In a recent interview with The Times UK, Broad paid Steyn the ultimate compliment ahead of the greatly anticipated four-match Test series. Not only did he compare him with Barcelona star Lionel Messi, but also put him in the same bracket as West Indian legend Malcolm Marshall.
‘You grow up, you train hard, you play for England because you want to test yourself against the best,’ said Broad. ‘So if I were a defender in football, I’d want to play against Messi because you sort of know where you are in the world.
‘If you’re a top-order batsman and you go over and face Steyn and you do well, that will give you so much confidence as a player and that will live with you so that you know you can do it against the best.
‘Make no mistake, Steyn is the bowler of our generation,’ Broad admitted. ‘I think people look back at Malcolm Marshall and say he was the bowler of their generation. To all of us who have been fortunate to play in the era when Steyn’s been around, he is the guy who’s set the bar.’
Broad believes that it will be a battle of the bowlers, and despite putting Steyn on a pedestal, he thinks the return of Steven Finn and Ben Stokes from their respective injuries and the experience of his partnership with James Anderson puts them in a good position to extend their unbeaten away record over the Proteas, which stretches back 16 years.
‘Jimmy and I have played a huge amount of cricket now, probably nearly 200 Tests between us, and our message to the bowling unit will be, “Bowl your best ball.” I’m very excited for South Africa because I think it’ll suit our style of play a bit more, with the likes of Ben Stokes in our team,’ Broad said.
While he reserved some special praise for AB de Villiers, too, he hyped up his countrymen’s ability with the willow, especially James Taylor, who struggled against the Proteas when he made his debut in 2012.
‘The way Joe Root adjusts his style of batting for different conditions, he’ll react to those wickets quite well. And I’m really fascinated to see how James Taylor goes, because his stats and his record are fantastic and he’s batted a lot at Trent Bridge, Grace Road, so I think he could be a man who could have a really good tour.’
Source: The Times UK