Versatility. This is a very important trait that a batsman of the modern era should definitely possess. In an era where there are three formats, a batsman has to be flexible enough to mould his game to suit the format and the situation. There is the Test format played in the whites where endurance is the key. A batsman has to bat long, battle it out in the middle to emerge successful in Test cricket.
Then, there is the ODI format, where a batsman has to switch between caution and flamboyance. And finally, there is the T20 format, where a batsman has to be on his toes all the time, and go after the bowling from the word go.
In the modern era, there are certain batsmen who have risen above the rest and stamped their authority with the willow. They have emerged as the lynchpins of their respective batting line-ups, and have carved a niche for themselves. But then, even for these illustrious willow wielders, there are certain bowlers who have managed to trouble them and make them uncomfortable.
In this article, let us look at the most feared bowlers of the Top 10 best batsmen in world cricket right now:
10. Quinton de Kock
He is like a dynamite. He can explode at will, and when he does, it makes for incredible viewing. At the top of the order, Quinton de Kock can dismantle bowling attacks and make opposition captains scratch their heads when he gets going. De Kock has garnered impressive numbers in limited overs cricket. The dashing left hander has scored 5135 runs, including 15 centuries in ODI cricket at an average of 44.65.
Even in T20I cricket, De Kock averages in excess of 30, and has a strike rate of close to 140. When asked as to who is the toughest bowler that he has ever faced, the South African gave a straightforward answer.
“Malinga (Lasith), because of his action.”
Lasith Malinga is indeed a tricky bowler to face, with his slinging action and his ability to deliver the yorker with pin pointed accuracy. Malinga is the highest wicket taker in IPL history, and has an excellent strike rate of 16.61 in the tournament. He is the third highest wicket taker for Sri Lanka in ODI cricket, having picked up 338 wickets. The Lankan pacer is also the highest wicket taker for his national side in T20I cricket, and has scalped 107 wickets for his country.
9. Ross Taylor
He is the highest run scorer for New Zealand in both ODI and Test cricket. Ross Taylor has scored over 17500 runs in international cricket for New Zealand, and will go down as one of the all-time greats to have wielded the willow for the Kiwis.
The legendary batsman has also featured in four World Cups for his country, and is the second New Zealand batsman after Stephen Fleming to score over 1000 runs (1002) in World Cup cricket. As far as the toughest bowlers he has faced in his career is concerned, Taylor named three legendary bowlers. This is what Taylor had to say.
“Both Murali and Malinga are hard to pick up because of their unique bowling actions. Talking about Steyn, its obviously the pace and consistency which the pacer possesses.”
While Muttiah Muralitharan is the highest wicket taker in both the Test and ODI format of the game, Malinga has picked up over 500 wickets in international cricket. As far as Dale Steyn is concerned, he is the highest wicket taker for South Africa in Test cricket.
8. Aaron Finch
There are very few men in world cricket today who can hit a cricket ball with as much power as this man does. Aaron Finch is a gladiator in limited-overs cricket and is a man who can clear any boundary on his day. Finch also holds the record for the highest individual score in T20Is. Finch blasted a murderous 76-ball 172 against Zimbabwe, and till date it has not been surpassed.
The bulky Australian is also the only batsman to have recorded two individual scores in excess of 150 in T20Is. His other 150-plus score came in the year 2013 when he scored 156 against arch rivals England at Southampton. And, when he was asked as to who was the toughest bowler he has faced both in international cricket and in the nets, the Australian named his team mate Mitchell Johnson. This is what Finch tweeted.
Mitchel Johnson in the nets!! 🥵 https://t.co/HkGahdmtrk
— Aaron Finch (@AaronFinch5) March 27, 2020
And, when asked about the toughest spinner that he has faced, Finch picked Muralitharan and Saeed Ajmal. While Muralitharan is the most prolific spinner in the history of the game, Ajmal has picked up over 400 wickets in international cricket for Pakistan.
Murali and Ajmal https://t.co/gEpBMhr4Rc
— Aaron Finch (@AaronFinch5) March 16, 2017
7. Joe Root
Joe Root has already carved a niche for himself as one of the greatest batsmen to wield the willow for England. The right hander has scored close to 8000 runs in Test cricket, and is also the second highest run scorer for England in ODI cricket, after Eoin Morgan. Root has scored over 30 centuries in international cricket and is a colossus in his own right.
Now, who has troubled arguably England’s greatest modern-day batsman? One look at the numbers tell us that Root has found the going tough against Australian pacer Pat Cummins in Test cricket. In the 19 innings that Root has played against Cummins, he has been dismissed on 7 occasions. Apart from Cummins, even Josh Hazlewood and Nathan Lyon have dismissed the England Test skipper 7 times each.
While Hazlewood has dismissed Root 7 times in 24 innings, Lyon has dismissed him the same number of times in 42 innings. Root will next be seen in action in the ODI series against South Africa.
