Cricket is mostly known to be a batsman’s game with boundaries getting bigger and bats getting wider. But the bowlers have also been able to stamp their authority. When T20 came to the fore, it was assumed that the batters would be dominating and give the bowlers a hiding.
Though batting has succeeded, the bowling hasn’t been poor with a number of amazing spells coming to the fore. In order to curb down the run-scoring, the bowlers have also resorted to few innovations, which have worked wonders.
Over the time period, a few bowlers with some of the most peculiar actions have emerged. From pacers to spinners, most generations have had a few of them, who could raise a lot of eyebrows with their peculiar actions. It has also helped them to garner quite a bit of success.
In the article, let’s take a look at five weirdest bowling actions: –
1. Paul Adams
Paul Adams was an effective chinaman bowler for South Africa. Having picked 163 wickets in 69 games for the Proteas, the left-armer was pretty effective. But even more than his numbers, it was his action that made the headlines. At the point of delivery, he used to make a jump and then twist his entire body.
It was astonishing how he managed to hit his lengths on a pretty consistent basis. Coaches advise to keep the head still to find the channels a bowler is aiming for. Adams’ head seemed to go all over the place and despite that, he was precise in what he did.
With the same action, he picked 505 wickets, combing all forms of cricket. The Cape Town-born made his debut back in 1995 against England and hung his boots in 2004 after the Test series against New Zealand.
2. Lasith Malinga
Lasith Malinga has created headaches for batters around the globe for more than a decade. In the 2007 World Cup, he almost took Sri Lanka to victory against Sri Lanka, picking four wickets in consecutive deliveries. Then in 2019, the pacer repeated the same feat in a T20I versus the Black Caps.
This time around, the Islanders won. The special part of Malinga’s action is his point of release. When he lets the ball go, his hands stay in front of the umpires. Having possessed a slingshot-like action, he has turned out to be an apt exponent of the yorkers.
Moreover, his slower deliveries have also foxed the best in the business. Even at the age of 36, he hasn’t run out of gas and is also the captain of the national T20I team. In his career, the Galle-born already has 1093 wickets to his name.
3. Jasprit Bumrah
Jasprit Bumrah hasn’t had the best of outings in 2020 after he returned from his lower back injury that he suffered after the tour of West Indies. But that doesn’t undermine the work he has done for Team India across formats, especially after making his debut in 2016.
The 26-year-old pacer doesn’t have the most intimidating run-up and he generates most of his steam at the bowling crease. At the point of delivery, his right-arm remains straight as a ramrod. Also, his hands come down from sideways, something which makes it tough for batsmen to read him.
Like Malinga, Bumrah has mastered the art of the yorkers and slower deliveries. More often than not, he puts his hands up and absorbs the pressure in crunch moments. It’s a reason why he is mostly trusted at the death overs.
4. Sohail Tanvir
Sohail Tanvir may not be in contention for a spot in the Pakistan team, but he has continued, wielding magic in domestic tournaments. The 35-year-old is also known for his indifferent bowling action.
The 35-year-old bowls with his wrong foot that earned him the nickname of ‘Pankhaa’ in the Pakistan cricket fraternity. The Punjab-born rolls his arms over twice before delivering the ball. He made his Pakistan debut in the 2007 T20 World Cup, replacing Shoaib Akhtar. Ever since, the left-armer has picked 130 wickets in 121 for the national team.
Of late, he plied his trade for the Multan Sultans in the 2020 Pakistan Super League (PSL). Tanvir last donned the Pakistan colours back in 2017 in the home series against West Indies and there’s remote chance of him making a comeback.
5. Mmoloki Mooketsi
Botswana is one of the rising teams in the cricket world and one of its cricketers- Mmoloki Mooketsi- have also grabbed a bit of limelight. The left-arm spinner has taken the word innovation to a whole new level altogether.
Back in October 2018, the International Cricket Council (ICC) shared a video where the tweaker can be seen bowling during the ICC World Twenty20 Africa Region Qualifier C. Mooketsi can be seen taking three short steps in his run-ups. The pauses in the action are good enough to throw any batter of his concentration.
His action turned out to be an effective one though as he picked up a couple of wickets in three overs, conceding only seven runs. In that encounter, Botswana defeated Mozambique by 123 runs after the latter was bowled out for a paltry 48.
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