Best Test Bowlers for South Africa
All the players on my list of Best Test Bowlers for South Africa has more than 200 test wickets. This is not a list of most wickets but a list of who I think is and was the best Test Bowlers for South Africa.
#5 Morne Morkel
Morne Morkel, brother of allrounder Albie, is an out-and-out fast bowler who has the pace and height to trouble the best. In partnership with Dale Steyn and Vernon Philander he forms part of probably the best bowling attack South-Africa ever had with every bowler bringing something different to the party.
A certain Allan Donald marked him out as national potential with good words for the lanky fast bowler’s ability to extract bounce and bowl genuinely fast.
#4 Makhaya Ntini
Makhaya Ntini is a former South African cricketer who was the first ethnically black player to play for the South African team. A left handers nightmare. He packs neither express pace, nor the drip torture of infallible accuracy, nor a quiver brimming with variation. What he does have, though, is almost 400 Test wickets.
Ntini relies on relentlessness, which requires him to strive for levels of fitness not previously countenanced by cricketers, and an unfailingly ebullient character, which buoys him with hope and aggression long after bowlers of lesser body and mind have conceded defeat. These fine qualities made him the heart of the South African attack and the soul of the entire team.
#3 Shaun Pollock
The leading wicket taker for South Africa taking over 400 test wickets in 108 test matches. He started off his career with genuine pace and but were later known for his deadly accuracy with ball in hand. He formed a formidable bowling partnership with Allan Donald until Donald retired.
He is joint 10th in the all time best ever bowler ratings in the LG ICC Ratings and was named Wisden cricketer of the year in 2003.
#2 Dale Steyn
Pure pace is one thing, pinpoint pure pace distinctly another. Pinpoint pure pace poison-tipped with aggression still another. Add the regularity with which Steyn moves the ball away from right-handers, and the way his deliveries skid at batsmen – a lack of height isn’t all bad – and the danger he poses is obvious.
Many would argue he should be number one on the list and might one day end up being the best Test Bowlers for South Africa. With over 400 test wickets and the fastest South African to do it. He should overtake Shaun Pollock not too far in the distant future as the leading Test wicket taker for South Africa.
#1 Allan Donald
Known as ‘White Lightning’, he is remembered as a fearsome fast bowler, scowling and aggressive, with a circular white area of zinc cream across his cheeks and nose. When he retired, he was South Africa’s record wicket taker with 330 Test wickets at an average of 22.25.
For much of his career he was the only world-class performer in the South African team, spearing the ball in, shaping it away and always making things happen. His duels with Brain Lara and Sachin Tendulkar worth the match tickets alone.
It was a close call between Steyn and Donald, both players when on song can dismiss any batsmen but in my opinion it is Donald that is the best Test bowler for South Africa.