They are the ones who their captains turn to when things are drifting away or need to be controlled. They give the bowlers a chance to rest for a while and could offer something different in place of the usual bowling options.
Part-timers play an important role in cricket and have helped change the course of a match on many occasions. We take a look at some of the most popular part-time bowlers in history:
1. Sachin Tendulkar:
Probably the greatest batsman the world has ever seen, Sachin was also handy with the ball and has chipped in with crucial wickets whenever called upon. He famously bowled a tight over to help India win the Titan Cup in the 90s and picked up Moin Khan’s wicket off the last ball of the day in a Test in 2004.
Sachin was famous for wanting to be a fast bowler during his developing years. He transitioned into a slow spinner with many variations and has picked up a lot of wickets during his years playing.
2. Sanath Jayasuriya:
The Sri Lankan legend should actually not be considered a pure batsman as his bowling helped him gather close to 300+ wickets. He was an excellent spinner who could give the team an extra edge and Jayasuriya was considered a real threat by many opposition.
Jayasuriya was a wily bowler who would come in the middle overs and pick up wickets before the main bowlers came on to finish the innings. His legacy is not only forged in his explosive batting, but his splendid bowling as well.
3. JP Duminy:
The South African is another one who has the uncanny knack of picking up wickets at crucial junctures to help his team make inroads in many matches. Duminy’s slow, spin bowling has lured many batsmen into playing shots they normally would not.
Duminy is a great option for South Africa to have considering they have a very strong pace battery that is not complemented by many spinners in the squad. He gives South Africa that extra edge they need to win games.
4. Michael Clarke:
The former Australian captain was another one who could make a difference to his team thanks to his useful spin bowling. Clarke was a good bowler who would appear and sometimes even finish his quota of overs.
Till a back injury kept him out, Clarke was one of the bowlers who was constantly considered as one of the main backups in case the others did not work out.
5. Chris Gayle:
The big West Indian is another one who can turn things around when he is not batting and he has showed his ability on many occasions. Gayle and his slow spinners, mixed with the odd fast one have proved to be a menace on many occasions.
He has even bowled in T20s, going to show his calibre and ability. Gayle is an excellent cricketer who has served West Indian cricket at the highest level for so many years.
By Rohit Nair