Dale Steyn is widely regarded as one of the best fast bowlers to have ever graced the game of cricket. His versatility is what made him stood out from the rest and his ability to bowl yorkers, bouncers, seam, swing, and outswing was second to none. Steyn’s deadly bowling for South Africa won them several matches in all conditions and against top countries like Australia, England, and New Zealand.
The legendary South African is in awe of Indian pacer Mohammed Siraj who he feels has all the attributes of becoming an asset for his team. Burst onto the scene in Australia, Siraj quickly made a name for himself by picking up 12 wickets Down Under. Steyn feels he has all the attributes to be successful in the England conditions as well.
In a column for ESPNCricinfo, the former South African pacer shared his thoughts on Siraj. “I think he (Mohammed Siraj) brings a good attitude to the game. That’s another thing we tend to forget when you’re playing in English conditions. It’s not just about where you put the ball but also the attitude you bring, getting in people’s faces, making them play shots they don’t particularly want to play – I think Siraj is somebody who can do that. I saw parts of that little bit of fight when he played in Australia, and I immediately knew he was going to have a good Test career. Don’t forget about the attitude of a fast bowler too.”
India are set to play a five-match Test series against England starting on August 04 and speculations are rife that Siraj might play the first Test in seam and swing conditions on offer for the first Test match. Steyn also lavished praise on Shardul Thakur and compared him to New Zealand’s Tim Southee.
“I like Shardul Thakur. He does swing the ball beautifully, and when he learns how to get the ball that stays straight on batters, that’s when he might find a lot more edges. He’s another guy like Tim Southee who can swing it beautifully. But he needs to learn how to bowl that kind of scrambled ball that just holds the line, and he can find the edges,” Dale Steyn wrote.
India have plenty of fast bowling options available and it will be interesting to see who features in the starting XI for the first Test. While Bumrah and Siraj are almost certain to start, there will be a toss-up between Mohammed Shami and Umesh Yadav. While Shami has been India’s premier fast bowler in Tests, Yadav also had a brilliant outing in the warm-up game.