Number crunching: How great is Dale Steyn?

He went past Wasim Akram as the sixth fast bowler with most Test victims.

Number crunching: How great is Dale Steyn?

New Delhi: Despite lingering fitness issues, Dale Steyn was back to his best against the visiting New Zealand cricket team.

The 33-year-old fast bowler, playing in his first Test in eight months after recovering from groin and shoulder injuries, took eight wickets to help Proteas beat the Kiwis by 204 runs in the second Test.

Figures of 8 for 99 helped at SuperSport Park helped him reclaim the No. 1 spot in the ICC Test bowlers' rankings. That tells only a part of the story, one part of an incredible career.

Thanks to his match-winning efforts, Steyn has already been regarded as one of the greatest fast bowlers. South Africa have won matches without him, but with Steyn, the Proteas are an altogether different beast in Tests.

And here's a look at the key numbers, which explain why he is a Test great:

1. 414 wickets and going strong: He went past Wasim Akram as the sixth fast bowler with most Test victims. At the same stage of their career, Akram only had 359 scalps.

Another Pakistan great Waqar Younis had 50 wickets fewer than Steyn. Australian legend Glenn McGrath had 389 scalps, still trailing by 25. Steyn's contemporary James Anderson of England trailed by a whopping 94.

2. 20 five-fors in wins: He is only fast bowler to have taken this many five-fors in Test wins. Ahead of legends like Malcolm Marshall, Richard Hadlee and Dennis Lillee — all have 17.

3. Best strike rate in wins: When it comes to strike rate in winning causes, Steyn is unrivaled at 31.2.

4. Best average in wins: He has taken 290 wickets in wins, which is a whopping 70% of his career tally. An average of 15.91 in Test wins is just awesome.

5. Best non-Asian fast bowler in sub-continent: Showing his versatility and adaptability, Steyn has so far taken 90 wickets in the sub-continent, even better than the legends like Glenn McGrath (72) and Courtney Walsh (77).

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