Fast bowling is a rare art and not every single cricketer is blessed with the virtue of speed. It needs a lot of factors to blend in for the successful development of a pace bowler and his sustainability in the long run.
Add a spoonful of swing to the fiery pace and you have the rarest athletes in the roster of cricket competing for the pinnacle. To simplify things here, swing is the movement of the ball in either direction, startling the batsman about choosing any one way to take and that too at a hurtling pace of 140 to 150 odd clicks.
Once upon a time in cricket, there were virtuosos of fast bowling who could rack up insane movement of the ball regularly, drifting around at 140 plus clicks, making life a living hell for the batters.
Now things have watered down a lot and not every fast bowler you encounter is a McGrath, Akram or Younis anymore. Out of ten fast bowlers, you will come across one who can swing the ball menacingly. In today’s story, we will take a look at five of the best active swing bowlers in the cricketing canon.
#1 Mitchell Starc
Remember that bend he put on the delivery which claimed James Vince? That was practically an unplayable delivery and that left the world reeling from what the lanky Australian is capable of.
The man has been spearheading Australia’s bowling line-up for a while now. His towering stature laced with a lethal run-up from the distance followed by that nasty sweet-chin music and toe-crushing yorkers. He has been a part of 61 Test matches thaw saw him claiming 255 wickets. He has also managed to claim 246 international wickets in the shorter versions of the game.
#2 James Anderson
Almost eighteen years in the circuit, Anderson has been wreaking havoc until now and his onslaught comes at the expense of premium strikers of the ball. The delivery with which he claimed Kohli in the opening innings is a fast bowler’s paradise.
He is a member of the elite club of 600 plus wicket-takers as his current tally in Test matches read 621. His recent exploits against India propelled him past Anil Kumble and he is England’s best fast bowler by a proverbial mile. Keeping aside the numbers, if we quickly take a look at the man’s insane swing and pace, still viciously making inroads through the guards of the citadel, we wonder if he will ever stop.
#3 Mohammad Shami
An expert reverse-swing bowler who brought New Zealand down to its knees in the first innings of the WTC finale, Mohammad Shami is one of the deadliest swing bowlers in the current roster of cricket.
He hasn’t got the aid of an extraordinary physique, but what he does have is an eye for accuracy. With almost half a meter of movement on even the flattest pitches, Shami gets even more menacing with every passing day. The man has claimed 188 Test wickets and 148 ODI wickets to transcend himself above others that come with the significant impact that he has on the games.
#4 Trent Boult
Do not fall for that smile ever. That is a menacing masquerade of what lies beneath, a deadly blend of swing and pace. One of New Zealand’s finest fast bowlers in recent times, Boult can swing the ball into the batsman that leaves him with very little room and timing to swing his willow.
An impactful bowler who maintains a stringent line and length is often capable of putting manacles on the hands of the best. He has so far claimed 292 wickets from 73 Test matches and 169 ODI wickets. He is also a death-over specialist and is capable of frustrating the batsman with an insane amount of swing and yorkers.
#5 Jofra Archer
You can argue all that you want about Archer not specializing in swing bowling, but he is a crazy fast bowler who can simply do anything and everything. He rams in from quite a distance with a towering run-up and then belts those meaty pile drivers at the observant batters.
He was recently suffering from an injury and he announced his comeback in grandiose fashion as he pitched a picture-perfect swinger to get the timbre of the batsman in County cricket. He is young, he is brutal and he is capable of destruction.