Broad’s record of 333 wickets in 91 Tests at an average of 28.66 is worthy of considerable respect.
But Steyn’s figures of 406 wickets in 82 Tests at 22.53 stands comparison with all-time great fast bowlers such as the West Indies’ Malcolm Marshall, Australia’s Dennis Lillee and England’s Fred Trueman, all of whom had Test bowling averages in the early 20s.
“On the ranking, I’m certainly not going to sit here and say I’m a better bowler than Dale Steyn -- I’ve said before he is the bowler of our generation,” explained Broad in London on Thursday at an event staged ahead of next week’s first Test between England and Sri Lanka at Headingley by series sponsors Investec.
“It’s very nice to be at the top of the rankings, but for me it’s come really for me through playing a lot of cricket,” added Nottinghamshire seamer Broad, who at 29 is three years younger than Steyn.
“I’ve played 40-odd Tests on the bounce now, so I’ve been out there having the opportunity to take wickets and bowling within a bowling unit that’s creating a lot of pressure,” said Broad.
“It’s always nice when you do get to a ranking like that, but it’s not something I focus on a huge amount,” added the England mainstay, who has a narrow lead at the top of the Test standings from India off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin.
Broad, the son of former England opening batsman turned International Cricket Council match referee Chris Broad, was clear where his goals lay.