Legendary South African fast bowler Dale Steyn announced retirement from all forms of cricket on Tuesday, ending his 17-year long career.
After making his debut in 2004, the former right-arm quick picked up 699 wickets from 265 matches across all formats. He is the highest wicket-taker for South Africa in Test cricket with 439 scalps to his credit.
After calling time on his international career, Steyn shared his thoughts on the toughest batsmen he has bowled to. In an interview with SA Cricketmag, he lauded former India batting legend Sachin Tendulkar and former Australia captain Ricky Ponting.
"Sachin Tendulkar and Ricky Ponting were amazing batters (and sometimes you'd just nod in appreciation). They're aware of your skills too so they're trying to come out of this contest between batter and bowler unscathed, trying to get away with it without getting out. They only have once chance, where I at least get six balls," Steyn was quoted as saying.
"Sometimes the best batters in the world weren't the guys that bothered me that much because of that mutual respect. If I bowled well, they'd play me well. The guys I worried about were the guys who didn't worry about who I was. The tailenders who came in and were scared but ruined your figures," he added.
Steyn has a huge fan base in India as well. He had played in Indian Premier League (IPL) and had represented Royal Challengers Bangalore, SunRisers Hyderabad, Deccan Chargers, and Gujarat Lions, and has 97 wickets from 95 matches at an average of 25.85. Beside the T20 league, he had toured India with his national team as well.
Speaking of playing in India, he said:
"India is crazy! It's the closest you're going to be to feeling like a rock star. You're treated like a Hollywood or Bollywood star. Cricket is just crazy there. You go to the airport and you're bombarded, you go to practice and there's 10 000 people watching. It's doubtful I'll ever have that experience in my life again with anything that I do."