There are two parts to this career-best bowling performance from Steyn; the first was the way he got the new ball swinging conventionally away from the right-hander, dismissing Tendulkar as part of a wonderful set-up; the second came when (after the umpires had changed the ball) Steyn got it to reverse and ran through the Indian middle and lower order. On a flat and slow pitch, that display ranks as one of the great fast bowling performances on the sub-continent.
5/87 and 5/67 v Australia, Melbourne, 2008
If Nagpur was Steyn’s greatest innings performance, then the MCG was arguably his best match performance - it included a game-changing 76 with the bat. There was a lot of hype around Steyn in that historic series and he lived up to it at the game’s biggest arena. Pace, control and swing were all to the fore as he tore the Australians apart and helped set up South Africa’s first Test series win Down Under.
4/55 v Australia, Port Elizabeth, 2014
This was terrific theatre played out on a Sunday afternoon at the country’s oldest cricket stadium, with its famous band providing an intoxicating back drop as Steyn tore in from the Duck Pond End and laid waste to the Australian middle order; Michael Clarke, Steve Smith and most memorably Brad Haddin, were ripped out in an awe-inspiring spell, that made for riveting viewing. Watching it now still makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up.
5/56 v England, The Oval, 2012
Amla made his historic triple century following which there were whispers from the England dressing room about the pitch being too flat and ‘sub-continental’. Feeling that his mate’s achievements had been undermined, Steyn showed how a proper fast bowler operates, by tearing through the English in their second innings, setting up a series-leading innings victory against the then no.1 team in the world. Steyn let the England dressing room know plainly what he thought about their opinion about a ‘sub-continental’ pitch.
6/8 v Pakistan, The Wanderers, 2013
A single spell of high quality fast bowling from the Golf Course End saw Pakistan shot out for 49 in 29 overs. Steyn’s pace wasn’t ferocious - it needn’t have been, such was the movement on offer for him that morning - but his accuracy and control were mesmerising. He scented the merest hint of fear among the Pakistanis and rolled right through them, causing many late comers to the ‘Bullring’ to miss an enthralling spell.