Legendary Sachin Tendulkar paid a fitting tribute to great Dale Steyn the day he announced his retirement from Test cricket after playing 93 matches in the game’s traditional format for South Africa.
Tendulkar hailed Steyn among the best he faced during his 24-year stay at the top, a compliment to savour for any bowler.
“I have to say that without any doubt, he’s amongst the top bowlers that I played in my 24-year career,” the master himself told on Monday. “I thought that something which was incredible, but he managed to do consistently was that late outswinger and that angle that he developed.”
Tendulkar versus Steyn remains one of the game’s greatest ever contests and a lifelong memory to cherish for anyone who saw the two amazing gentlemen try and outperform each other.
Home or away, it was always fierce and never one-sided.
“The only other guy who bowled very much like him was possibly James Anderson,” Tendulkar added. “Their wrist positions were similar. But Steyn had a more whippy action. He could go through the crease much faster.
“The swing that he consistently got at that pace was incredible. When he was at his peak, he was bowling close to 150kmph, so it wasn’t that easy to handle. That’s where he had mastered that art. When he wanted to be really quick, he could do so.
“I remember the spell that he bowled to me on the morning of the third Test in Cape Town [Tendulkar scored 146 in the first innings in January 2011). Gautam [Gambhir, who scored 93] played Morne Morkel, and I played Steyn.”
“For close to an hour, we couldn’t rotate the strike at all. Whatever runs we scored, we scored in boundaries! That one hour, I can say, is one of the most thrilling, interesting and challenging hours that I’ve played in Test cricket. That was a decisive moment.”
“I enjoyed my battles with him and congratulate him on a wonderful career,” Tendulkar signed off.