One-day limited overs cricket has a long and illustrious history. The 50-over format, introduced in the early 1970s, has developed into a hugely popular cricketing venue that offers the finest entertainers in the world an endlessly thrilling stage. Despite the perception that batsmen dominate ODIs, bowlers have significantly impacted the game’s history, particularly in its early years. As per cricket Samachar, here is a list of the best bowlers.
People who knew the excellent Michael Holding would never forget his distinctive method for creating a popping crease. In the 1970s and 1980s, one of the greatest spectacles in cricketing history was the lethal West Indian’s rhythmic run-up, which saw him kiss the ground as he made his way to the wicket.
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Holding’s career is most well-known for his achievements in the Test arena. However, the merciless fast bowler could still compile a respectable limited overs record, taking 142 wickets at under 22. Soon after the right-arm fast demolished Australia in Sydney with scores of 5-26 from 10 overs, his career rating reached its apex in 1985. Many young people recall Holding with his recognizable commentary box voice, but those who saw Jamaican.
Perhaps the most lethal bowler of his generation, Curtly Ambrose, was a frightening proposition for the world’s best batsmen during the 1990s. At 6’7″, the West Indian would release his blistering and bruising deliveries from close to 10 feet, intimidating nearly every opponent he faced for a decade. The way he shook the ball in his hand to the wicket was as mesmerizing as the deliveries themselves; his calm manner and refusal to talk to the media only added to his menace. His ODI rating peaked during the West Indies’ visit to England in 1991, when he was considered the most fearsome bowler on the planet.
The well-known minor player on this list, Ewen Chatfield, partnered with Sir Richard Hadlee in the opening position for New Zealand’s most productive run in international cricket. Chatfield, a diligent worker with excellent swing control at his medium-fast pace, turned out to be the ideal counterbalance to his record-breaking partner. Even though the right arm was always in Hadlee’s shadow, his rating peaked in 1984 at an impressive 892 following a successful tour of Sri Lanka.
During his ten-year reign as the captain of Australia’s cricket team, Dennis Lillee embodied everything that was best in Australian cricket. The right-arm quick personified the national mindset of his country by being hostile, belligerent, and incredibly aggressive in the sporting sphere. Lillee developed his skill, utilising subtle variations in seam and swing to shred through Australia’s opponents’ batting lineups while having his speed limited after 1973 due to injury. His continuous excellence on the world stage is evidenced by the fact that his career rating reached its high in 1982, a long time after his struggles with injuries.
Glenn McGrath, the fastest bowler in the history of fast bowling in cricket, is a true legend of the sport. McGrath bowled with a brutal efficiency that never wavered over his 15-year career, perhaps more than any other player in history. The New South Welshman, who consistently batted back-of-a-length, had an incredible knack for creating subtle movement out of a perfect line. Although McGrath’s ODI rating peaked in 2002, his best limited-overs performance came in his final World Cup series, where he took 26 wickets and was named Man of the Series.
After impressing in the 2019 World Cup, Afridi has become a regular in the team across all three formats. His height of 6ft 6in helps him extract bounce on the docile pitches of the UAE, where Pakistan play their home games. So far, Shahid has played 17 Tests, 25 ODIs and as many T20Is, scalping 58, 51 and 27 wickets, respectively.
At 19 years of age, Mustafizur Rahman became the second bowler in ODI history after Zimbabwe’s Brian Vitori to pick up two five-wicket hauls in his first two matches when India toured Bangladesh in 2015.
Mustafizur made his international debut in a one-off T20 match against Pakistan in 2015 and picked up two wickets. He was handed the ODI cap in the series against India that same year and grabbed the opportunity with both hands. Later that year, he made his Test debut against South Africa and picked up four wickets in his first match. He is also the first player to win ‘Man of the Match’ award on both Test as well as ODI debuts. He is now one of the best pacers in the world, bamboozling batsmen with his variation of cutters.
The left-arm medium pacer has played 14 Tests, 67 ODIs and 42 T20Is, picking 30, 124 and 58 wickets respectively.
28-year-old Pat Cummins made his debut in all three formats for Australia on their tour of South Africa in 2011. But much like with most fast bowlers, Cummins could not be a regular in the team due to persistent injuries. Not until late 2017 was he a regular for Australia, and from then on he has been one of their top bowlers consistently.
In 2020, Cummins was appointed as the vice-captain of the Test team for the home series against India and has regained his role since. Not only is he the highest wicket-taker in the World Test Championship so far, he is also the ICC No. 1 bowler in Tests. In a 2015 World Cup match in Sydney, the quick-gun clocked in a 153 km/hr delivery.
The right-arm bowler has so far played 34 Tests, 69 ODIs and 30 T20Is, from which he has 164, 111 and 37 wickets respectively.
Batsmen are crowd favorites in cricket, but bowlers win Test matches. It doesn’t matter how many runs batsmen score. If bowlers fail to bag 20 wickets, the game will end in a draw.
In the limited-overs formats (ODIs and T20Is), teams win based on how many runs they score. Although picking up wickets can change a game, bowlers who contain batsmen by preventing the run flow also come in handy.