As I say, I feel Steyn's success of the past 2 years does not prove him to be on track to be one of the best there's ever been, and I reckon he'll finish his career merely as akin to someone like Waqar Younis (indeed, I think his best hope is to do so) - a bowler who just attacked and attacked and had no other approach, meaning that when his attacking weapons weren't available (as inevitably happens to almost all bowlers sometimes) and on the occasions he was having an off day (as happens to absolutely all bowlers sometimes) he'd sometimes be quite horrible, but when they were (and when he was on song) he'd be truly devastating.
Waqar Younis, however, finished-up a merely excellent bowler - one who had phases of magnificence and phases of ineffectiveness. Snow, had he had more luck with selectorial whims and had someone found a way to keep him motivated more often, might just be in the very top category of all. I've said it 100 times, I don't believe Steyn can ever be that, though there's precious little question he will be in the second tier unless something goes very severely wrong.
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No-one should presume that because someone has started their career sensationally that this means they'll get even more sensational as time goes on. Far from it.
The fact of the matter is there haven't been that many good swing bowlers recently, and Steyn is one. Lack of good swing bowlers + flat pitches = very easy batting conditions. In any case, the flatness of pitches isn't a complete blanket thing. There have still been some seaming decks since 2001/02 and in fact they've become fractionally less hard to find since 2006/07 (especially in South Africa) - exactly when Steyn came into the side.
Look through Steyn's Tests, you'll find there's a decent number of seamers in there. Not, of course, that every Test of his has been on a rank greentop, and not by any stretch that he's a greentop bully (as I say above, really good swing bowlers take the pitch out of the equation). But I'd bet he's played on proportionally a huge number more greentops than, say, Andrew Flintoff or Matthew Hoggard did\have.
Most people, even if it wasn't as disputed as Steyn is now (as Pasag suggested), thought Brett Lee was the best fast bowler in the world in 2007. Right after the SL in Aus series people were pretty much saying he was the best, and even after the Ind in Aus series, he was still being touted that.
So really, whilst an interesting thread, 18 months ago would have probably been a better time to raise the question.
For me, Lee was the worst "#1 fast bowler in the world" ever.
Last edited by Jono; 15-02-2009 at 01:43 AM.
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