Cricket: 300 wickets in bag and Steyn eager to get more

By David Leggat

Dale Steyn of South Africa. Photo / Getty Images
Dale Steyn of South Africa. Photo / Getty Images

The fire still burns within South African pace king Dale Steyn.

He brought up his 300 test wickets late in the New Zealand second innings at Newlands on Friday, joining Shaun Pollock, Makhaya Ntini and Allan Donald as South Africa's elite test wicket-takers.

He is the world's No1-ranked bowler, with good reason.

Steyn is the leader of the game's best fast trio, backed up by No2-ranked Vernon Philander and No8 Morne Morkel.

That said, after the test, in which Philander won the man of the match award for his seven wickets, continuing a stunning run of success since his debut in late 2011, Steyn quipped, "I think he's better", nodding to Philander on his left.

Steyn is 29. He possesses a fine action, piles of pace and a hawk-like eye for the chance to turn the screws on batsmen.

"I am fortunate I've been blessed with a smooth action, but there's still a lot of work goes into it," he said. "I guess I pick and choose the times I need to force speed, to force extended spells."

He is chuffed to have made the 300 mark but was quick to point out: "I've got another test to play in Port Elizabeth, a lot more wickets to take. There's a few more years in these legs and arms."

He is matter-of-fact on his success rate since his debut in Durban in 2004 against England.

"I play a lot of games, bowl a lot of overs for South Africa and I'm always under the impression that if you do that you're going to get wickets," he said.

And Steyn, who admits occasional grumpiness is no bad thing in helping wind him up to strive for success, made no bones about his pride in the current South African team.

"This is an incredible team to be part of right now. Apart from my own game I'm just happy I am among some serious cricketers in the dressing room."

Hostile attack

Dale Steyn: 61 tests - 304 wickets @ 23.68
Vernon Philander: 13 tests - 74 wickets @ 17.4
Morne Morkel: 46 tests - 168 wickets @ 29.86.

- NZ Herald

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