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Steyn stays humble despite being No.1

Dale Steyn believes there are better bowlers in world cricket.

South African fast bowler Dale Steyn. Picture: Facebook

SYDNEY - Top South African bowler Dale Steyn said it is simply his durability and consistency that enabled him to own the top of the ICC test bowling rankings.

There are many who would disagree with the South African, not least those who have faced his blend of ferocious pace and pinpoint accuracy at the crease and count among his 287 test victims.

Steyn is now part of the most feared pace attack in cricket along with World No.2 Vernon Philander and World No.9, Morne Morkel.

"Cricket brings out a more aggressive side of me, to be honest," he told reporters with a laugh.

"Where else in the world do you get the chance to basically kill someone with two bouncers in an over. Legally.

"I think that can bring out the anger in anyone. Off the field I'm pretty chilled, but on it, it's all business."

As one Australian newspaper pointed out this week, Steyn's test bowling figures (287 wickets in 57 tests at an average of 23.50) stack up pretty well compared to West Indies great Malcolm Marshall at a similar stage of his career.

Steyn, though, seems genuinely uncomfortable talking about his prolific wicket taking and his reign at the top of the rankings.

"In all honesty, there are probably a lot better bowlers than what I am," he said.

"I guess I am just one that consistently plays for South Africa and has performed well.

"I think that when Graeme Smith needs a wicket or something like that he hands me the ball and I've been fortunate enough to take the wickets for him.

"If I'm playing every test match and I'm taking wickets, those points ranking system is always going to mean that I'm going to be up there.

"But, like I said, it doesn't necessarily mean that I'm the best or the most skilled bowler in the world."

South Africa play a three-day match against Australia A at the SCG starting on Friday.