Stats: Top 5 South African bowlers who have taken highest number of wickets on Indian soil
The Indian subcontinent is not suitable for fast bowlers. So getting success in India always makes a bowler proud. For spinners, slow turning Indian wicket is easy to get success, but traditionally Indian batsmen are technically equipped to outclass spinners. Their performance on their home soil is impeccable.
South Africa, who are yet to lose a Test series since 2009, with one of the most lethal fast bowling duos of contemporary cricket Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel, will be eager to prove the stats wrong. Since 1991, the year when South Africa were freed to play the international cricket, South Africa lost only 14 Test series and won 48 series in international cricket. A record indeed.
They are also unbeaten on foreign soil since 2006. In the last nine years, they were only defeated by Sri Lanka at their home. They toured India twice and drawn the series 1-1 on both occasions. A series draw on foreign soil is as honourable as a victory on home soil. Their success reflects how much South African pacers were successful in unfriendly conditions.
South Africa are now in India, and after a historic ODI series victory they are all set to fight for their first ever Test series victory in India.
Before that, we have a look at the list of top 5 successful South African bowlers on Indian soil.
5) Paul Harris 13 wickets
The left-arm spinner played only 37 Tests for South Africa in short four years career. He has taken 103 wickets. He toured India twice in his career. He has played 5 matches and taken 13 wickets.
4) Paul Adams 14 wickets
The chinaman spinner is well remembered for his ‘frong in a blender’ bowling action. He toured India with South Africa in 1996, which was his second year in the international scene. The 18-year-old teenager tormented England when they visited South Africa in 1995-96. He played total 45 Test matches for South Africa between 1995-2004 and taken 134 wickets. He was brought to India for three matches Test series. Adams got four wickets in the first match in Ahmedabad. His best performance came in Kanpur Test, where he took 6 wickets to bamboozle India in the first innings.
3)Allan Donald 17 wickets
The fast bowling sensation of the 1990s played only four Test matches in India. He was the reason behind South Africa’s success in modern ear cricket. He was a resourceful bowler and who could bowl at searing pace. On a difficult pitch, he troubled Indian batsmen in 1996. In the two-match Test series, he has taken 10 wickets. He produced outstanding bowling performances in the Ahmedabad Test. It was his first Test in India and he took 7 wickets. The next tour in the year 2000 he was not as sharp like before. In two-match series, he grabbed seven wickets.
2) Makhya Ntini 18 wickets
The South African fast bowler who used to rely on his pace and aggression to outclass batsmen took 400 Test wickets. But, he did not have much variation and swing. However, his partnership with Shaun Pollock was one of the most formidable in the world. Ntini played 5 Test matches on Indian soil. He has taken 18 wickets. His best match figure is 5 for 123 in 2004 Kolkata Test. The match India won by 8 wickets. But, his best performance was in Ahmedabad Test, 2008 where South Africa bowled out India for only 76 in the first innings. Ntini took 3 wickets delivering only 6 overs.
1)Dale Steyn 26 wickets
The South Africa pacer is one of the most successful bowlers on Indian soil among the modern era cricketers. He toured India twice. His first match in Chennai, where Virender Sehwag scored his career best 319 in the second innings of the match in 2008. But, Steyn on a pitch that did not offer much to him picked up 4 wickets in the first innings. The match was drawn. In the second match in Ahmedabad, he notched up his first fifer on Indian soil. He rattled India’s top order. His form continued talking in Kanpur Test as well.
In 2010, South Africa’s tour of India was a show of Dale Steyn. He took his most desired wicket of Sachin Tendulkar, which led him to a seven-wicket haul in the match. South Africa defeated India by an innings and 6 runs. Hashim Amla scored a first innings double hundred for South Africa.