Swing bowling is one of the most romanticised techniques in cricket history. The most enjoyable thing to witness is when the ball is swerving in the air and moved inches. There have been many best swing bowlers of all time who have enthralled fans with their skills. A swing bowler is also one of the most important players on any team since, aside from spinners, only proficient swing bowlers are capable of forging unanticipated breakthroughs. They have superb records and accomplishments. Both master of the art and some of the great names of swing bowlers that come to mind have existed.
Here’s a list of Top 10 Best Swing Bowlers of All Time –
1. Waqar Younis
Waqar Younis is the best express pace fast bowler, acknowledged as one of the best swing bowlers of all time, he became well known as the “King of Swing” for his slick long run-up, whippy sling type action, extreme pace and unplayable lethal swing. Waqar was always amazing to watch him sprint to the stumps as if he were in the Olympic 100-meter final before delivering his high-velocity deliveries. Waqar invented his own delivery, the quick inswing yorker, which he patents. No bowler in history has been better at getting the old ball to swing or more skilled at swinging the new or old ball at pace.
His statistics are extremely outstanding, with an incredible strike rate of one wicket per 43.49 balls. Waqar was a phenomenon because he disregarded many of the norms for fast bowlers. Over the years, the majority of quickies have favoured the hard, new ball and have utilised bouncers to frighten batsmen. Waqar, on the other hand, excelled at using reverse swing when the ball was worn and scratched. In One Day International games, Waqar Younis has claimed the fastest 300, 350, and 400 wickets. Express fast bowler Waqar Younis, carried the reverse swing legacy forward and became one of the technique’s top practitioners.
2. Wasim Akram
Wasim Akram, the “sultan of swing,” is widely recognised as one of the greatest fast bowlers of all time. Wasim akram is arguably one of the best swing bowlers in the world because he could swing the ball far and seemingly at will in either direction. He could exploit the old ball in a way that few others had ever been able to, what is now known as reverse swing. There has never been a great bowler in cricket with a rapid and deceptive arm movement like Wasim. He would hustle into the wicket after a short run to deliver the ball with an action that sent the ball flying at the batter more quickly than anyone could have imagined.
Wasim akram at his best, he had the speed to worry the best players and a rare ability to control any ball. He was undoubtedly the most entertaining to observe because of his audacity, risk, and constant excitement. He frequently resembled a magician who takes pleasure in pulling off improbable tricks. With over 916 international wickets, including 414 in Test matches, Akram was one of the forerunners of reverse swing bowling. He bowled two consecutive” unplayable” balls in the 1992 World Cup final, which resulted in the dismissal of English batters Allan Lamb and Chris Lewis.
3. Allan Donald
Allan Donald nicknamed “White Lightning” who is considered one of the best fast bowlers in the test cricket history. Much of South Africa’s success in the 1990s is credited to Donald. He had a smooth approach and an effortless run-up before bursting into the delivery stride. Few pace bowlers can bowl from around the wicket with good control like he did. He was a world class fast bowler because of his extraordinary control while swinging the ball at great speed.
The top batsman was constantly kept alert by his skittish bouncers. However, Allan Donald was more than just a danger to bounce and move quickly. With 330 Test wickets at an average of 22.25 and 272 One Day International wickets at an average of 21.78, he held the record for most wickets taken by a player for South Africa. Twenty times, Donald took 5 wickets in an innings, and three times, he took 10 or more. He is the first successful South African fast bowler ever to record 300 Test wickets. In 1998, he was ranked top in the ICC Test Rankings.
4. Sarfraz Nawaz
Sarfraz Nawaz is regarded one of the best best swing bowlers of all time who set trend the art and science of reverse swing. In particular, he was the first to perfect the reverse swing who swung the ball both ways and took great delight in showing other bowlers how to do it. He was tall and powerfully built, ran in a straight line, and displayed a slightly military gait (perhaps heightened by his erect stance and opulent moustache).
Sarfraz Nawaz contributed to the improvement of the game as “the father of reverse swing”. He played 55 Test matches during which he took 177 wickets with bowling average was 32.75, economy rate was 2.49. He bowled outstanding reverse swing bowling in 1979 test in Melbourne against Australia. For 86 runs, he took nine wickets. Fast bowlers all around the world use the technique known as reverse swing, which was invented by Sarfraz Nawaz and later refined by Imran Khan, Wasim Akram, and Waqar Younis.
5. Chaminda Vaas
Due to Chaminda Vaas’ incredibly precise lines, lengths, and ability to swing the ball, Vaas is frequently said to be the best fast bowler Sri Lanka has ever produced. Vaas is the first and only fast bowler from Sri Lanka to have 400 ODI wickets and more than 300 test wickets. He is still the fourth-highest wicket taker in the history of the format with 400 wickets in one day cricket. He is the only bowler to obtain an 8-wicket haul in ODIs and currently has the record for the best bowling stats in ODI history.
