We take a look at the top five leading South African Test wicket-takers, in the post-isolation era, against Australia.
Dale Steyn is South Africa’s best bowler to have faced Australia. With 69 wickets at an average of 27.13, he is one of only two bowlers, from the top five, to be playing in the Proteas’ tour of Australia in November. Steyn has the chance to leap miles ahead of everyone else in the top Test-bowlers list between the two sides, with the possibility of overtaking Clarrie Grimmett in the No 2 spot who has 77 wickets. Although he has an amazing record against the Aussies, the task of becoming No 1 looks unreachable, with Shane Warne solidifying the top spot with 130 wickets.
In the 1997-98 season, Makhaya Ntini became South Africa’s first black African international cricketer. He had outstanding passion and aggression when he ran out to bowl and became one of South Africa’s most successful fast-bowlers. Despite his unorthodox bowling style, Ntini went on to take almost 400 wickets for the Proteas with 58 of them coming against Australia at an average of 34.74 in just 15 matches.
In 1997, 2-0 down in the series, Allan Donald had one of his most memorable performances, taking 5-36 in the third and final Test against Australia to help them claim a victory in Centurion to end the series 2-1. In the boxing-day Test in Melbourne in December 1997, Donald took 6-59 in Australia’s second innings to help draw a match which SA were in danger of losing. Although on both occasions SA ended up losing the series, Donald showed a phenomenal display of pace-bowling against one of Australia’s great sides. Donald takes our No 3 spot with 53 wickets at an average 31.07 against Australia.
One of South Africa’s finest batsmen, Jacques Kallis played a more-than-admirable role with the ball, taking almost 300 wickets to go with his 13 289 Test runs. Besides his 1 978 runs scored against Australia, making him the highest-scoring SA batsman in matches against them, the all-rounder took 50 wickets against the Baggy Greens, at an average of 37.56.
After experiencing quite a lengthy spell on the side lines due to injury, Morkel will look to make his return to Test cricket when the Proteas take on Australia in their three-match Test series. His record, although not his best against all the Test-playing nations, is quite formidable, picking up 43 wickets at an average of 38.58. He will look to improve this record and along with Steyn, knock over Australia like the pair did in the second Test in Port Elizabeth in February 2014.