Why India Should be Wary of Dale Steyn
South Africa are all set to tour India for three T20Is, five ODIs and four Test series and the man spearheading the Proteas' pace-attack will be Dale Steyn, arguably the fastest bowler in the world. If South Africa want to win their first Test series on Indian soil since 2000, Steyn will have to lead the challenge of bowling out the strong Indian batting line-up on flat sub-continental pitches.
When on song, Dale Steyn is ruthless. He is never the one to sledge, since his tear-away pace is enough to strike fear in the hearts of opposition batsmen. But can the most feared fast bowler also be effective on flat sub-continental pitches? A closer look at Steyn's career suggests he can. (South African bowlers gear up for India)
Along with the ability to bowl at brisk pace, Steyn also possesses great stamina which allows him to bowl longer spells. In a career spanning 80 Test matches, the 32-year-old Steyn has bowled 2,786 overs which is close to 35 overs per Test match. In hot and humid Indian conditions too Dale Steyn has bowled close to 150 overs in five Test outings which is 30 overs per Test match. Impressive numbers for any fast bowler.
RECORD IN INDIA
Steyn famously dismissed the star-studded Indian batting line-up for just 76 runs to help South Africa win the Ahmedabad Test in 2008.
He repeated his ruthless performance in Nagpur when South Africa toured India in 2010, to hand the hosts an innings defeat, courtesy a 10-wicket haul in the match. Overall the world no.1 Test bowler has bagged 26 Test wickets in India in just five Tests.
Steyn's immaculate line and length is another reason why the South African pacer has been an effective wicket-taking bowler in Tests. No wonder close to 40 per cent of his total Test wickets have come via bowled or LBW. In India, that number goes up to 70 per cent, thereby highlighting the benefits of bowling wicket to wicket line on slow and low sub-continental wickets.
In 2008, Dale Steyn played his first Test on Indian soil. 2015 will be his third tour to India. The South African has played five Tests in India. His experience of 89 IPL matches will also come in handy as Steyn looks to help his team register their first win on Indian soil after 15 long years.