Revealing 10 Best Swing Bowlers Of Cricket History - Cric Eye

Revealing 10 Best Swing Bowlers Of Cricket History

Although people often say that cricket is a game that favors batsmen the most, in truth, if a bowler possesses a certain skill set with the ball, then cricket can be equally favorable for both batsmen and bowlers.

Especially if a bowler has the ability to generate lateral movement in the air, they can easily deceive any batsman regardless of the conditions.

That’s exactly what happened in the 2000s era, where a couple of bowlers, with their raw pace and swing bowling skills, became incredibly dangerous for batsmen, making it difficult for them to survive on the pitch.

Some masters of conventional swing and reverse swing kept the hope alive for bowlers that a great career awaited them in the future if they possessed the incredible ability to bowl swing deliveries.

I know you’re a bit curious to find out who those swing bowlers are. Therefore, I’ve compiled a list of the top 10 best swing bowlers of all time in cricket history.

Introducing The Best Swing Bowlers Of Cricket History


1) James Anderson – England’s Classy Swing Master

 

England’s all-time great, James Anderson, currently aged 40, holds the top spot among the best swing bowlers in cricket. Despite his age, he continues to dominate both older and newer generation batsmen with his unplayable swing deliveries.

James Anderson is ranked as the best swing bowler due to his exceptional ability to move the ball both away and into the batsman, regardless of the conditions. He has showcased this skill on pitches across the Subcontinent, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa, consistently delivering swinging deliveries that have proven effective worldwide.

Jimmy Anderson is not only proficient with the new ball, but he also possesses a mastery of reverse swing, which the world had seen in his numerous dismissals of prominent batsmen like Virat Kohli.

Anderson’s skillful execution has led to memorable encounters with Kohli, with Anderson claiming his wicket on seven occasions out of 36 test innings.

2) Wasim Akram – Magician Of Reverse Swing

If there is a nation that has produced some of the greatest fast bowlers capable of swinging the ball in the air, then undoubtedly it has to be Pakistan. Wasim Akram is one of those Pakistani cricketing greats whose presence on the ground used to instill doubts in the minds of batsmen regarding their own batting abilities.

There were very few individuals during the 1990s-2000s era who could consistently bowl over 140kmph while also mastering both conventional and reverse swing, and Wasim Akram was undoubtedly one of them. Thus, making him the 2nd best swing bowler of cricket history.

The ball literally used to dance the way Wasim wanted it to, making him arguably the best reverse swing bowler the world has ever known. His impeccable control of line and length, combined with his ability to generate swinging deliveries, made him a bowler that batsmen certainly did not want to face frequently.

3) Trent Boult – Nightmare For Top Order Batsmen

If there is a man who can turn the cricket scoreboard into a football scorecard, that’s name is Trent Boult. New Zealand’s left arm fast bowler, Trent Boult has showcased his swinging ability to the world on many big occasions, especially during the 2019 ODI world cup.

Remember the iconic semi-final of Ind vs NZ in 2019? Trent Boult delivered two late in-swinger balls to dismiss Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli, respectively. This eventually made a big difference, with New Zealand qualifying for the final of the 2019 World Cup.

This was just an example of how effective Trent Boult is at mastering the art of swing. While Boult is capable of bowling both inswingers and outswingers, his in-swingers are particularly dangerous, often moving to a degree that leaves batsmen completely clueless. This proficiency earns him the 3rd rank in the list of the best swing bowlers in cricket.

4) Waqar Younis – Swinging Yorker Specialist

Yet another Pakistani bowling legend, Waqar Younis, had batsmen falling on the ground with his toe-crushing swing yorker deliveries, even against formidable opponents like Brian Lara, Herschelle Gibbs, and Graeme Smith.

The fact that sometimes even batsmen used to know that Waqar Younis was going to bowl an inswing yorker on the shoes, yet most of the batsmen failed to tackle this ruthless swing bowler of Pakistan. Those days were completely owned by the bowling combo of Waqar Younis and Wasim Akram in terms of quality bowling.

5) Bhuvneshwar Kumar – India’s Swing King

If claiming a bowled-out wicket of top-class batters such as Aaron Finch, Jos Buttler, David Warner, Jonny Bairstow, etc., is an art, then Bhuvneshwar Kumar is the artist. This lad consistently troubled former Australian Captain Aaron Finch by delivering unplayable inswingers from outside off stump into the middle stump.

