On Monday (August 6), South African pacer Dale Steyn retired from the longer format of the game. With a spate of injuries since late 2015, the 36-year-old lost a lot of important series in the process. Being in the last phase of his international career, Steyn now wants to step aside from the gruelling Test format and will shift his focus to limited-overs (having missed the 2019 World Cup due to a shoulder injury).
As a result, a lot of international cricketers paid rich tributes to the South African speedster who made his Test debut in 2004. He was at his peak from 2006 to early 2015 before injuries derailed his progress. He finished with 439 wickets at 22.95 and ended as the eighth-highest wicket-taker in the red-ball cricket. In addition, he remains the highest wicket-taker for South Africa in whites.
Following his decision, Indian skipper Virat Kohli, Sachin Tendulkar, Faf du Plessis, AB de Villiers and few others remembered his memorable days in the longer format. Ravichandran Ashwin also joined the bandwagon and recalled one of his vicious deliveries to get rid of former England skipper Michael Vaughan in 2004.
In five matches, Steyn got the better of Vaughan thrice while two of the dismissals were unplayable inswingers from the South African. During the 2004 home series versus England, Steyn rattled Vaughan’s stumps in Port Elizabeth. On the other hand, he bowled a similar delivery in 2008 at Lord’s cricket ground, exposing Vaughan’s weakness and leaving him clueless.
The experienced campaigner was injured during South Africa’s tour of Australia in 2016. He returned to the format after long during India’s visit to the African nation for a three-match Test series. However, a ‘freakish’ foot injury ruled him out of the series after featuring in a solitary match. Thus, he returned during the 2018-19 home season, playing versus Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
Steyn made an appearance for Virat Kohli-led Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in Indian Premier League (IPL) 2019 edition but again got injured after playing just two games as a result of which he was sidelined for the World Cup.