Swing bowling is a fascinating part of cricket. in this blog, we are going to cover the10 Best Swing Bowlers In Cricket. Who doesn’t love watching the ball move towards the batsman and suddenly fly away from him in the air or vice versa? Except the batsmen of course!
Table of Contents
What is swing bowling?
Swing bowling is a subtype of fast bowling that involves swinging the ball in the air. The reason behind its effectiveness is that the changes in the trajectory of the ball usually deceive the batsmen and lead to playing wrong shots on the ball.
Swing bowling can be classified into two types namely conventional swing and reverse swing. Traditional swing bowling uses a new ball, while an older and more worn ball can be used for reverse swing.
The two basic forms of traditional swing bowling are inswing and outswing. Inswing refers to a delivery where the ball starts further away from the batsman and angles towards the batsman and the stumps. Meanwhile, the ball starts in line with the stumps, but by the time it reaches the batsman, it has travelled far enough to leave the stumps.
Introduction to Swing Bowling in Cricket
Bart King – Founder of Swing Bowling
Bart King – Australian cricketer
Although cricket originated in England, the early practice of swing bowling is believed to have originated in America where cricket was not popular.
In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Philadelphia all-rounder Bart King used to dismiss batsmen with his unique ball, which he called the “angler”, which is considered the first instance of any swing bowling in cricket. Sir Don Bradman once called him “America’s greatest son of cricket” for his contribution to the great art of the game.
10 Best Swing Bowlers In Cricket
- 1 Wasim Akram (Pakistan)
- 2 Waqar Younis (Pakistan)
- 3 Dale Steyn (South Africa)
- 4 James Anderson (England)
- 5 Imran Khan (Pakistan)
- 6 Zaheer Khan (India)
- 7 Terry Alderman (Australia)
- 8 Chaminda Vas (Sri Lanka)
- 9 Colin Croft (West Indies)
- 10 Ray Lindwall (Australia)
Now that we are all familiar with swing bowling and its related stuff, let’s take a look at the list of top 10 bowlers of the Swing Kings.
#10 Ray Lindwall (Australia)
Ray Lindwall is one of the most complete fast bowlers to grace the game. His extraordinary pace always gave him an edge over anyone, but he never let the batsmen down in terms of excellent control over length and direction. Also, his ability to move the ball in the air made him the best player of his era.
Lindwall played 61 Test matches and took 218 wickets at an average of 23.03.
#9 Colin Croft (West Indies)
The competition among fast bowlers during his time was so tough that despite having all the attributes of a great fast bowler in his armoury, Colin Croft managed to play only 27 Test matches. But Colin left no stone unturned to prove his mettle even in such limited opportunities. He took 125 wickets for West Indies at an average of 23.3.
Although his action looks a bit strange, he can take the ball far away from the seam.
#8 Chaminda Vas (Sri Lanka)
Unlike other bowlers on this list, pace is not a weapon for Vaas. He has an amazing ability to swing the ball and has become the most successful Sri Lankan fast bowler in the longer format.
Chaminda who took 12 5 wickets and 2 10 wickets took 355 wickets in 111 matches.
#7 Terry Alderman (Australia)
Terry Alderman is the most controversial name on this list, but there are very few bowlers who can bowl out-swingers and off-cutters like him.
The Australian took full advantage of English pitches favouring his swing bowling and took over 40 wickets in the 1981 and 1989 Ashes.
Also Read: Most Test Runs In India By Visiting Batters
Injuries and suspension curtailed his career, but taking 170 wickets in just 40 matches earned him the tag ‘swing genius’.
#6 Zaheer Khan (India)
Zaheer is undoubtedly the greatest Indian swing bowler. He has all the qualities of a top-class swing bowler and can swing the new ball and reverse the old ball. What is even more impressive is that he did it on the flat pitches of the subcontinent, where fast bowlers get no help.
He continued to beat batsmen consistently throughout his career, resulting in 311 wickets in 92 Test matches.
#5 Imran Khan (Pakistan)
Imran Khan is one of the reasons why bowlers are more interested in swing and reverse swing because he makes them look easy.
A relatively short spin causes a jump in his delivery stride and then all hell breaks loose; This is Imran. Bowling at an average of 22.81, Imran took 362 wickets in 88 matches, including 23 5-wicket hauls and 6 10-wicket hauls.
#4 James Anderson (England)
Jimmy Anderson is the highest wicket-taker among fast bowlers in Test cricket (584 in 151 matches) and he will surely add more wickets to his account before bidding farewell to international cricket.
Also Read: Most T20 International Centuries By Teams
Playing most of his cricket in overcast English conditions, Anderson dominated every batting line-up with his red cherry, allowing him to go in any direction.
#3 Dale Steyn (South Africa)
Like most great fast bowlers, Steyn has good pace, but his specialty is swinging the ball at 145 kmph and making batsmen look like mere bowling pins. If a batsman survives the initial threats, few can survive his reverse-swingers at the end of the innings.
439 wickets in just 93 matches; Numbers can give anyone a run for their money. However, we all know that if Dale Steyn could have been kept fit for longer, he would have broken the top bowling record.
#2 Waqar Younis (Pakistan)
With a slightly looser action, Waqar can swing the ball both ways to fool top-class batsmen. What set him apart from other swing bowlers was his toe-crushing in-swinging yorker, which he could bowl at over 150 kmph.
Picking up 373 wickets in 87 Test matches shows how clever Cherry was in the hands.
#1 Wasim Akram (Pakistan)
When it comes to swing bowling, the first name that comes to mind is Wasim Akram. Hence he is called ‘Sultan of Swing’.
414 wickets in 104 Test matches at an average of 23.62; His numbers match what a legend he is. Long run-up, quick hand action, and the ball starts moving in and out of the air; The batsman has no option but the pavilion.