5 Left-arm bowlers who are dominating limited-overs cricket

Left-arm bowlers are the rarest, unique and exciting class of bowlers, who have become a necessity in the batsman dominated game. Left-armers going against right-hand batsman is a sight to behold. We have often seen this scenario when Mohammad Amir bowls to Rohit Sharma as the batsman doesn’t move his feet much and likes to hit the ball stranded within the crease.

The history of cricket has witnessed numerous left-arm bowlers, who posed difficulties for the batsmen and picked plenty of fifers in their illustrious career. The modern-day cricket also sees plenty of left-armers performing well for their respective countries and leaving their stellar mark on the game. In the below piece, we look at 5 such bowlers, who are dominating limited-overs cricket in recent times:

1. Mitchell Starc

This tall, chiselled and powerful bowler from Australia has to top the list when it comes to left-arm bowlers. He can bowl at express pace and rattle opposition stumps in no time. No-one can forget that devastating spell against New Zealand in the round-robin stage of World Cup 2015, where the Kiwis won the fixture by just 1 wicket.

In 96 ODIs, Starc has picked 184 wickets at an average of 23.17 and economy rate of 5.18. While in the 35 T20Is, the speedster has dismissed 47 batsmen at an average of 19.38 and economy rate of 6.95.

He was very expensive in the limited-overs series against India held recently. What’s more worrying is that he had to cope it without any significant wickets to his name. As many rightly say, he was a pale shadow of his destructive self, who hardly gave away anything for the batsman to pounce on.

2. Sam Curran

Relatively young in his cricketing career, Curran has shown a lot of promise to become the indispensable all-rounder in the middle order, who can dictate the results of the game on the back of his powerful performances.

In 5 ODIs, Curran has picked 5 wickets at an average of 39.8 and economy rate of 6.04. He has played slightly more T20Is for England in which he has scalped 9 wickets at an average of 26.67 and economy rate of 8.89.

Curran is not gifted with extreme pace, but covers that up pretty well with his seam movement and purchase off the surface. His long run in Test cricket is coming handy during his limited-overs stint, who bowls the ideal lines and lengths and keep things relatively tight. The pressure thus built assists other premier bowlers to execute their plans and pick vital wickets.

3. Trent Boult

Having endured a successful season with MI at IPL 2020, Boult has made his way into the elite club of bowlers, who have achieved similar success in all the formats. The swing sensation is an absolute necessity when it comes to exploiting the powerplay overs or cleaning a long-wagging tail, especially in Test cricket.

In 90 ODI games, Boult has picked 164 wickets at an average of 25.29 and economy rate of 5.03. He has been mighty effective in the T20 format as well, picking 39 wickets from 27 games at an average of 21.9 and economy rate of 8.64.

As is always the case with left-armers, Boult can swing the ball both ways and can extract steep bounce off the surface to pose an additional threat to the batsmen.

Even the established of batsmen find it tough to survive when Boult is on the song and thus, technique and temperament plays a huge role in negotiating the bowler and scoring useful runs against him.

4. Shaheen Afridi

Pakistan is a hub of left-arm bowlers and this teenage sensation is just carrying that legacy forward with his deadly pace and vicious swing. Afridi has quickly risen through the ranks and made the requisite shift to play all three formats for Pakistan.

In 22 ODIs, Afridi has got the better of 45 batsmen at an average of 21.64 and economy rate of 5.29. While in 15 T20Is, he has picked 18 wickets at an average of 23.06 and economy rate of 7.52.

Inspite of the presence of a few experienced left-armers like Amir and Riaz, Afridi has carved a special niche for himself and features as one of the premier bowlers across all formats. His powerful lower-order batting is another reason for the same, who never goes down without putting a fight.

His ability to bowl quick and bend his body to hurl the bumpers at the batsmen has often kept him injury-ridden and away from the game.

5. Sheldon Cottrell

The man with a muscular physique and slingy action, Cottrell is in huge demand when it comes to limited-overs cricket, given his enormous variations and full commitment as a cricketer. While he is not bowling, we often see Cottrell in the outfield, diving and stopping ball or pulling off breathtaking catches at the boundary line.

The Windies seamer has picked 49 wickets from 34 ODIs at an average of 32.18 and economy rate of 5.88. His T20I numbers are satisfactory as well, where the bowler has struck 37 times in 30 games at an average of 21.81 and economy rate of 7.9.

Unfortunately, the bowler had to disappear for 30 runs against a Tewatia blitzkrieg which took the Sharjah ground by storm at the recently held IPL. While it is never easy for a bowler to recover from such mugging, Cottrell has put it aside and resumed his international duties for the Windies.

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