Remember ‘The Wall’ in Indian cricket? Yes, there you go it must be Rahul Dravid. The Karnataka player amassed 13,000 odd runs in the red-ball cricket in the span of 16 years from 1996 to 2012. In this period, India played 21 home and away matches against South Africa. And Dravid scored 1,252 runs against Proteas.
Dravid’s greatness was to bring abundance amount of serenity to the pitch along with him. Then came Dale Steyn, who wreaked havoc and created chaos with his whirlwind pace, aggression and perfect length deliveries. Dravid played Steyn for some handful Test matches and the former had to face the heat created but the Proteas pace beast. The veteran Proteas quick recently announced his retirement on Monday.
In a show hosted by Sanjay Manjrekar on ESPNcricinfo, Dravid spoke his mind about the legendary South African pace-man, Steyn. “He is one of the bowlers who will be remembered for eternity. He has been a match-winner and a game-changer for South Africa. Great advantage South Africa had has they had a wicket-taking bowler in the form of Steyn. He has an ability to take wickets with the new ball as he could swing the ball away from the wicket and he mastered the art of reverse swing as well.”
Dale Steyn is Malcolm Marshall of this generation
The wall would be wanted to duck while facing aggressive Steyn. Asked about South African pacer’s aggression Dravid said that the aggression he brings to the Proteas’ side is something different. When you play against someone like Dale Steyn, you should be up for the contest. At some point in time in his career, he was as quick as anyone I have ever played.
While talking about Steyn’s strengths, Dravid said that Steyn’s real strength is pace, swing and the length he bowls at. Other than probably not having the in-swinging capability, he bagged all skill set in his kit a pacer needs to have. “He is the Malcolm Marshall of our generation. Steyn tried to bowl his best when he was aggressive. I always looked to leave Steyn’s bouncers because it was never in my control to pull it.”
Dale Steyn is the highest Test wicket-taker for South Africa with 439 wickets in 93 Test matches. Steyn was ranked the No 1 Test bowler for a record 263 weeks between 2008 and 2014.
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