Dale Steyn’s bowling speed

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We remember Dale Steyn’s Test debut. For his first wicket, he arced a yorker into Marcus Trescothick‘s middle stump. Not bad.

While he touched 90mph during that Test, it was rare and we sort of put him to the back of our mind in our mental draw marked ‘South African fast-medium’. It’s not a drawer we often feel like opening. As the series progressed, this seemed increasingly wise as Steyn failed to pick up more than two wickets in any of the six innings in which he bowled.

However, we’re taking Dale out of that boring drawer at the back now and moving him to one of the prime drawers – ‘fast bowlers who are good’ – it’s actually the top drawer. He’s on probation for the moment, but we want to give him a taste of this drawer in the hope that it’ll encourage him. Fast bowlers need encouragement right now.

While New Zealand’s batting line-up is currently a bit puny, Dale Steyn nevertheless managed to have consecutive ten wicket matches. Ten wicket matches are rare and even more so for fast bowlers. It was the culmination of some fairly steady improvement from Steyn.

We still had a slight concern though – is Dale Steyn actually a fast bowler or just fast-medium? We love fast bowlers, whereas fast-medium bowlers can sit in their drawer enduring Shaun Pollock‘s boring stories about when he used to be filed more sympathetically for all we care.

We watched some of the highlights of Dale Steyn’s recent wicket-taking exploits and praise be, he topped 90mph. In the King Cricket book of guidelines, if you bowl over 90mph, you’re fast. 89mph and we hate you for ruining the sport; 90mph and we’ll try and steal your sweatband for a keepsake. It’s a harsh and relatively meaningless distinction, but we abide by it.


Mike Gatting wasn't receiving the King Cricket email when he dropped that ludicrously easy chance against India in 1993.


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  1. In the recent ODI’s against Sri Lanka, Ryan Sidebottom bowled over 90mph!!

    What say you, to that KING CRICKET!

    Does that make Ryan a fast bowler?

  2. Does anyone else think one-day speed guns are more generous?

    If Ryan can bowl at over 90mph then he’s a fast bowler. Whether he can or not, he’s certainly quicker than we thought he was before his call-up in the summer.

    Atheist: Flag? Is that an Eddie Izzard reference?

  3. King Cricket seems as though he has taken The Atheist’s drunken posting mantle, as his own..

    Are you imbibing and typing?

  4. Ohhhh. The flag. That was October last year. Be fair.

    Do you people really read the things we link to within posts? We’ve always presumed that you ignored them.

  5. Dale Steyn’s clearly a proper fast bowler. Batsmen won’t be able to focus properly as they’ll be distracted with other matters, like keeping their faces in one piece.

  6. We DO read the links! Well I do. How else are we to learn lessons from history? Eg in that link you had a post from last year saying that Malinga should be picked for the second test. Change a couple of words and you could have reposted it last week.

    You did also say this about Saj Mahmood, though: “What an enormous pile of unadulterated, stellar class”.

  7. This post should be cross-posted on Patrick Kidd’s site. A Mr. A Nel would be very interested in this post. I’d love to see his comments on this one. Maybe somebody could invite him out here…

  8. Andre Nel is a girl, who bowls at a girls pace, which is why he has to try to look mean and moody..
    See also, Glenn McGrath.

    Real fast bowlers (Alan Donald aside), smile as they thud the side of your helmet at 95mph..
    See Brett Lee, Dale Steyn, Stephen Harmison et al..

  9. Oooo, Mr. A. Nel isn’t gonna like that comment, Suave… Make sure you’re ready for Gunther coming after you!

  10. Saj Mahmood is certainly an enormous pile of something. Not sure ‘unadulterated, stellar class’ is how I’d put it, mind.

  11. Miriam is bang on… you post ’em, and we’ll read ’em..

    And it really does show your monumental blindness to the wonder of bowling, that you think Sajid Mahmood is an enormous pile of unadulterated, stellar class…

    It’s no good bowling 90+ if you can’t split the stickholding fella’s nose in half, or smash their cheekbone, by being on target!

    I can’t wait! I dream about cracking Andre Nel about the head with a cricket racquet!!

  12. Not ‘think’, ‘thought’.

    Saj’ll be back though. Just as soon as he’s stopped messing about with five different types of slower ball and mastered pointing his normal delivery in the right direction.

  13. I wonder if he’s grown out of the habit of spending his fielding time chatting up chav-ettes in the stands?

  14. steyn is a fast bowler always has been always will be sidebottom is a fast medium bowler always has been always will be.

  15. dale steyn is the fastest of the world for every time.in world cup he clicked 152km/hr.i know one more thing ,india will loose in his bowl

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