Lethal pace, extraordinary control on line and length, and ability to swing the cricket ball both ways, veteran South African pacer Dale Steyn is undoubtedly an all-time great bowler of modern-day cricket. Steyn has destroyed batting units many times in his long career.
The proteas speedster has given fans numerous unforgettable spells which have been remembered even today. Across the formats, Steyn has proven his dexterity. In 93 Tests, Steyn picked up 439 wickets. He is also the eighth-highest wicket-taker in Test history. He is also the fifth-highest amongst pacers after James Anderson (575), Glenn McGrath (563), Courtney Walsh (519) and Stuart Broad (450).
In One-Day Internationals (ODIs), Steyn has taken 196 wickets while in the shortest format, he has grabbed 64 scalps.
In over 15-year-long career, Steyn has faced plenty of outstanding batsmen, and he has outshined majority of them. However, there have been few batsmen who have survived against the sheer pace of Steyn and performed pretty well.
As the ‘Phalaborwa Express’ turns 37 on Saturday (June 27), let’s have a look at five such batsmen who have best strike-rate against Steyn in ODIs (50+ balls faced):
5.) Brendon McCullum – 98.64
One of the most brutal batsman modern cricket has seen, was former New Zealand skipper Brendon McCullum. The wicket-keeper batsman was known for taking the bowlers to the cleaners. No one can forget his all-time great innings in the first match of the inaugural edition of Indian Premier League (IPL) when McCullum smashed 158 runs and gave IPL a spectacular opening.
The Kiwi power-hitter has appeared in 101 Tests, 260 ODIs and 71 T20Is, in which he has amassed 6453, 6083 and 2140 runs, respectively. When it comes to batting against the South African speedster Steyn, then McCullum has scored runs at an impressive strike-rate of 98.64.
4.) Sachin Tendulkar – 100.00
One of the most celebrated cricketers, Sachin Tendulkar, is a household name across the globe. He inspired millions of youngsters to enter in this extraordinary sport in order to make a professional career. When the Mumbai-born cricketer decided to bid farewell to the fascinating game, he was the leading run-scorer in Tests as well as in the ODI format. The ‘Master Blaster’ also finished as the highest century scorer in both Test and ODI cricket.
Tendulkar played against the likes of several incredible bowlers, and he had a pretty decent average and strike-rate. The outstanding batter enjoyed the encounters with Steyn as well. Tendulkar has a strike-rate of 100 against the quality African bowler.
3.) David Warner – 107.64
Arguably one of the best openers of modern-day cricket, David Warner is a pre-eminent name across the formats. The Australian opening batsman is known for demolishing bowlers right from the word go. The left-hander has so far played 123 ODIs in which he has accumulated 5267 runs with 18 centuries and 21 fifties.
When it comes to performing against Steyn, then Warner belongs to the elite group of batters who have shown immense strength against the top-class bowler. The ‘Pocket Dynamite’ carries a magnificent strike-rate of 107.64 against Steyn.
2.) Mahendra Singh Dhoni – 109.75
Perhaps one of the best finishers in the limited-overs format, Mahendra Singh Dhoni needs no introduction concerning what kind of a player he is. The former Indian skipper has so far appeared in 350 ODIs for ‘Men in Blue’ and has stockpiled a mountain of 10,773 runs.
MSD has a decent record against Steyn. The Ranchi-born has scored runs at a dazzling strike-rate of 109.75 against the brilliant Proteas bowler.
1.) Steve Smith – 114.10
Considered as the modern-day genius, Steve Smith is a prodigious batsman at present. The former Australia skipper has so far played 125 ODI games and has scored 4162 runs with nine hundreds and 25 half-centuries.
The Aussie great also tops the list when it comes to scoring runs with the highest strike-rate against Steyn. Smith has performed outstandingly well against the premium South African pacer as he carries a strike-rate of 114.10 against Steyn.