5 most underrated bowlers in world cricket right now

Graeme Cremer is a fine leg-spinner
Graeme Cremer is a fine leg-spinner
Sanyam Yadav

Bowling is a difficult art and only a select few are able to master it. It is truly a sight to behold when bowlers dominate proceedings.

In world cricket, there are some bowlers who are often overlooked and not rated as highly as others. They are not appreciated and their skills are highly undervalued.

Here, we look at five such bowlers who play crucial roles for their teams but still do not get the recognition they deserve:

#5 Graeme Cremer

Graeme Cremer, the Zimbabwe skipper, has grown in stature ever since he led his team to a famous ODI series win on Sri Lankan soil. He is a quality leg-spinner who can bowl a lethal leg-break and a vicious googly that batsmen fail to pick.

But his greatest strength is the drift he gets in the air, which is a result of the revolutions he puts on the ball. He is an ideal spinner for non-spinning tracks due to his ability to vary the pace of his deliveries.

Zimbabwe currently linger at the bottom of the ICC rankings in all formats and this works against Cremer immensely. Not much is expected of Zimbabwe when they come up against some established Test playing nations.

The nation is not known to produce match-winners. Even though Cremer has shown great promise, he is not rated as highly as some of the bowlers from Test-playing nations.

If his recent accomplishments are anything to go by, then he is destined for bigger and better things. Zimbabwe now have a star of their own, but they need to play a lot of top-level cricket to properly utilise his potential.

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#4 Matt Henry

New Zealand v Australia - 3rd ODI
Matt Henry has delivered whenever he has featured for New Zealand

Matt Henry is a fine new ball bowler, but is criminally underrated.

Henry had a profitable outing against India in New Zealand's 2016 tour, but struggled to make the starting XI for them in the recently-concluded series.

He had an impressive run of form prior to the series, but Adam Milne was given the nod to start ahead of him.

Henry, who is quick through the air and also off the track, is known for his wicket-to-wicket bowling. He has a good cricketing brain as well and knows how to bowl under pressure.

He is accurate with the ball and gets a lot of wickets either LBW or bowled. His ODI bowling figures are quite staggering and he is surely one of the most talented bowlers in New Zealand right now.

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#3 Devendra Bishoo

Pakistan v West Indies - 2nd Test: Day Four
Devendra Bishoo in action

Devendra Bishoo has single-handedly bowled the West Indies to many Test victories in the recent past. He is an old-fashioned leg-spinner and, quite often, we see him bowl long spells without dropping his intensity.

He is perhaps the most important cog of the West Indies bowling unit. Bishoo has got all the trickery, but is still not rated as highly as some of the other spinners in world cricket, one of the main reasons being the performance of the West Indies as a team.

Quite often, his good performances have been overshadowed by the resounding nature of the side's defeats.

Bishoo is quick through the air and generates sharp turn off the surface. He deceives the batsmen with his variety and bags a lot of wickets. He is now a permanent member of the West Indies Test squad.


#2 Chris Woakes

England v Pakistan - 2nd One Day International
Chris Woakes is handy up front with the new ball

Chris Woakes is a swing bowler and the out-swinger is his stock ball. Woakes is an old-fashioned swing bowler and can swing the ball both ways.

He was perhaps born in the wrong era. Woakes often gets overlooked and has struggled to cement a permanent spot for himself in the England team.

The 28-year-old is quite similar to James Anderson and most of the time, it is the latter who gets the nod to represent England. His style of bowling works against him and he has to play the backup role.

Woakes, who is excellent with the new ball, is a proven match-winner in county cricket for Warwickshire. He has had limited opportunities in International cricket but he has proved his mettle every time he has played for England.

He was quite useful for the Kolkata Knight Riders in IPL 2017 with his deadly out-swingers.


#1 Nuwan Pradeep

Pakistan v Sri Lanka - 1st Test
Nuwan Pradeep is arguably the best Sri Lankan fast bowler currently

Nuwan Pradeep is the spearhead of Sri Lanka's new-ball attack. He made his debut in 2011 and has come a long way as a bowler ever since. He grabbed the eyeballs of many cricketing pundits with his ability to generate pace on docile Sri Lankan wickets.

He was the lone bright spot for Sri Lanka when they were whitewashed by India recently. He can bowl a sharp bouncer and a pin-point yorker and is arguably the best Sri Lankan fast bowler at the moment.

Sri Lanka are known to rely on their spinners to lead them to victories and producing fast bowlers is quite rare for them (apart from Chaminda Vaas and Lasith Malinga of course). The main focus is on spinners like Rangana Herath and Dilruwan Perera to produce results and quite often, the contributions of Pradeep go unnoticed.

The spinners take all the credit and Pradeep's efforts with the ball are not appreciated as much as they should be.

When he burst onto the scene, he was raw but his talent was evident. He has polished his skills with the ball and is quite accurate as well.

Edited by Arvind Sriram


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