Johannesburg: In reply to the question "Who is the fiercest fast bowler in the world at the moment?" readers of a cricket website have been virtually unanimous that the South African spearhead Dale Steyn, who is about to do thrilling battle with India`s emerging band of new strokeplayers on our soil, is top of the pile.
According to Sport24, at the time of writing, as many as 1,908 of 2,611 voters or 73.08 percent had opted for Steyn in a six-strong list also including Mitchell Johnson and Ryan Harris (Australia), Mohammad Irfan (Pakistan), Stuart Broad (England) and Steyn`s Proteas colleague Morne Morkel .
A distant second is Irfan, the towering left-arm strike factor who missed the recent Pakistani limited-overs visit to South Africa through injury with 13.63 percent of the vote, the report said.
Johnson`s frenzied blitz on England in the first Ashes Test at Brisbane recently, where he got match figures of nine for 103, has clearly not been enough yet to constitute a serious threat to Steyn: he lies third with 10.92 percent of approval, the report added.
Morkel is fourth (1.23 percent), Harris fifth (0.61) and Broad sixth (0.54), the report further said.
Steyn still leads the ICC Test bowler rankings, with fast-medium compatriot Vernon Philander next and then spinners occupying all of positions three to five: Rangana Herath (Sri Lanka), Saeed Ajmal (Pakistan) and Ravichandran Ashwin ( India) respectively, according to the report.