With 485 wickets in the longest format of the game as of now and his ability to suddenly change the course of the match in one spell, England’s Stuart Broad can go down as one of the best fast bowlers of his generation. His partnership with James Anderson, who has 584 Test wickets, was one of the most lethal ones in modern-day cricket when it came to fast bowling. But when Broad was asked to name the best fast bowler of his generation, he did not take his or Anderson’s name. He went with South Africa’s Dale Steyn.
“The bowler of my generation is Steyn, definitely,” Broad said in a podcast with Sky Sports.
The tall fast bowler who was also the leader of England’s T20 side said Steyn’s action, pace and skillset set him apart from the rest.
“I really enjoy watching him play: the action, the pace, the way he can balance it, the skill. If you wanted to be a bowler, you would want that kind of skill,” Broad added.
Steyn has staggering numbers in both forms of the game, more so in Test cricket. In 93 Tests so far, Steyn has 439 wickets to his name at a staggering average of 22.95. What sets him apart from the rest is his strike rate – 44.82, which is by far the best among bowlers to have taken 400-plus wickets in Test cricket.
South Africa’s all-time leading wicket-taker in Tests, is the only bowler to have a strike rate under 50 in bowlers who have taken more than 400 wickets.
His numbers in ODIs are not bad either. He has so far taken 196 wickets in 145 ODIs at an average of 25.95 and an economy rate of 4.87.
In the same podcast, former West Indies fast bowler Michael Holding also included Steyn in the top four fast bowlers across generations. “He has been one of the great fast bowlers in an era. You’d pay to watch him,” said Holding about Steyn.
Shaun Pollock also hailed Steyn’s pace and his art of reverse swing. Pollock heaped praise on the Proteas speedster and termed him ‘special’.
“l cannot have enough respect for Steyn. His ability to shape the ball upfront at high speed and then come back later and reverse it” said Pollock. “He cranked it up on flat wickets and had such good action and variations. He is something special, and his stats back it up,” added Pollock.