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Top 10 Best Swing Bowlers of All Time10 min read

best swing bowlers of all time- wasim akram in green pakistan jersey

Cricket has seen some of the great bowlers. In this article, we will talk about the top 10 best swing bowlers of all time.

Swing Bowling is an art and it’s the most difficult thing to do on a cricket pitch. Fans love watching balls traveling in the air towards the batsman and docking away from him. It’s just beautiful to watch.

We have seen a great fast bowler capable of swinging both ways that too in the air. One of the reasons behind its nature is the way the bowler bowl. They changed the direction of the ball with their fingers switching outside and inside during the game.

Swing bowling can be classified into two types the first one is a normal swing in which the bowl either comes inside or goes outside and the other one is reverse swing. Normal swing bowling is most applied with the new ball while on the other hand reverse swing is done when the ball becomes very old.

In the game of cricket, bowlers play a vital role and can change the course of the game in a blink of an eye. To efficiently use the bowl for taking wickets required skills and regular practice.

We have seen a great swing bowler over the years and today we will talk about the top 10 best swing bowlers of all time.

Top 10 Best Swing Bowlers of All Time

10 Imran Khan

Image Credit- Naya Daur

Imran Khan is one of the greatest Pakistani cricketers and best all-rounder of all time. Imran Khan is one of the best swing bowlers of his time. His capability of swinging and reverse swing the ball is too good. He makes swinging a habit and he does it with such ease.

Imran Khan is a phenomenon that he foes for Pakistan cricket are just unmatchable. As a bowler, he took 362 wickets in Test cricket out of 88 matches played which made him the first Pakistani and world’s fourth bowler to do so. He has taken 23 5-Wicket hauls and 6 10-Wicket hauls during his career.

Imran Khan will always be considered as one of the most elegant swing bowlers of all time in cricket history.

9 Zaheer Khan

It would not be wrong to say that Zaheer Khan is one of the finest swing bowlers India has ever produced. He is the backbone of the Indian bowling lineup. Zaheer has the ability to swing the ball both ways and capable of reverse swing with the old one. He has been equally effective in home and away fixtures and that something everyone is not capable of.

Zaheer records across all formats are impressive. He took 311 wickets in 92 Tests with an economy of 3.27. In ODI he played 200 matches and took 282 wickets with an average of 29.44.

Zaheer has been regarded as the best fast bowlers of India over the years. His performance throughout his career remains constant. He will be always rated the best among the top bowlers around the world.

8 Sir Richard Hadlee

Image credit- Wisden

Richard Hadlee is a well-known swing bowler of his generation. Sir Richard Hadlee was one of the best bowlers to ever grace the game of cricket. As a bowler his performance in test matches is phenomenal. His bowling has always been the game-changer for New Zealand cricket during his time.

He played a total of 86 tests in which he took 431 wickets at an economy rate of 2.78. There is no denying the fact that he is the first superstar of New Zealand cricket. He used to swing the ball at any condition and any ground, that’s how the great bowler he is.

7 Malcolm Marshall

Image Credit – Cricketnmore

West Indies have seen some legendary bowlers since they started playing cricket. One of them is Malcolm Marshall. Many great players still considered Marshall as one of the best swingers of the ball. He is very good at out swinging the ball. It’s very difficult for the batsmen to read the ball when Marshall is bowling from the end.

He took 376 wickets in 81 matches at an economy rate of 2.69. He is not a bowler with high stature however he is still rated as one of the best swing bowlers of all time. His line and length are the keys to his success. His performance in England is too good, picking up 94 wickets at a bowling average of 18.70 however he is equally effective in the other countries.

6 Chaminda Vaas

Image Credit – Cricket World

Chaminda Vaas one of the great bowlers the world has ever seen. His most important asset is his capability to swing the balls on both sides. He is not the kind of bowler who does things with the pace. He is known for his tight bowling. Vaas is the bowler who leads the Sri Lankan bowling in all formats of the game. He finished his career as the most successful Sri Lankan fast bowler of all time. The Sri Lankan team is still unable to find any alternative to Chaminda Vaas.

Vaas had played a total of 111 matches in which he took 355 wickets with an impressive average of 29.58. In ODI he played 322 matches and took 400 wickets with an economy rate of 4.19.

Vaas is capable of swinging the ball in the early overs of the game and always provides Sri Lanka with important breakthroughs.

5 Dale Steyn

best swing bowlers of all time
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There are only a few players in the world who can swing the ball with pace and Steyn is one of them. It’s always been difficult to face Steyn during the initial overs. He has proved his brilliance in all parts of the world. He can swing the bowl in nay pitches under any circumstances. There are many great batsmen who rated Steyn as one of the best bowlers the world cricket has ever seen. He is also capable of reverse swinging the ball when it becomes old.

Steyn is a complete bowler, his line & length, consistency, and discipline are par excellence. He is rated as one of the modern-day greats.

His stats are just insane in tests. He took 439 wickets from just 93 games with an average of 22.95. In ODI he played 125 matches and took 196 wickets. He would have been broken all possible bowling records if he has stayed fit for a long time.

4 Jimmy Anderson

best swing bowlers of all time

Jimmy Anderson is the modern-day legend in terms of bowling. He holds the record with most test wickets as a fast bowler in cricket history. He took 614 wickets in a total of 160 matches played. In ODI he had played 194 matches and took 269 wickets with an economy rate of 4.92.

Anderson is capable of shattering any batting line-up around the world. Mostly fast and swing bowling has been dominated by the bowlers of Pakistan and West Indies and then Anderson came and changed everything. He creates a double threat for the batsmen with his pace and swing.

One of the best attributes of his bowling is to move the ball both ways. His ability to hide the ball before releasing makes it batsmen very difficult to read the ball and thus creating more chances of taking wickets.

3 Waqar Younis

best swing bowlers of all time

Waqar and swing are made for each other. You will not see a better combination in any other bowlers around the world. He is said to be the king of reverse swing. Waqar is capable of swinging the ball in and out. The biggest threat of his bowling is his lethal in-swinging yorkers which he could bowl with a high pace.

Waqar had played a total of 87 test matches and took 373 wickets with an average of 23.56. Due to his unique style of bowling, he is able to deliver toe-crushing inswinging yorkers. Waqar and Akram are the most lethal deadly duos who are impossible to face for any batting lineup around the world.

2 Glenn Mcgrath

best swing bowlers of all time
Image Credit- ICC Cricket

Glenn Mcgrath does not need any introduction in this list. At the early stages of his career, many doubted that he could not become a successful fast bowler. But he has changed his fortune, his strength is his swing bowling as he knows he does not have the pace. He proved everyone wrong and become the most successful swing bowlers the world has ever seen.

Mcgrath’s capability of swinging the ball consistently throughout his career made him one of the most successful bowlers in the world. He had played 124 test matches in which he took 563 wickets with an average of 21.64.

1 Wasim Akram

best swing bowlers of all time
Image Credit- Wisden

Wasim Akram is known as the king of swing. We have listed down the top swings bowlers but none of them come close to the great Wasim Akram. It’s just impossible to forget Akram when it comes to swing bowling.

He took a total of 414 wickets in 104 Test matches with an average of 23.62. His number s is unreal, he is equally effective in all formats of the game. His moving balls in the air are not easy for any world-class batsmen to pick. There is no denying the fact that we will not see any other bowler with such qualities very soon. He also mastered the art to reverse swing with the old ball. He is number one in the list of the top 10 best swing bowlers of all time.

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