5 active pacers with the most 'bowled' dismissals in Tests
- These 5 pacers have dislodged the bails the most times in Test cricket among active cricketers.
- The list features 2 players from England, and 1 each from Australia, South Africa, and New Zealand.
Test cricket gives pace bowlers the opportunity to showcase every bit of their game. It gives them the chance to bowl long spells with the brand new red cherry, and also display some reverse swing with the older ball. Due to the batsmen's relatively slow approach, it is the format where they have to stay the most consistent with their lines and lengths.
When a pace bowler hits the batsman's stumps, it is a sight to behold- one that fanatics of the game of cricket love to witness. In this article, we take a look at the active speedsters who have dislodged the bails more than anyone else.
Note: Players who are active in any format in international cricket have been considered, but the wicket count is only in Test cricket.
5. Trent Boult - 59 wickets (22.09%)
Trent Boult is regarded by many as New Zealand's best bowler at the moment. Boult is a left-arm quick who possesses the ability to utilise early swing to its full effect. He made his Test debut against Australia in 2011, and since then, he has taken over 250 Test wickets. Out of his total wickets, 59 are bowled, which is around 22% of his overall tally.
One of Boult's best moments in the recent past was when he toppled Australia's batting order in a World Cup 2015 group stage game. In Test matches, the best memory of Boult skittling a batsman goes back to the Queen's Park Oval in West Indies, where he dismissed Chris Gayle. In the 2nd over of his spell, Boult bowled a full swinging yorker to the Caribbean batsman. Gayle had no answers to the exquisite ball, and lost his off stump.
It was one of the two occasions that Boult has dismissed Gayle in international cricket.
4. Mitchell Starc - 63 wickets (25.81%)
Australian pacer Mitchell Starc is one of the most feared bowlers in the world, with the new ball as well as later on in the innings. Ever since his deadly pace came to light at Eden Park against New Zealand, every cricket fan is aware of his accurate swinging yorkers. Starc also bowls consistently over 140 kmph, which makes it tough for any batsman to deal with him.
Over 25 per cent of his Test wickets have been 'bowled' dismissals, which shows how often he attacks the stumps. Starc has wrecked many high-profile batsmen with his swing, the most famous one being Brendon McCullum in the World Cup final in 2015. However, his best wicket in Test matches is unarguably the wicket of James Vince.
In the 2019 Ashes series, Starc bowled a 'jaffa' to James Vince. The ball straightened disturbingly after pitching, with the initial angle seemingly taking it down leg. It took Vince's off-stump, and also took away the breath of those watching around the world. If he keeps bowling those, he can even end up being the pacer with the most bowled dismissals in Test history.
3. Stuart Broad - 86 wickets (17.73%)
Stuart Broad must still get nightmares of Yuvraj Singh launching him over the boundary on all six balls of a single over. However, the pacer had his moment of redemption against India in 2011 when he took a Test match hat-trick against them.
The third wicket of the hat-trick came in a way every bowler would dream of. Praveen Kumar was at the crease facing the hat-trick ball. Broad delivered a good length ball, which went straight through the batsman's defence and took the stumps with it.
Broad has bowled several memorable deliveries which have got the batsman bowled. Even players like Michael Clarke and Ross Taylor have had their stumps dislodged by the Englishman. Broad has taken 485 Test wickets in his illustrious career, making him one of the best bowlers of his generation.
He has also taken 86 wickets by hitting the timber, which is just under 18% of his total Test wicket tally.
2. Dale Steyn - 90 wickets (20.5%)
Dale Steyn has to be South Africa's best fast bowler in the last decade. He is South Africa's highest Test wicket-taker ahead of the likes of Shaun Pollock and Allan Donald, with 439 scalps to his name.
Steyn developed a liking for hitting the stumps in his very first Test match. His first Test wicket was Marcus Trescothick, who was bowled by an unplayable delivery.
In that same match, Steyn got Michael Vaughan out in the 2nd innings with a brilliant swinging delivery. The ball pitched on middle and off and swung away, leaving the Englishman in awe of the then youngster's mesmeric ball.
Steyn has bid adieu to Tests, but he is still playing for South Africa in the limited-overs format. While he was active in the longest format of the game, he got batsmen out bowled 90 times.
1. James Anderson - 116 wickets (19.86%)
There is no other pacer, active or retired, who has bowled more batsmen than James Anderson. The only bowler ever who has bowled more batsmen in Tests is a spinner - Muttiah Muralitharan. Anderson and Broad have been England's prime opening bowling partnership for at least the last 10 years.
Anderson, just like Broad, is a beautiful exponent of the new ball. His 116 wickets which dislodged the batsman's stumps are all equally good, but one wicket is a standout. Back in 2008 in a Test match between England and New Zealand, Anderson took 7-43 in a single innings.
The first dismissal came from a ripper of a ball, which pitched just outside off-stump on a good length, and straightened very late. New Zealand opener Aaron Redmond could do nothing but stare at the pitch, looking for a crack which might have diverted the ball.
It wasn't a crack- it was Anderson's late swing, which is one of his major strengths. Anderson has taken 116 wickets by shattering the stumps. It remains to be seen how many more 'bowled' dismissals Anderson takes before he draws the curtains on what has been a spectacular career.