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Dale Steyn says he has ‘no skill’ in comparison to James Anderson’s abilities

Steyn Anderson
by Wisden Staff 2 minute read

South African speedster Dale Steyn has claimed that he has “no skill” in comparison to his England counterpart, James Anderson, calling himself a fan of the seamer’s wicket-taking abilities.

Featuring on last week’s Sky Sports Cricket Podcast, Steyn waxed eloquent about Anderson, remarking at his ability to consistently produce quality inswingers while humbly comparing it to his own supposedly limited skill-set.

“I watch Jimmy bowl and he is just ridiculous. I could never bowl those big inswingers and use the crease the way he did. I am a fan of Jimmy’s, I’m not going to lie, but when you are playing against each other, you can’t allow that to come out – you don’t want to show that weakness, if you want to call it that.

“I have no skill! Bowl a couple of slower balls, a fast bouncer and yorker and just try and hit the mark as often as I could.

“I could bowl really fast, and as the years went on, I started to develop more skills – I learnt how to swing the ball a little bit, use the crease a little bit more. But I knew what my skill was, and that was to run in and bowl fast and hit a length. Come around the wicket and rev up a player and nick him off through aggression. I was always limited in skill.”

Steyn, statistically the most successful Test bowler for South Africa, with 439 wickets, is considered a modern-day great, alongside Anderson, who holds the record for the most scalps [584] by any seamer in Test history. Anderson returned the compliment by reiterating Steyn’s record-breaking attributes, and hailed his ability to control the Kookaburra, a trait he has self-admittedly found challenging away from home.

“Dale’s record speaks for itself – it is absolutely ridiculous. Unbelievable strike-rate, unbelievable average,” Anderson said, remarking at Steyn’s figures, which stood at 42.3 and 22.95 respectively upon Test retirement last year.

“He has done himself a disservice as he is definitely skilful, can definitely swing the ball. He swung it at 90 mph-plus, which was incredibly difficult to face. He was intimidating in more ways than one. But Dale is someone I have definitely watched, particularly with the Kookaburra ball.

“It has been my nemesis for quite a long period in my career – how do you swing that red Kookaburra as he does?”

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