South Africa star Dale Steyn has credited former captain Graeme Smith as the reason for his success in Test cricket. Dale Steyn brought down curtains on his illustrious international career last year as South Africa’s most successful Test bowler of all time.
No South African bowler has managed to take more wickets than Dale Steyn in the longest format of the game. He retired from Tests after picking up an impressive 439 wickets.
And it is safe to say that the right-arm pacer, who is considered as one of the greatest fast-bowlers of this generation, enjoyed the most successful phase of his Test career under Smith’s captaincy. The South African star spent 2 358 days as the world’s No 1 bowler in Test cricket between 2008 and 2014 when Smith was the captain.
And he recently acknowledged Smith’s contribution in his career while speaking in a Sky Sports interview with England fast bowler James Anderson, former England captain Nasser Hussain and former England batsman Rob Key. Dale Steyn insisted he only achieved that feat thanks to calculated decisions made by Smith.
“I was actually quite spoilt when I played for South Africa, I had a good captain in Graeme (Smith),” he told Sky Sports Cricket.
“I felt for guys like Morne (Morkel) and Paul Harris, they would do the donkey work. They would build up pressure and eventually get a wicket. They would see it as an opportunity to sneak two or three and Graeme would take them out of the attack and put the ball in my hand.
“I guess for those 2000 days at the top that was his (Graeme) recipe for success. He would use everyone else to do all the hard work and then he’ll put the ball in my hand and I delivered, but it was because it was a calculated decision by a captain who used me well,” added the 36-year old.
Dale Steyn also credited former Proteas wicketkeeper Mark Boucher for guiding him from behind the stumps.
“I had the best ‘keeper in the world, Mark Boucher… Whenever he saw something that was out, he would run over to me and firstly swear at me because that was Boucher’s way of doing things and then he’d say to me, ‘Okay I’ve noticed your left arm is falling away’ or ‘You’re too straight compared to last week’. It was always good to have that person who was there for me all the time and that was Mark,” said Steyn.
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