South Africa's Dale Steyn was full of praise for Australia's Steve Smith. A perfect outing in the recently concluded Ashes that saw Smith score 774 runs at an unimaginable average of 110.57 in ten innings was acknowledged by the entire cricketing community. Batting legend Sachin Tendulkar even posted a video to demonstrate his successful technique.
Dale Steyn believes that Smith’s technique is alien to the coaching manual and has confused even the best of bowlers.
"Steve has come..… and with his technique that he's naturally developed, he's just confusing bowlers left, right and center…I think he's a marvelous player. He's wonderful, he's got a great eye and a very difficult and weird technique to work out, which is working for him beautifully."
While Steyn didn’t enjoy much success against Smith in Tests, dismissing him only once in seven innings, he is amongst the few to get him out for a duck that came at Port Elizabeth in 2014. Dale Steyn finished his career in Test cricket with 439 wickets in 93 Tests and is South Africa’s highest wicket-taker in Test cricket.
Steyn believes that Smith is in a league of his own and is lucky not to bowl against him in this kind of form.
"They literally don't know where to bowl to this guy…And while they're trying to work that out, he's clubbing them all over the place and scoring runs at the same time. He's just in a league of his own right now and I'm very happy that I don't have to play Test matches against him ever again."
The speedster compared his weird technique to that of Shivnarine Chanderpaul, who also had a different set of skill-set while batting.
“It was only the weird guys that came around, like Shiv Chanderpaul and Steve Smith, they really confuse you about the line you should be bowling. Whether that should be on the stumps [or] outside the stumps."
Australian opener David Warner had a forgetful Ashes where he could only score 95 runs from 10 innings. Steyn still considers Warner to be a world-class batsman and would never drop him from his side as he could change the course of a Test match even in a single session.
"He's one of the best batters I've ever bowled to.....He puts you under pressure from ball one on day one of a Test match. You have to take what he can give you with what can happen. In this case, he's been found wanting around the wicket against someone like Broady [Stuart Brad] attacking that off stump. Sometimes that can happen. But he'll get to Australia, he'll find some form, he'll be playing around his mates and around his home crowd and that can quickly change for him…..World-class players don't become rubbish overnight, especially over one tour. He'll be fine, I wouldn't drop him at all. I'd leave it as it is."
Also see – World Test Championship points table