Test cricket is a format where part-time bowlers fail to make a lot of impacts simply because of the fact that it needs discipline and perseverance. But, in white-ball cricket, the part-timers often play a big role because of the batsmen’s tendency to play high-risk shots against them.
There have been a few part-timers in international cricket who have taken more wickets than some mainstream bowlers. We have picked 6 such bowlers here:
Sachin Tendulkar ended his career with a total of 201 international wickets. He bowled very little towards the end of his career, but when he first started, he used to chip away regularly with the ball for India and used to provide the team some crucial breakthroughs as well.
Sachin was a unique bowler in the sense that not only could he bowl both off-spin and leg-spin, but he could also bowl seam-up as well, given the nature of the pitch.
Shoaib Malik has a total of 218 wickets to his name in international cricket. Malik actually burst onto the scene as a genuine all-rounder, but as he moved forward in his career, he focused more on his batting and became only a part-time bowler for Pakistan.
However, even as a part-timer, Malik has been making useful contributions with the ball for Pakistan.
Sourav Ganguly also grabbed more than 100 wickets in international cricket before hanging his boots. Ganguly was one of those rare part-timers for India who used to bowl medium pace rather than spin.
There were times when India played only one specialist fast bowler and three spinners on dusty surfaces and Ganguly took the new ball as the second fast bowler in those games.
Mohammed Hafeez has been a top-order batsman for Pakistan for a decade and a half, but he has actually been more consistent with the ball than he has been with the bat.
Hafeez has gone through patches where he has really struggled with the bat and hasn’t been able to contribute at all at the top of the order for Pakistan, but he has hardly ever struggled with the ball. Despite being only a part-timer, he has been very challenging to face for the left-handed batsmen.
Hafeez has a total of 246 wickets to his name in international cricket.
Andrew Symonds, just like Sachin, was also capable of bowling both spin and seam-up as per the nature of the surface. Although Symonds didn’t have a lot of pace, he used to hit the deck hard and extract something out of the surface all the time. The big Australian all-rounder ended his career with a total of 165 international wickets.
6. Sanath Jayasuriya
Sanath Jayasuriya, a Sri Lankan opener, and a legendary cricketer had more ODI wickets on his tally than the Australian legend, Shane Warne. Warne’s 293 wickets in his One Day International career falls very short of Jayasuriya’s 323 wickets.