The job of a fast bowler is perhaps the most difficult in the game of cricket. Not only do fast bowlers need to maintain better fitness than the other bowlers and batters, but they also have to manage their workload better. No wonder the sight of the stumps rattling is a treat to the eye. But who is the best bowler in the world or the world best bowler? Names such as Pat Cummins, Jasprit Bumrah, Mitchell Starc automatically come to mind when discussing about the world best bowler. In no particular order, here we look at who is the best bowler in the world currently.
Pat Cummins – Australia
28-year-old Pat Cummins made his debut in all three formats for Australia on their tour of South Africa in 2011. But much like with most fast bowlers, Cummins could not be a regular in the team due to persistent injuries. Not until late 2017 was he a regular for Australia, and from then on he has been one of their top bowlers consistently.
In 2020, Cummins was appointed as the vice-captain of the Test team for the home series against India and has regained his role since. Not only is he the highest wicket-taker in the World Test Championship so far, he is also the ICC No. 1 bowler in Tests. In a 2015 World Cup match in Sydney, the quick-gun clocked in a 153 km/hr delivery.
The right-arm bowler has so far played 34 Tests, 69 ODIs and 30 T20Is, from which he has 164, 111 and 37 wickets respectively.
Also Read: Top 10 Fastest Bowlers in Cricket History
Jasprit Bumrah – India
Having risen through the ranks from the IPL, Jasprit got his maiden national call-up in 2016 for India’s tour of Australia. He made his debut on January 23 in the fifth ODI, picking up two wickets. In the T20I series that followed on the same tour, Bumrah was the highest wicket-taker. He was subsequently named ‘the find of the tour’ by then captain MS Dhoni.
Since then, the 27-year-old has been a regular in all three formats and will be the bowler to look out for in the upcoming World Test Championship final. One of the best death bowlers in the world currently, Bumrah is known for his unique bowling action and release point.
So far, he has played 19 Tests, 67 ODIs and 50 T20Is, taking 83, 108 and 57 wickets, respectively. In the current ICC rankings, Bumrah ranks fifth in the ODI list, 11th in the Test list and 26th in the T20I list.
Trent Boult – New Zealand
A country with a rich heritage of fast bowlers like Sir Richard Hadlee and Shane Bond, New Zealand’s current pace department is also one of the best in the world. Tim Southee, Neil Wagner and Trent Boult have been prolific performers for the Kiwis.
Boult’s ability to make the new ball move both ways, along with the bouncers and toe-crushing yorkers he bowls, makes him stand out. The 31-year-old took his 100th Test wicket in only his 29th match and was New Zealand’s top-wicket taker only two years after his debut in 2011. He will be New Zealand’s key bowler in the World Test Championship Final against India.
So far, Boult has played 71 tests, 93 ODIs, and 34 T20Is, taking 281, 169 and 46 wickets, respectively. He is also the no. 1 ranked bowler in the ICC ODI T20I bowlers’ rankings currently.
Kagiso Rabada – South Africa
Kagiso Rabada made a name for himself when South Africa toured India in 2015, helping his side register a 3-2 win in the ODI series, which he finished as the leading wicket-taker. His effectiveness with both the new and old all, and his pin-point yorkers make him a special bowler. Four of the fastest balls in the IPL – 154.23 kmph, 153.91 kmph, 153.50 kmph and 153.45 kmph, have been bowled by the 26-year-old. In international cricket, the speedster has the best bowling strike rate among bowlers with 200+ wickets, 41.7 and is also the fastest bowler in terms of age to take 150 Test wickets at 23 years and 50 days.
He has so far played 45 Tests, 77 ODIs and 26 T20Is, picking up 202, 119 and 31 wickets, respectively. Rabada currently ranks ninth in the ICC Test bowlers rankings.
Jofra Archer – England
After impressing in the County Championship, and also in T20 leagues around the world, all-rounder Jofra Archer made his international debut in an ODI against Ireland in May 2019 and went on to become a regular member in the England team. His contributions helped England win the World Cup and later the Ashes series. His Test debut was also impressive, where he bagged five wickets against Australia in the ICC World Test Championship. Not only does bowl in excess of 90mph, he is also a fearsome lower-middle order batsman.
So far, he has featured in 13 Tests, 17 ODIs and 12 T20Is, taking 42, 30 and 14 wickets. With the bat, he has scored 201 international runs.
Shaheen Afridi – Pakistan
Once a storehouse of quality fast bowlers, Pakistan’s production of good pacers has declined in the last few years. But among the current crop of quicks, one to watch out for is young Shaheen Shah Afridi.
After impressing in the 2019 World Cup, Afridi has become a regular in the team across all three formats. His height of 6ft 6in helps him extract bounce on the docile pitches of the UAE, where Pakistan play their home games.
So far, Shaheen has played 17 Tests, 25 ODIs and as many T20Is, scalping 58, 51 and 27 wickets, respectively.
Mohammed Shami – India
India’s pace battery is currently one of the best in the world, and Mohammed Shami is an integral part of it. In 2019, Shami was the highest wicket-taker in ODIs with 42 wickets in 21 games. His pace – he consistently bowls at around 145kmp – and his wicket-taking ability makes him a big asset for the team.
So far in his career, Shami has played 50 Tests, 79 ODIs and 12 T20Is, picking up 180, 148 and 12 wickets respectively.
Mustafizur Rahman – Bangladesh
At 19 years of age, Mustafizur Rahman became the second bowler in ODI history after Zimbabwe’s Brian Vitori to pick up two five-wicket hauls in his first two matches when India toured Bangladesh in 2015.
Mustafizur made his international debut in a one-off T20 match against Pakistan in 2015 and picked up two wickets. He was handed the ODI cap in the series against India that same year and grabbed the opportunity with both hands. Later that year, he made his Test debut against South Africa and picked up four wickets in his first match. He is also the first player to win ‘Man of the Match’ award on both Test as well as ODI debuts. He is now one of the best pacers in the world, bamboozling batsmen with his variation of cutters.
The left-arm medium pacer has played 14 Tests, 67 ODIs and 42 T20Is, picking 30, 124 and 58 wickets respectively.