South Africa vs India 2018: Dale Steyn on the verge of breaking all-time Test record
What's the story?
Ahead of the upcoming Test series against India, all eyes are on Dale Steyn. The legendary pacer is on the verge of becoming the leading wicket-taker in South Africa's illustrious history. He needs just five more wickets to overtake Shaun Pollock's all-time record tally of 421 scalps.
Pollock, himself, had recently said, "Steyn deserves it (the record), he really does. He has been the best fast bowler we (South Africa) have ever produced since readmission for me. The way he has gone about things and the way he has performed in all conditions - he has just been brilliant. So there's no doubt he deserves to get it and I hope it comes soon."
With 421 wickets from 108 Tests at an impressive average of 23.11 and strike-rate of 57.8, Pollock currently leads South Africa's all-time bowling charts in the premier format of the game.
The heart of the matter
After spending more than a year on the sidelines, Steyn is on a comeback trail at the highest level. The seasoned campaigner's last Test match came against Australia at Perth during November 2016. Since then, he has undergone a shoulder surgery and participated in a lengthy rehabilitation program.
Steyn returned to red-ball cricket during last month's warm-up match between Cricket South Africa Invitation XI and Zimbabwe at Paarl. However, a viral infection ruled him out of the day-night Test against the same opponents. Upon returning to South Africa's Test squad, he will be making his international comeback during the forthcoming 3-match series against India.
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In what has been a truly memorable career thus far, Steyn has played 85 Tests and picked 417 wickets at a remarkable average of 22.30 and astonishing strike-rate of 41.4 with 26 five-wicket hauls and 5 ten-wicket match hauls.
The first Test of the 3-match series between South Africa and India will take place at Cape Town from January 5. With the city experiencing a major drought, the curators at the Newlands Cricket Ground are not too hopeful of preparing a seam-friendly surface.
Considering the fact that he is the most successful bowler in Tests at Cape Town (65 wickets from 13 matches at 21.93), it will be befitting to his legacy if Steyn achieves the all-time South African record at the picturesque venue.