Without any doubt, Bhuvneshwar Kumar is the current best swing bowler of Indian cricket who is unfortunately not the part of T2OI World cup of 2024 and also lost his regular BCCI yearly contract.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar is called “India’s swing king” by fans because he’s really good at making the cricket ball move sideways in the air. He’s been doing this for a long time for Indian cricket by troubling almost every International opening batsman, especially Aron Finch who is now retired.

6) Zaheer Khan – Artist Of Outswing

The 6th bowler to be ranked on this list would be the former left-arm pacer of Indian cricket, Zaheer Khan, who played one of the most underrated roles in India’s victory at the 2011 ODI World Cup by bowling some amazing maiden overs under pressure in that tournament.

Zaheer Khan’s outswinging deliveries forced Sri Lankan batters into a defensive mode, allowing him to bowl three consecutive maiden overs in the final match of the 2011 World Cup between India and Sri Lanka. Unfortunately, his masterclass performance in that game is not often discussed or given enough credit.

Though Zaheer was capable of both in-swing and out-swing deliveries, he often trapped batsmen with his stock delivery, which was the outswinger. He would bowl three or four consecutive deliveries towards the batter and then, on the fifth or sixth delivery, he would deliver a perfect out-swinging ball, often resulting in the dismissal of the batsman as a surprise element.

7) Dale Steyn – Perfectionist of Bowling

If you ever wanted to see Brett Lee, Shoaib Akhtar, and Glenn McGrath bowling simultaneously, or in case you missed them when they were playing, you could watch videos of Dale Steyn bowling.

Why? Because his bowling jump action is similar to Brett Lee’s, his pace is reminiscent of Shoaib Akhtar’s, and his consistent accuracy in hitting good spots would remind you of Glenn McGrath. That’s why people often calls Dale Steyn a Perfect bowler of cricket history.

Plus, on top of all these traits, Dale Steyn possesses exceptional ability in swing bowling as well, which makes him even more dangerous for batsmen to face. During his era, the South African team was something that excited fans, especially to watch the bowling of the “Steyn Gun.”

8) Mitchell Starc – Australia’s Biggest Asset

The 6.2ft tall Mitchell Starc has emerged as a once-in-a-lifetime bowler for Australia, dominating across all three formats of cricket. His unique skill lies in his capacity to make the ball move both rightwards and leftwards, regardless of the color of the ball.

The reason Mitchell Starc ranked 8th place in terms of best swing bowler of cricket history is because of continuous magical bowling performances he delivered throughout his career.

I still remember the 2023 Ashes, where Starc bowled the first ball of the series, and guess what? He delivered a yorker length out-swing ball to England’s opener Ben Duckett, shocking him and getting the bowled-out wicket on the very first ball of the match.

Furthermore, his iconic bowling spell in 2015 against New Zealand is another example of why this lad has earned so much respect and appreciation from the world for his controlled and swinging bowling.

9) Mohammad Shami – A Complete Bowler

The only reliable and prominent Indian bowler who is now contributing to the success of the Indian bowling unit, Mohammad Shami most of the time gets unnoticed for his bowling performance.

Shami has the pace to beat, swing to make the batsman dance, accuracy to trouble a batter, and experience of bowling in any situation of the game. I don’t think anything more than this needs to call

10) Stuart Broad

Moving on to the 10th best swing bowler of all time in cricket, Stuart Broad, who recently decided to retire from Test cricket, ended up having 604 Test wickets in his pocket.

One of the great highlights of Stuart Broad’s Test career was his spell of 8 wickets for just 15 runs against Australia in 2015 at Trent Bridge. Broad single-handedly made the Australian side hopeless with his remarkable out-swing deliveries to left-handed batsmen and in-swing to right-handed batters.


Frequently Asked Questions

Who is the best swing bowler between Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mohammad Shami?

Although both Indian fast bowlers have done a great job whenever they got the opportunity, when it comes to making the ball swing, Bhuvneshwar Kumar is a bit ahead of Shami.

Is Jasprit Bumrah A Swing Bowler?

No, Jasprit Bumrah primarily focuses on pace and relies on hard length deliveries as his main strength. However, when the ball is new and there is a good amount of shine on it, Bumrah can also move the ball to a certain degree in the air.

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