Sri Lanka's mystery spinner Kevin Koththigoda (left) and India's Shivil Kaushik (right)

10 weirdest bowling actions in cricket

Bowling techniques can be pretty tough to master. A proper bowling technique requires skill and regular practice from bowlers to remain consistent in their performances.

Some bowling techniques are hard to teach. As seen in the past, a few bowlers possessing extraordinary muscle-memory have displayed different bowling actions. Sri Lanka is one such country renowned for producing such bowlers. One South African player with a ‘frog-in-the-blender’ bowling action took the world by storm.


On that note, let us have a look at ten of the weirdest bowling actions in the game. Note: The list is in no particular order.

1. Kedar Jadhav (India)

Kedar Jadhav has been quite successful with his weird bowling action.

India's limited-overs specialist player, Kedar Jadhav, has been a handful with the ball. One of the primary reasons for his success is his peculiar bowling action.


In 73 ODIs, Kedar Jadhav has 27 wickets to his name. Most of Jadhav's dismissals have come as a result of batsmen getting flummoxed by his low-arm off-spin slingers.

Jadhav has time and again credited his bowling improvement to former India spinner Anil Kumble who guided him through various technicalities. He also mentions former India captain MS Dhoni whose confidence helped Jadhav a long way.

2. Kamran Khan (India)

One of the forgotten heroes of IPL, Kamran Khan (left)

Kamran Khan of Rajasthan Royals (RR) was one of the success stories of the cash-rich Indian Premier League. He was brought to the big stage after being found by RR scouts in 2009.

He clocked over 140+ kmph regularly and caught Shane Warne's eye. He had an immediate impact in the IPL. With his weird-looking left-arm slinger action, Khan took six wickets in five games.

After working on his bowling action in Australia, he played only three games in the 2010 season. Later he went to Pune Warriors but played only one game in the next two seasons of the competition.


3. Lasith Malinga (Sri Lanka)

Lasith Malinga has been plagued by numerous injuries in his career, mostly due to his weird action.

One of the legends of the game, Lasith Malinga, is a successful example of a plethora of Sri Lankan players possessing bizarre bowling actions. With a slingy action and a low point of release, Malinga prospered at the international level.

His toe-crushing yorkers are particularly tricky to pick, and coupled with his express pace, Malinga cracked open a lot of batsmen. In 339 international games, the only bowler to take over 100 wickets in T20Is, Malinga's tally of 170 wickets is also the most by any player in the Indian Premier League.

4. Sohail Tanvir (Pakistan)

Sohail Tanvir with his peculiar action.

Sohail Tanvir emerged with one of the most peculiar styled bowling actions from Pakistan. One of the rare bowlers who bowl off the wrong foot, he achieved instant success in the shorter formats of the game, including the inaugural season of the IPL.

Tanvir was the first winner of the Purple Cap in IPL, finishing the season with 22 wickets, having played only 11 of winners Rajasthan Royals' 16 games in the IPL 2008 campaign. The left-arm bowler has claimed 130 wickets in 121 international matches for Pakistan.

5. Paul Adams (South Africa)

Paul Adams was one of the pioneers of weird bowling actions.

Regarded as one of the pioneers of weird bowling actions, Paul Adams was South Africa's lone international spinner of repute before Nicky Boje arrived on the scene. Adams' unusual jump followed by his unorthodox no-look release of the ball flummoxed even the best batsmen of his era.

His spell of three wickets for 30 runs against India at the Pepsi Sharjah Cup in 1996 is regarded one of his best performances. South Africa won the said match, and Adams walked away with the Man-of-the-Match award. Adams took 163 wickets in 69 international games for the Proteas.


6. Chris Harris (New Zealand)

Former New Zealand all-rounder Chris Harris

New Zealand all-rounder Chris Harris also makes this list of weird bowling actions. He bowled open-chested leg-spin but hardly spun the bowl. Instead, Harris relied more on accuracy and varieties in his bowling.

His exploits with the bat finds him third in the list of top Kiwi all-rounders, behind only Sir Richard Hadlee and Chris Cairns. Harris is the first New Zealand player to play 250 ODIs. The right-hander's most significant contributions came in the ICC Knockout Tournament in 2000, where he helped his team defeat a formidable Indian side.

In 273 international games, Harris claimed 219 wickets.

7. Debashish Mohanty (India)

Debashish Mohanty's effervescent could light up the atmosphere.

Debasis Mohanty emerged as one of India's most promising young bowlers in the 90s. The ICC even designed their logo of the CWC 1999 on his bowling action. However, despite impressive performances, he couldn't sustain his form over a more extended period.

Mohanty flailed his hands before each delivery and landed on the wrong foot before bowling. He played 47 international games for India between 1997 and 2001 and performed reasonably well at the CWC 1999.

8. Kevin Koththigoda (Sri Lanka)

Sri Lanka's mystery spinner Kevin Koththigoda

During the U-19 Asia Cup in Malaysia in 2018, an 18-year-old leg-spinner going by the name of Kevin Koththigoda was noticed by the cricket community.

His unorthodox action of no-look delivery was termed a right-arm version of Paul Adams. A decent batter and a fielder, Koththigoda hails from a small town called Unawatuna near Galle in Sri Lanka.

9. Shivil Kaushik (India)

Shivil Kaushik came into the limelight during IPL 2016.

Considered an obscure chinaman bowler, Shivil Kaushik made headlines when he debuted for Gujarat Lions in IPL 2016 and almost got the wicket of Steven Smith. He followed in the footsteps of South Africa's Paul Adams' ‘frog-in-the-blender’ style of a no-look delivery release that takes a batsman by surprise.

A finger injury curtailed his IPL career, but Kaushik has been training hard to get back in the grove through good performances in the Karnataka Premier League.

10. Muttiah Muralitharan (Sri Lanka)

Muttiah Muralitharan was hugely successful in his career.

One of the greatest spinners to have ever graced the game of cricket, Muttiah Muralitharan had a unique way of delivering the ball. Hiding the ball in his hands during his run-up, batsmen couldn't watch the grip properly as he released it from very close to his head.

However, he went through several lows in his career. In an infamous incident during Sri Lanka's away Test series in Australia in 1995, Muralitharan's action was considered illegal by umpire Darrel Hair. His deliveries were continually deemed to be called no-balls until Sri Lanka captain Arjuna Ranatunga threatened to take his players off the field.


Muralitharan emerged stronger from the incident and won the hearts of fans through consistent performances throughout the world. The off-spinner ended his career with 1347 wickets in 495 games for Sri Lanka that included a record haul of 800 wickets in Tests.

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