Steyn closing in on 400-wicket milestone
CHITTAGONG – Dale Steyn will join a select group of bowlers to claim 400 wickets with the South African paceman requiring four scalps in the two-test series against Bangladesh to reach the milestone.
“To take 400 test wickets is something that is extremely special,” South Africa captain Hashim Amla told reporters on Monday on the eve of the first test in Chittagong.
“We know he has been a special bowler for us in crucial times and probably in every match that he has played for us he has made some contribution.
“Hopefully if he gets there during this series; there is no doubt that everybody will really enjoy the success that he gets because we know the amount of work that he has put in and the impact he has had on this team.”
Shaun Pollock is the leading South African wicket taker in tests with 421.
Steyn, who has played 78 tests since his debut against England in 2004, and fellow seamer Vernon Philander were drafted back into the test squad having been rested during their 2-1 ODI defeat to Bangladesh.
South Africa were left reeling by the shock ODI defeat but Amla, who has scored 6,757 test runs at an average of 52.78, hoped to extend their unbeaten away test record — which dates back to Sri Lanka in 2006.
“We have been playing good test cricket over the last couple of years,” he added.
“From my perspective we have a lot of new faces mixed with a lot of guys who have played many Test matches.
“I’m hoping the new guys get an understanding of what test cricket is like in Bangladesh and for some of us (senior players) to put in some big performances to allow them to grow in test cricket.
“We are a team in transition and we’ll see that now more than ever. We have to try and get the team together to grow over the next couple of years.”
South Africa will be without destructive batsman AB de Villiers, who is being rested, but could hand a test debut to 20-year-old firebrand fast bowler Kagiso Rabada. -Reuters