performances against England and Australia in particular.
Steyn became the country’s leading Test wicket-taker on Wednesday, surpassing the 421 reached by ex-captain Shaun Pollock a decade ago.
Seventy of his 422 wickets have come against the Australians and 50 versus the English. Steyn has also clinched 69 Test wickets in India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.
‘He was young and raw back in the day. We had to ban him from sugary drinks back then. He has always been a wonderful character – quiet off the field and a personality on the field,’ said Smith.
‘Later, he was really good against the big teams like England and Australia, and on the subcontinent.
‘He has so much skill and is easily one of the most competitive cricketers I have ever played with.’
Steyn failed to gain a contract at the Indian Premier League player auction in Jaipur earlier this month, but will likely feature in South Africa’s squad for next year’s World Cup in the United Kingdom.
He recently ended a two-year absence from the ODI team with a solid performance in Australia – and impressed for the Cape Town Blitz in the inaugural Mzansi Super League.
‘It surprised me that he did not get a new Indian Premier League contract, but I think he will go to the World Cup and reassess from there,’ concluded Smith.