It is not surprising that 96 of his 343 wickets have been caught leg before; this represents a high percentage for a seamer at 27.98%. Without Chaminda Vaas, Sri Lanka wouldn’t have much of a bowling lineup. He has 174 domestic wickets and 169 on the tour, demonstrating his value in all situations. He was able to score a hat-trick twice, once against Bangladesh and once against Zimbabwe.
6. Imran Khan
Imran developed his ball swinging technique and mastered the inswinger and outswinger releases. Imran’s much faster pace made it impossible for batters to react to his powerful swing because of how quickly he moved. With Sarfraz Nawaz, he quickly rose to prominence as the inventor of swing bowling in the 1970s. In his 88 games, he averaged more than four wickets per test, making him a marvellous bowler in his own right.
In 1982, Khan was at the height of his abilities as a fast bowler. He recorded the lowest average of any bowler in Test cricket history with 62 wickets in 9 Tests, each going for 13.29. Imran khan is well known one of the greatest all rounders of all time took 362 wickets and scored 3807 runs in 88 Tests with best bowling figures of 8/58 vs Sri lanka. He also captured 182 wickets in ODIs, with the best bowling figures of 6/14 vs India.
7. Dale Steyn
Dale Steyn is arguably the greatest fast bowler of modern era. He had a thin, wiry build, a fiery run-up that produced an aerodynamic movement, and, at his best, a ripper of an outswinger. He moved the ball quickly, which is an extraordinarily difficult feat for any batsmen to overcome. He frequently hit speeds of 150 kmph and possesses an unusual ability to swing with control while moving at a breakneck speed. In Nagpur in 2010, when he took 7-51 to lead South Africa to a thrilling victory, he also demonstrated his mastery of the reverse swing.
Steyn won the ICC Test Cricketer of the Year Award in 2008 for taking 78 wickets at an average of 16.24. Dale Steyn is the fastest South African bowler to reach the milestones of 100, 150, 200, and 250 Test wickets, as well as the fastest to reach 400 wickets based on the quantity of deliveries bowled. With 422 wickets, he overtook Shaun Pollock to become South Africa’s all-time greatest wicket-taker in Test matches in December 2018.
8. Mohammad Asif
Mohammad Asif is considered to be the master of swing bowling because no one had more control while bowling seam and swing than Asif. Mohammad Asif is one of the most skilled and magician bowlers to ever take the cricket field. Mohammad Asif most likely would have left his mark on history, a name that would have ushered a cricket enthusiast into a time when the “ball would do the talking. He was undoubtedly one of the most feared bowlers at the time, and he frequently made star batsmen his bunnies like Kevin Pietersen, Hashim Amla, Ricky Ponting, Virender Sehwag and AB Devilliers.
“The lanky speedster took 106 wickets during his brief 23-match Test career. He has recorded some outstanding bowling performances, including a ten-wicket haul and seven fifers. He formerly ranked second among Test bowlers in the world, only behind the famous Dale Steyn. During the Test match against India in 2006, Asif bowled to VVS Laxman was struck out with an magical inswing delivery. “People refer to it as the ball of the century.”
9. Zaheer Khan
Zaheer Khan is well known the second most successful Indian fast bowler in cricket after Kapil dev. Zaheer Khan had perfected the reverse swing with the older ball and could swing the new ball both ways. He evolved into a cunning fast bowler who tricked the batsmen with his cunning and variety. Zaheer khan was the standout bowler for India to win 2011 World Cup. He led the list of highest wicket-takers in 2011 ICC World Cup with brilliant 21 wickets.
With 311 test wickets at the end of his career, Zaheer surpassed Kapil Dev to rank only as the second-most successful Indian fast bowler in test cricket. He took several wickets in addition to his pace and swing because of his propensity to occasionally catch the batter off guard with his oddly raising deliveries. India won the 2007 test series 1-0 in England because to Zaheer Khan, who took superb 18 wickets in three Test matches.
10. Shane Bond
Shane bond is the greatest fast bowlers in New Zealand cricket history. Due to injuries, he was unable to enjoy a long career, but he dazzled everyone in the games he played at the highest level. Bond is arguably considered as one of the best swing bowlers of all time, batsmen feared playing against him because of his ability to swing the ball both ways. Even the best hitters feared his toe-breaking Yorkers, which he bowled with his right arm quickly. His athletic movement was focused on the inswing, and combined with his quickness, the ball swung quite late.
His delivery speed record stands at 156.4 km/h. He was the leading wicket-taker in the 2001-02 VB Series with 21 wickets at an economy rate of 16.38. He took magnificent 44 wickets of his 147 ODI wickets overall against the champion team Australia, doing so at an improbable 15.79, including “a hat-trick at Hobart.” During the 2002-03 season he took 60 international wickets at a very low average, which was very impressive.
Read also: Top 10 Fastest Bowlers In The World