By the numbers: Steyn’s road to 400

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South Africa fast bowler Dale Steyn has reached the landmark number of 400 Test wickets, achieved in the second Test against Bangladesh in Dhaka, having been on 399 at the start of the match.

Here are a few relevant statistics to illustrate his road to the milestone:

1 – Other Saffers with 400 wickets. Shaun Pollock was the first Proteas player to reach the milestone.

12 – Other bowlers to reach the mark. Steyn's main rival, according to the media anyway, James Anderson recently became the 12th person to reach 400 (but in 15 more Tests), making Steyn the 13th.

80 – Tests played. The Phalaborwa Express made his debut in 2004, against England in Port Elizabeth. AB de Villiers made his debut in the same match.

6 – Runs Tamim Iqbal got before becoming Steyn's 400th victim. Hashim Amla took the catch.

22.58 – Test bowling average. Steyn has one of the best averages and strike rates of any Test bowler, now and in the past. Anything under 30 is good, so Steyn's is incredible.

32 – His age. Not old in real life terms, but getting on for a paceman, as we've been seeing in the shorter formats in recent months. He's cutting down his LOI commitments to try to reach 100 Tests.

7 – First Class matches before Test debut. Out of the frying pan and into the fire for the Northerns speedster, with little to no experience to guide him. He got a first ball duck with the bat, and took two wickets on FC debut.

21 – Age on Test debut. Not as young as some, but still a lad.

Marcus Trescothick – Steyn's first wicket (yes, we know it's not a number). Tresco found his bails removed by Steyn, the first wicket to fall in that England innings, and the opener had made 47 runs. Steyn later removed Simon Jones as well.

2/117 – Debut innings figures. Ouch. he was tonked around the park at a run rate of nearly five, and took one wicket in the second dig for an even worse run rate. Goes to show, give a guy a few games!

25 – Five-fers. They has bagged a five-fer nearly every third game, on average, and has five match 10-fers and 24 four-fers as well. When he takes wickets, he goes on a spree.

15 – Fives at home. Given he's played 43 of his Tests on South African soil, it stands to reason that the bulk of his Michelles would be at home. His best away nations are Australia, India and Sri Lanka, with two five-fers each.

227 – Wickets at home. Self-explanatory, really. He loves himself some quick wickets.

7/51 – Best innings figures. This was achieved against India in Nagpur in 2010. Six of those wickets fell for single figures, as he reduced India from 192/4 to 233 all out. Demolition.

11/60 – Best match figures. This was fairly recent, in February 2013 against Pakistan in Johannesburg. He took six wickets in the first innings for just eight runs. Eight! And then five for 52 in the second. The Proteas won. Obviously.

2007 – Best year. In that time he took 44 wickets in seven Tests, at an average of 17.47. He took two of his 10-fers that year too, with best innings figures of 6/72.

300 – Doug Bracewell. The New Zealand bowler was Steyn's triple ton. It was Steyn's 61st Test, making him the joint second fastest paceman to 300 Test wickets, behind Dennis Lillee (56).

9 – Bunny. The Australia skipper Michael Clarke is the man Steyn has removed most often, nine times in 14 Tests. Next is Mohammad Hafeez, eight times in seven matches, which is actually worse in terms of regularity.

74 – Ducks. He's removed a hefty whack of batsmen for zero, with 12 of those 74 the number 10 batsman. He's removed nine openers for a duck.

91 – Openers removed. Nearly a fourth of his victims have been openers, which is not surprising given Steyn opens the bowling more often than not. The number one has been bagged 50 times and the second batsman 41 times.

285 – RHBs. Steyn is most effective against right-handers, according to the stats. Lefties also average five runs more than righties against the paceman.

Lindsay du Plessis

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