Top 5 Best Bowlers in Cricket (2024): Masters of Craft and Control


In the world of cricket, where batsmen steal the limelight with towering sixes and elegant strokes, the bowlers toil away, weaving their magic with swing, pace, and guile. These are the ones who can dismantle batting lineups with pinpoint accuracy and unplayable deliveries. But with a plethora of talented bowlers around the globe, who truly reigns supreme? Here’s a look at the top 5 best bowlers in 2024, based on a combination of recent form, career achievements, and overall impact on the game.

1. Ravichandran Ashwin (India)

The “off-spinning magician” from India, Ravichandran Ashwin, continues to bamboozle even the best batsmen with his variations and exceptional control. Currently ranked number one in Test bowling by the ICC, Ashwin’s ability to turn the ball prodigiously and exploit even the slightest rough on the pitch makes him a nightmare for many. His success across formats and his ability to contribute with valuable lower-order runs solidify his place among the elite.

2. Josh Hazlewood (Australia)

Josh Hazlewood, the epitome of accuracy and swing, is a pillar of the Australian pace attack. His relentless line and length, coupled with the ability to generate late swing, make him a constant threat. Hazlewood’s wicket-taking prowess and ability to bowl long, economical spells are invaluable assets in any format.

3. Jasprit Bumrah (India)

Jasprit Bumrah, the Indian pace spearhead and one of the best bowlers in 2024, is a master of deception. His unorthodox bowling action and ability to bowl searing yorkers at will make him a true match-winner. Bumrah’s ability to take wickets in crucial phases and deliver under pressure makes him a vital cog in the Indian bowling attack.

4. Kagiso Rabada (South Africa)

Kagiso Rabada, the South African speedster, is a force to be reckoned with. His raw pace, aggressive approach, and lethal bouncers can dismantle any batting lineup on their day. Rabada’s ability to swing the new ball and pick up wickets upfront makes him a crucial player in the Proteas’ bowling attack.

5. Pat Cummins (Australia)

Pat Cummins, the Australian pace workhorse and one of the best bowlers in 2024, is a model of consistency and control. His ability to generate lift and seam movement, coupled with his relentless accuracy, makes him a nightmare for batsmen. Cummins’ ability to bowl long spells and lead the attack from the front makes him a true leader in the Australian bowling unit.

Suggested Read: The Greatest Left Handed Batsmen of All Time

Honorable Mentions: Rising Stars to Watch in Bowling

Beyond the established greats, the future of fast bowling and spin is bright with several youngsters making their mark. Here are a few exciting talents to keep an eye on:

  • Marco Jansen (South Africa): This young left-arm pacer has impressed everyone with his raw pace, swing bowling, and ability to pick up crucial wickets. His ability to hit the deck hard and generate bounce makes him a bowler to watch out for.
  • Shaheen Shah Afridi (Pakistan): Already a star in the making, Shaheen Shah Afridi’s express pace, lethal yorkers, and ability to swing the new ball make him a nightmare for opening batsmen. While injuries have hampered his progress, a fit Afridi can be a game-changer for Pakistan.
  • Scott Kuggeleijn (New Zealand): This young right-arm pacer has emerged as a genuine wicket-taking threat. His ability to swing the new ball and bowl with good pace makes him a valuable asset for the New Zealand bowling attack.
  • Ravi Bishnoi (India): This young leg-spinner has impressed everyone with his sharp googly and ability to control his flight. His variations and ability to spin the ball prodigiously make him a future prospect for the Indian team.
  • Jhye Richardson (Australia): After overcoming injury concerns, Jhye Richardson has showcased his talent as a skillful pace bowler. His ability to swing the new ball and bowl with good pace makes him a potential future leader in the Australian attack.

Factors Considered When Ranking Best Bowlers

While there’s no single definitive metric to crown the absolute best, here are some key factors considered when evaluating best bowlers in 2024:

  • ICC Rankings: The ICC bowling rankings provide a valuable benchmark for a bowler’s consistency and performance across formats.
  • Bowling Average: A bowler’s average reflects their ability to take wickets consistently over a period of time.
  • Strike Rate: This metric measures the bowler’s wicket-taking ability, particularly important in limited-overs cricket.
  • Economy Rate: A bowler’s economy rate reflects their ability to control the flow of runs.
  • Impact on Matches and Series Wins: A truly great bowler can dismantle batting lineups and single-handedly win matches for their team.
  • Performance Across Formats: The ability to excel in all three formats – Test, ODI, and T20 – is a mark of a truly well-rounded bowler.

Also Read: The Top 5 Best Batsmen in the World (April 2024)

People Also Ask

Who is the number 1 ranked bowler in Test cricket (as of April 2024)?

Ravichandran Ashwin (India) holds the top spot in the ICC Test bowling rankings.

Who are some rising stars in fast bowling?

Marco Jansen (South Africa) and Shaheen Shah Afridi (Pakistan) are young pace bowlers who impress with their raw pace, swing, and wicket-taking abilities.

What are some factors considered when ranking the best bowlers?

ICC rankings, bowling average, strike rate, economy rate, impact on matches, and performance across formats are all important factors.

Who is the best bowler in white-ball cricket (ODIs and T20Is)?

There’s no single best bowler across white-ball formats, but bowlers like Jasprit Bumrah (India) and Trent Boult (New Zealand) are consistently ranked highly.

What’s the difference between bowling average and strike rate?

Bowling average represents the average number of runs a bowler concedes per wicket taken. Strike rate indicates how many balls a bowler takes to get a wicket (wickets per ball bowled).

Wrapping It Up!

The art of bowling requires skill, strategy, and the ability to adapt to different conditions. The bowlers mentioned above are not just wicket-takers, but also strategists who can outfox batsmen with their variations and control. As the cricketing landscape continues to evolve, the battle for supremacy among the best bowlers promises to be a fascinating one for fans to witness.

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