Whenever we talk about sporting fantasies and they indulge cricket, one of the wildest ones which tickle your brain is what if one team had all bowlers and no batsman at all? How would it have been? Would their opponent be dismissed for naught or would they post a mammoth total of 350 plus on the cards?
We will look at a team of eleven bowlers, whom we thought when we string it together can actually outclass a group of a fully-balanced team. However, this is just a fantasy piece and you are always entitled to your opinion.
Daniel Vettori and Ajit Agarkar
A veteran left-arm orthodox bowler towering at 6 feet 3 inches, Vettori was known for his lethal spinning wizardry. However, at times he was also touted as a bowling all-rounder, owing to his batting flair.
A guy whose test batting average is 30 that also includes remarkable six centuries and whose ODI average, despite coming at number 7 or 8 is close to 18 which is inclusive of 2253 runs and 4 half-centuries are definitely capable of leading the batting pack in this group of meaty bowlers. His bowling needs no separate introduction as he managed to register 667 international wickets.
Ajit Agarkar is one of that rare breed of bowlers who provided reliability in India’s batting order, stretching it to a moderate depth in the time of the nation’s renaissance. With 1269 ODI runs which included a fabulous 95 against a formidable Caribbean force and an unbeaten century that propelled him to the honours board of Lord’s, gives him an edge over his teammates. He was an in-swinging yorker specialist.
- James Faulkner
Though failing to make a significant impact through his limited number of games, Faulkner played 69 ODI’s which saw him scoring 1069 runs at a decent average of 34.40 that boasted one century and four half-centuries. His career-best of 116 that came against India almost broke a thousand Indian hearts, if not for a timely intervention by Mohammad Shami.
- Tim Southee
A pretty decent batter in the longest format of the game, who has helped New Zealand to claw out of a zillion difficult situations, Southee has chronicled 5 half-centuries in Test cricket until date. His top score of 77 not out in the format of the red cherry and his solitary half-century in ODI’s makes him a hot-favorite in the batting line up of these eminent bowlers.
He has clubbed 1668 Test runs and 679 ODI runs at an average of 17.37 and 12.57 respectively.
- Ravichandran Ashwin
From being a lucrative option in all formats of the game, Ashwin has now been reduced to only Test bowling. However, his batting figures are equally impressive as the Chennai-based offie has garnered 2835 Test runs at an astonishing average of 28.73 that also features 4 blistering tons and 11 half-centuries. His heroics in the shorter format of the game aren’t pretty cool though as he could only manage 675 runs at a decent average of 16.10 which has witnessed a solitary half-century.
- Shaun Pollock ( c )
He is probably the best of the lot when it comes to batting as his figures are pretty deferential with 3781 Test runs and 3519 ODI runs at a phenomenal average of 32.31 and 26.45 respectively. These figures can challenge the stats of any batsman at any given point in time.
His medium-pace has also bedevilled several greats of the game and his captaincy stint with South Africa still makes him a hot contender for the prestigious position of captaincy for this lot.
- Irfan Pathan
A reverse-swing specialist, Pathan has even opened innings for India. With 1105 runs from 29 Tests at an average of 31.89 and 1544 runs from 120 ODI’s at an average of 23.39, Pathan has provided great depth in Indian batting between 2006-2012.
He was also India’s main man who dismantled Pakistan to notch up India’s first T-20 World Cup.
- Harbhajan Singh
Now with the bowling department kicking in, Harbhajan’s figures aren’t really sky-touching but those substantial sixes which he smote time and time again, that included a 12-ball 37 against Australia, will make him a hot favourite for a spot in this team.
With 2284 Test runs and 1237 ODI runs that comprises 2 Test centuries and 9 half-centuries in the longest format of the game, the turbanator is also known for his leadership flair as he went on to lead Mumbai Indians in IPL.
- Douglas Marillier (wk)
The inventor of Marillier shot, Douglas was a pretty decent batsman going by the standards of an off-break bowler. The one who managed to smash 14 runs against McGrath and also steal away a thriller from the very jaws of defeat, Marillier has amassed 186 Test runs at an average of 31.00 and 672 ODI runs at an average of 18.16.
In fact, he has also managed to rack up one century and three fifties in his limited One Day career. With his previous experience of brief wicket-keeping skills, Marillier becomes the best possible choice for this position.
- Shane Warne
The bloke who redefined spin bowling across the century, rather the historic course of the game, Warnie has saved countless matches for Australia with the bat. With 3154 Test runs and 1018 ODI runs, Warne can provide considerable support down the order and everyone is pretty well accustomed to the wizardry that he spins with his fingers on the 22 yards.
- Zaheer Khan
One of the best bowlers ever produced by India, Zaheer Khan has managed classic batting exotica that helped India to cross the line in matches which didn’t even seem close. Including those exquisite hits off Douglas Hondo and Heath Streak in the World Cup match of 2003, he has racked up great heroics against specialized bowlers.
His sturdy 75 against Bangladesh helped Sachin Tendulkar pave his way for a brilliant double-hundred and a phenomenal 133-run last wicket stand while his 20’s and 30’s towards the end of the innings that even saw a few gargantuan sixers, won a lot of plaudits. With 1230 Test runs and 792 ODI runs, Khan took his worth to a whole new level.
His bowling needs no separate introduction as 593 international wickets to speak for themselves.