Former India batsman Sachin Tendulkar has lavished praise on Proteas fast bowler Dale Steyn, who retired from Test cricket this week.
Steyn became South Africa’s leading wicket-taker in Test cricket this year, after surpassing veteran Shaun Pollock’s tally of 421. Steyn ended his 93-Test career, which started in 2004, with 439 wickets.
‘I have to say that without any doubt, he’s among the top bowlers that I played in my 24-year career. I thought that something which was incredible, but he managed to do consistently, was that late outswinger that he possessed and that angle that he developed,’ Tendulkar told the Times of India.
‘The only other guy who bowled very much like him was possibly James Anderson. Their wrist positions were similar. But Steyn had a more whippy action. He could go through the crease much faster. The swing that he consistently got at that pace was incredible. When he was at his peak, he was bowling close to 150km/h, so it wasn’t that easy to handle. That’s where he had mastered that art. When he wanted to be really quick, he could do so.’
Tendulkar recalled a particularly challenging time against Steyn during January 2011’s third Test at Newlands in Cape Town. Steyn bowled in tandem with fellow fast bowler Morne Morkel against Tendulkar and the left-handed Gautam Gamhir.
‘I remember the spell that he bowled to me on the morning of the third Test in Cape Town. Gautam played Morne Morkel, and I played Steyn. For close to an hour, we couldn’t rotate the strike at all. Whatever runs we scored, we scored in boundaries. That one hour, I can say, is one of the most thrilling, interesting and challenging hours that I’ve played in Test cricket. That was a decisive moment,’ added Tendulkar.
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