There are few people who will dispute the position of Dale Steyn as the finest fast bowler of his generation. Similarly, few people will argue with the contention that the current Indian pace attack is the best the country ever had.
But in a statement that will make every Indian cricket fan's heart swell with pride, Steyn has described Indian pacer Mohammad Shami as the best bowler in the world today. The forum where the South African legend made this observation was Twitter. He conducted a Q and A session, as has become the norm these days with celebrities, and took queries from fans.
The Twitter handle of a certain Drishti Raina asked Steyn whom does he consider the best bowler in the world right now. In a straightforward but, at the same time, cautious comment, the man with more than 400 Test wickets wrote: "Shami on current form."
Few people in this country would dispute this claim of the former South African Test cricketer. However, Australian cricket fans would certainly protest that Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood are also close enough to merit this distinction.
However, it has to be remembered, and Steyn probably does, that while Australian fast bowlers usually play in friendlier conditions for their style of bowlers, Indian pacemen have to operate on dry, bare pitches. For someone like Shami to succeed in his own country, without any assistance from the track is incredible.
Another possible reason for the Proteas fast bowler to put forward Shami's name could be that the former must have followed the India vs South Africa Test series that took place some weeks ago. Steyn would have seen how bowlers such as Kagiso Rabada and Vernon Philander, otherwise among the deadliest in the world, looked like mere shadows of themselves in India.
Compared to them, the Indian pacers thrived and caused a great amount of damage to the visitors. Despite the usual expectations of Indian team outfoxing the non-Asian sides through spin, the Indian fast bowlers have been playing as big a role in India's winning streak in ICC World Test Championship as the spinners.
The Virat Kohli-led Indian side has played three series so far in the World Test Championship and have won every single match in all of them. In the two-Test series played in West Indies, it was Jasprit Bumrah who dazzled with his bowling in the Caribbean. Following that, India whitewashed Steyn's former team in India 3-0. Again, Indian pacers played a leading role in that contest.
Now, in the first Test of the series against Bangladesh also, Indian pacers left the visitors' batting order reeling under the pressure of dealing with hostile bowling. Hence, it is no surprise that even the great Dale Steyn thinks that the current leader of Indian attack, Mohammad Shami, is the best.