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.