HomeAnalysisLegendary Fast Bowler Dale Steyn's Test Chapter Comes To...

Legendary Fast Bowler Dale Steyn’s Test Chapter Comes To An End

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South African great Dale Steyn called it a day from the longest format after a resounding career that was also hampered by a fleet of injuries. Dale Steyn Retirement was forced on him due to injuries. He will forever be remembered and cherished for bringing so much into the game. A ferocious wicket-taker for South Africa, Dale Steyn ruled the world with his great pace, nagging lengths and an ability to outwit batsmen on even the most difficult pitches.
Dale Steyn Retirement left him with a carrier of 439 Test scalps from 93 matches, the South African speedster ended his journey with the most wickets for the Proteas. He could have had way more than the numbers suggest. Perhaps one can easily relate to him being the best red-ball bowler after the legendary Glenn McGrath. The right-arm speedster had all the ingredients of finishing with more than 550 Test scalps if injuries didn’t come his way. That, in turn, took a lot away from a superb career that he ended up having for South Africa.
Dale Steyn took this decision amidst prolonging his career with the white ball. He still feels he has something to give and would want to head out completely with some action behind him. The past few months weren’t great for Steyn, leading to Dale Steyn Retirement. Steyn, who got injured during the Indian Premier League 2019 season after having played just two games for Royal Challengers Bangalore.
He was expected to lead the South African bowling attack in the ICC World Cup 2019. But things ended prematurely even before he got to bowl a single delivery. The Proteas haha forgettable campaign in England and Wales. Just when one wanted to see how he makes another return to the game, the legend decided to call it quits from Tests with an immediate effect.
The veteran fast bowler also affirmed his support for Test match cricket as the ultimate form of the game. No wonder he did as Steyn was one of the greatest ever fast bowlers to have graced the longest format. Steyn also highlighted that the decision taken by him was in the best interests of prolonging his career.

Dale Steyn Retirement call to prolong career

SA bowler Steyn
Dale Steyn Retirement came as a shock for his fans but Steyn’s fans will not be completely heartbroken. At least he has that desire to continue playing in ODIs and T20Is. Therefore, they will witness him for some time in the circuit. The fast bowler continues to be a nationally contracted player for the 2019/2020 season in white-ball cricket and therefore remains available for the Standard Bank Proteas in both ODIs and T20Is.

“Today I walk away from a format of the game I love so much. In my opinion test cricket is the best version of this game. It tests you mentally, physically, emotionally. It’s terrible to consider never playing another test again but what’s more terrifying is the thought of never playing again at all. So I will be focusing on ODIs and T20s for the rest of my career to maximize my full potential and ensure my longevity in this sport,” the legendary fast bowler said.
He also took the time out in thanking everyone who has been a part of his journey as he looks forward to what’s in store. “I’d like to thank everyone in cricket, no one specific because everyone has been a part of my journey. And I look forward to continuing to play for the Proteas in the shorter formats,” the right-arm pacer added.

A gifted Test cricket personality

Apart from being the leading wicket-taker in Test cricket for South Africa, before Dale Steyn Retirement, he is 8th in the list of highest wicket-takers overall in the longest format. His average of 22.95 is still above many of his peers in the game. He was a natural Test cricket bowler, someone who fed off the energy time and time again.
He not only had an influence in pitches that offered more for pacers especially in the SENA countries but showed his magic on the subcontinent as well. His 5/23 against India in Ahmedabad in 2008 on a dead track showed why he managed to produce the unthinkable. Steyn’s efforts saw the hosts get all out for 76. It remains India’s second lowest Test total at home.
His best figures in Tests was also against India. The feat was achieved in Nagpur. Steyn showed his magic with a devastating spell of reverse-swing bowling, which stunned the hosts and gave SA a victory by an innings and six runs in the series opener in 2010.
The Indian team was wiped out for 233 on a surface good enough for South Africa to rack up 558/6 in the first innings. His scalps included Murali Vijay and Sachin Tendulkar.
Not to forget was Steyn’s heroics against Pakistan on a solid surface at the Wanderers in South Africa. Steyn’s 6/8 versus Pakistan saw the Asian side get bowled out for 49. This is still their lowest Test score. His figures read, 8.1-6-8-6. This was instrumental from Steyn, as six Pakistan players were caught behind.
In 2008, Steyn was Test cricket’s leading wicket-taker with 74 wickets, and central to what was arguably the best year the national side has had. There were historic series wins in England – a first in 43 years – and in Australia, the first ever, on top of a drawn series in India.

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Injuries hampered his progress

SA bowler Steyn
After over a year out from that horrific shoulder injury, Steyn was injured again in his first Test back against India at Newlands in 2017 with a freakish heel injury. Throughout all of that, there were times when he felt that it might be the end of the road. These thoughts are natural for any sportsman.
In the recent mix of games, Steyn also picked 5 ODI wickets against Zimbabwe in October. Prior to that, he last played an ODI match back in October 2016. That is two years ago. He could have achieved so much during this period, but injuries had their say often plaguing him at crucial times.
Here is a look at injuries leading to Dale Steyn Retirement

December 2009: Steyn suffered a hamstring injury on his right leg. After recovering from the same, he went on to feature in each of South Africa’s 48 Tests. Quite an impressive number in world cricket.

In this phase, SA won 24 of the 48 Tests Steyn featured in. The Proteas star picked wickets at a heap and registered 232 at an average of 21.72. All was going well for around 6 years until fate had things set otherwise.

November 2015: The fast bowler suffered a groin strain in the Nagpur Test against India. He then went on to miss the remainder of the series.

A month later he had shoulder spasm against England, that forced him to sit out of the first Test at Durban. In January 2016, he missed the remaining three Tests against the Three Lions.

After a brief recover mid-year, he picked 10 wickets against the Kiwis across two Tests.

November 2016: The right-arm pacer fractured his right shoulder against Australia on Day 2 of the first Test at Perth.

From there on until December 2017, he missed all of South Africa’s next 15 Tests. That included two versus Australia, 3 versus Sri Lanka, 3 versus New Zealand, 4 versus England, 2 versus Bangladesh and a lone Test against Zimbabwe.

January 2018: Steyn did make a comeback against Zimbabwe late December in 2017 before another heel injury hurt his comeback. On January 4, he suffered the injury in the first Test and missed the remaining two Tests.

In this gruesome injury timeline, Steyn featured in just 6 of the 29 Tests SA played after their completion of the series against India.

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