Cricketing action for the year 2020 was over, and what better way there would have been to bid farewell to 2020 than the Boxing Day Test Match, not one, not two, but three thrilling Test matches. In this last week of cricketing action in 2020, we saw a lot changing.
India defeated Australia after collapsing miserably in the first game, South Africa defeated Sri Lanka even after giving away almost 400 runs in the first innings, New Zealand and Pakistan put on a really good show; a cricket lover expects nothing else.
Due to the absence of cricket, a lot of players couldn’t perform to their best potential but there were a few who gave exemplary performances in 2020 despite these tough times. These players had a really great impact on their team’s performance. So, here we bring you a list of top 10 bowlers in 2020, in terms of wickets, who wreaked fears in the hearts of the batsmen.
10. Ben Stokes
Ben Stokes has really evolved as a cricketer in the last three years. Every year, he’s continued to give England that one iconic moment, tales of which will be told by the generation to come. The all-rounder picked up 25 wickets in 2020. 19 of these wickets came in Test matches at an average of 18.74 and the remaining 6 in T20 internationals.
He did not get a chance to play a single ODI last year. His best of 4 for 49 came in the first Test match against West Indies. Stokes did put up a great effort but West Indies managed to clinch the match by 4 wickets after taking a 114-run lead in the first innings.
9. Anrich Nortje
2020 was probably the year of fast bowlers as Anrich Nortje, yet another fast bowler makes it at the 9thspot in our list of leading wicket-takers in 2020. Nortje was South Africa’s most successful Test bowler in 2020 as he scalped 16 wickets in the longest format of the game at an average of 32.50. His best of 5 for 110 came in a losing cause against England in the 4th Test as England managed to win the game by 191 runs.
He also picked 6 wickets in ODIs and 3 in T20 Internationals, taking his tally to a total of 25 wickets last year. Along with a good international year, Nortje had a pretty spectacular IPL season as well. He picked up 22 wickets in 2020 and was a prominent reason for Delhi making it into the finals. He made history by bowling the fastest ball in the history of IPL, clicking it at a 156.22 km/h. Now, the top 4 fastest deliveries bowled in the IPL owe their origin to Anrich Nortje.
Nortje is a true fast bowler and is capable of turning the tide of the game single-handedly. He is capable of swinging the ball at 150 km/h and that’s what makes him really special. South Africa have been struggling to put together a good performance in the last few years and they could really use a match-winner like Nortje.
8. Shaheen Afridi
Pakistan and fast bowling, a love story that never dies. From the land that produced legendary fast bowlers like Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis and Shoaib Akhtar comes a young prodigy who’s following on their lines. The 20-year-old left-arm pacer picked up 27 wickets across all formats and ranks 8thin our list of highest wicket-takers in 2020.
Of these 27 wickets he took, 5 came in ODI, 14 in Tests and 8 in T20 internationals. His best of 5 for 49 came in the first One Day International against Zimbabwe. Owing to the brilliant performance by the left armer, Pakistan managed to win the match by 26 runs.
Afridi made his debut for Pakistan’s T20 international squad in April 2018, after the youngster impressed everyone at the 2018 U-19 World Cup; and ever since then, he has become Pakistan’s strike bowler in all three formats.
7. Chris Woakes
Chris Woakes, the pacer from England comes 7th in our list of top 10 wicket-takers in 2020. The right-arm pacer picked up 27 wickets in 2020 and was one of England’s leading wicket-takers.
Woakes scalped 20 Test wickets last year at an average of 21.65 and was the 5th highest wicket-taker in the format. His best performance came in the decider Test match against West Indies, where he scalped a 5-fer for 50 runs and helped the hosts win. He also took 7 wickets from 4 matches in ODIs, making his tally 27.
Woakes played his last T20 internationals for England in 2015, but in Tests and ODIs, he has been one of England’s prime bowler along with Anderson (Test), Broad (Test), Wood (Test and ODI), and Archer (Test and ODI).
