Allan Donald, Stop Being So Damn Modest

The interview is here, click.

Dale Steyn is not

Without a shadow of a doubt, the greatest bowler South Africa has ever had.

You are the shadow of a doubt. Because you were better. Marginally better, but better.

I think that he had a spell – a duel with Paul Collingwood – in Cape Town. It was a Test match I commented on, a Test match in which England were in trouble. Steyn went past the outside edge probably four times an over in which he bowled at 148-150kph without any luck. I think it was one of those spells where you deserve a six-for or a seven-for. But it didn’t quite work out. England managed to draw the game right at the death, being nine-down. That was probably one of the best spells I’ve seen without any results.

It is probably one of the best, but not the best. Because the best was yours, with Atherton batting. And you got him out fair and square, and would have won the Saffers the match if not for an umpiring error.

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This series

… will actually be quite an advertisement to Test-match cricket.

I have already seen three awesome sessions, one in the second morning, with Zaheer having an engrossing battle with the settled Kallis and Amla; one in the second afternoon, with Amit Mishra bowling exceptionally well (but without reward) to Amla and whoever was batting with him; and one in the third morning with Dale Steyn bowling exceptionally well to the Indians.
Dale Steyn is without doubts the most exciting bowled in world cricket. Fast, intelligent, aggressive, disciplined; he has all the tricks bar steepling bounce, and knows how to use them.

Hope this continues.

p.s: I am blessed to be in a job where I work the first session from home, and can mute the sound and keep watching the match while responding to emails.

SWOT Analysis – How long will Dale Steyn remain a top bowler?

How long will Dale Steyn remain a top bowler, and continue to play for the South African national team? Will he remain a great bowler after 30?

Strengths:

Clean bowling action.

Strong, wiry, non-bulky, non-Brett Schultz frame

Some abilities as a swing bowler.

Reasonable Stamina.

Weaknesses:

In the short-to-medium term, nothing.

Is a shortish fast bowler, and skids on to the batsman.

Puts a lot of pressure on to himself on the follow through.

Bounce is not a weapon.

Similar to Allan Donald, does not have loop to his bowling. The ‘skim the surface’ guys last longer than the ‘hit the deck’ guys.

Opportunities:

Swing. Can definitely convert himself into a crafty, Damien Fleming-esque swing bowler when the extreme pace has deserted him.

Sports Medicine. And South Africa is well nigh the best in the cricket world in that.

A handy bat.

Threats:

The assembly-line of fast bowlers for the Saffers.

Morne Morkel. In the long term, Morkel with his height and bounce will be a greater threat than Steyn at 30 (and will be better at playing the Ntini role). And he is a better bat.

Skiddy bowlers, unless they are Malcolm Marshall, never were the same after they were 30.

 

Final Analysis –

Steyn will retire / will be sacked with 300 wickets or so, at around the age of 31. He might well end up being remembered as an all-time great, in line for being the third best skiddy fast bowler of all time after Malcolm Marshall (who of course is the greatest fast bowler of all time IMHO), and Waqar Younis.

Quick Steyn

Dale Steyn.

He says ‘kill’ very often. (click here for article)

‘So I ran straight down the wicket. I remember Mark Boucher batting; I almost killed him.

‘Morne almost killed a couple in the nets today. I’m glad he’s in my team.

Good, aggressive guy, this guy, Steyn. In a nice, Allan Donald way. He will peter out by 30, when the speed will give way, and as a not-towering guy, he will never get the loop and bounce. But till then, I hope he continues to put up a show.

Good times for quick bowling the world over.