6. Babar Azam
If there is one batsman in world cricket today who can make you gape at him in awe, it is Babar Azam. The Pakistan batsman is adept off both the front foot and the backfoot and is already considered as the lynchpin of the their batting line up. Azam holds the record for being the fastest to 1000 runs in T20Is, and averages in excess of 50 in both ODI and T20Is.
When asked about the toughest bowlers that he has faced in his cricketing career, this is what he had to say.
“Every team has bowlers that bowl above 140kph and are experienced. Bowlers like Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Pat Cummins and Trent Boult always give you a tough time.”
While Starc has taken over 450 wickets in international cricket, Cummins and Hazlewood have provided excellent support to the left-arm seamer and are a dreaded three ponged pace attack. On the other hand, Trent Boult is the spearhead of the New Zealand bowling attack and has taken over 250 wickets in Test cricket.
5. David Warner
He has scored close to 15000 runs in international cricket for Australia, and is a batsman feared across the cricketing world for his ability to rip apart bowling attacks. David Warner is one of the most prolific openers of modern-day cricket and is the only current Australian batsman to have scored a triple hundred in Test cricket. Warner is also the second highest century maker for Australia after Ricky Ponting in ODI cricket.
When asked as to who was the toughest bowler he has ever faced, this is what Warner tweeted. During a Q&A session, he duly admitted that the South African pacers, Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel have been the toughest to face for him.
— David Warner (@davidwarner31) February 28, 2017
Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel were a dreaded pair and have picked up more than 700 wickets together in Test cricket alone. The two fiery pacers were the lynchpins of the South African bowling attack for close to a decade.
4. Kane Williamson
Kane Williamson is only 30 years old, but is already considered as one of the all-time greats from the land of the kiwis. The right-handed batting superstar has scored over 14000 runs in international cricket, and averages over 50 in the whites for his country.
Williamson is the third highest run scorer for New Zealand in Tests and is also the highest century maker for his country in the longest format of the game. When asked about the toughest bowler that he has faced in his career, he had the following to say.
“Its hard to tell. There are a lot of quick bowlers around. But I do remember a number of years ago facing Dale Steyn and he broke my box. So, that was a memorable experience.”
Williamson still has a long way to go and will continue to slice through bowling attacks with a unique sense of calm.
3. Rohit Sharma
Rohit Sharma has etched his name as one of the greatest willow wielders of the modern era, especially in limited overs cricket. The ‘Hitman’ holds the record for the highest individual score in ODI cricket, and is the only man to have scored three double centuries in the ODI format.
The right hander has also plundered 29 hundreds in ODIs and is also the leading century maker in T20Is as well. When asked about the toughest bowlers he has faced in his career, this is what he had to say.
“When I came into the side, the fastest bowler in the world used to be Brett Lee. In my debut ODI series, I went to Ireland to face South Africa, and Dale Steyn was pretty quick then as well. When I started playing, I really liked Lee and Steyn, but I had difficulties in facing them as well.”
Rohit led the Mumbai Indians to their fifth IPL triumph and has been picked in the Test squad to fly to the land of the kangaroos for a gruelling four-match Test series.
2. Steve Smith
He is the greatest Test batsman of the modern era. His average in Tests is the highest after the incomparable Sir Don Bradman among batsmen who have played a minimum of 30 Test innings. Steve Smith has already scored over 7000 runs in Tests, and has plundered 26 centuries in the whites for his country.
Does Smith have an Achilles heel? Does even the Test run machine feel uncomfortable while facing a particular bowler? According to the Aussie batting great, Ravindra Jadeja is the toughest bowler that he has faced. These are Smith’s thoughts about Jadeja.
“(Ravindra) Jadeja in the subcontinent. Why he is so good because, he hits that good length and one ball skids on and one spins, and it just all looks same out of the hand. I think consistency in length is key and then having at least one variation.”
With Jadeja in the squad for the Australian series in all three formats of the game, Smith would definitely have his task cut out against the left-arm spinner in the highly anticipated series between the ‘Men in Blue’ and the kangaroos.
1. Virat Kohli
The numbers that he has generated speak for themselves. He is the fastest batsman to breach the 10000-run barrier in ODI cricket, and got there 54 innings quicker than the iconic Sachin Tendulkar. He is the only Indian batsman who has scored seven double centuries in Tests and has already scored a mind numbing 70 centuries in international cricket.
Virat Kohli has ruled every format of the game that he has played in. The Indian batting icon has already scored over 21000 runs in international cricket. He averages over 50 in all three formats of the game and has lorded over several bowling attacks during his illustrious career.
And, according to Kohli, the toughest bowler he has faced is Mohammad Amir. And, these are Kohli’s thoughts on the Pakistani pacer.
“In recent times, Mohammad Amir of Pakistan (is the hardest to face). He is in the top two or three bowlers in the world and one of the toughest bowlers I have played in my career. You have to be on your ‘A’ Game when you’re facing him or he will strike. Outstanding. A very good bowler.”
Kohli will lead India’s charge with the bat in the challenging tour of Australia later this month. The Indian skipper would return back to India after the end of the first Test for the birth of his child.
Source: The source of this content is our cricket news platform Crictracker.
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