6. Lungi Ngidi
With 32 international wickets, South Africa’s Lungisani Ngidi comes fifth in our list of top wicket-takers in 2020. In the 4 ODIs Ngidi played, he managed to pick 12 wickets at an average of 16.08 and an economy of 5.67. His best figures of 6/58 in ODI came against Australia in the 2ndOne Day International, for which he was also awarded the man of the match.
With 17 wickets, Ngidi was the highest wicket-taker in T20 internationals. Often considered a limited-overs specialist, Ngidi just played a single Test match in 2020, i.e., the Boxing Day Test Match against Sri Lanka in which he managed to pick 3 wickets.
Ngidi still has a pretty young career and it is expected that in due time, the 24- year-old will be able to replace the likes of someone like Dale Steyn or Vernon Philander and emerge as a match-winner for his country.
5. Pat Cummins
While 2020 was not the kind of year everyone wanted, Pat Cummins on the other hand made sure that this was a rather special year for himself. He started the year as the second most expensive buy ever in the history of the Indian Premier League and then went on to pick up 34 wickets in international cricket in 2020.
Of these 34 scalps, 15 came in ODIs, 14 in Tests and 5 came in T20 internationals. His best of 4 for 21 came in the second innings of the first Test match against India, wherein India skittled for a mere total of 36.
Cummins managed to pick 8 wickets in the Test match. Cummins finished the year as the number one bowler in ICC’s Test match rankings and was also the fourth-highest wicket-taker in ODIs in 2020.
4. Mitchell Starc
Talking about the best bowlers in a year and not to mention the name of Mitchell Starc would probably be one of the biggest cricketing crimes. The left-arm fast bowler always manages to land himself in the top 10 wicket-takers in international cricket every year.
Playing in all three formats for Australia, Starc picked 32 wickets; 12 in ODIs and 12 in Test matches, and 8 in T20 internationals. Over the years, Starc has been Australia’s prime bowler in all three formats, and the left-hander has stood high upon everyone’s expectations.
3. Stuart Broad
The next on the list is England’s Test specialist Stuart Broad. With 38 scalps in Tests, the most this season, Broad was the third-highest wicket-taker in international cricket, even without playing ODI or T20.
From being hit for 6 sixes in an over to being one of England’s leading pacers in Test matches, Broad has definitely come a long way. His best of 6 for 31 came in the deciding 3rd Test match against West Indies, wherein he decimated the West Indies batting order completely.
Broad took 10 wickets in that match. Broad also crossed 500 Test wickets, only the second England pacer after James Anderson and the fourth overall to achieve the feat.
2. Adam Zampa
In our list of leading wicket-takers in 2020, the second in line is Adam Zampa, scalping 38 international wickets last year. In the 13 ODIs that Zampa played, he managed to pick 27 wickets and was the highest wicket-taker in the format in 2020.
Zampa also picked 11 wickets in T20 internationals and was Australia’s second most successful spinner in the format after Ashton Agar. Zampa has been a prominent member of the Australian limited-overs squad now, being their lead spinner in ODI and T20.
It has been a bit of a surprise that he hasn’t made his Test debut yet, probably because Nathan Lyon has been exceptionally well there. But, without a doubt, Zampa is one of the best spinners in the world at the moment in limited-overs cricket.
1. Tim Southee
With 47 wickets across all three formats, Tim Southee was the leading wicket-taker in international cricket in 2020. He was the second-highest wicket-taker in Test cricket, picking up 31 wickets from 5 matches. Along with it, he also managed to pick 12 wickets in T20 internationals and 4 wickets in ODIs.
He is one of the few leading wicket-takers in the year 2020, who played all three formats. His best figures of 5/32 in 2020 came in a winning cause in a Test Match against West Indies.
Over the years, Southee has been the key strike bowler for New Zealand across all three formats and even though cricket was disrupted due to COVID-19 last year, Southee didn’t fail to make his name at the top.
Source: The source of this content is our cricket news platform Crictracker.
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