There are too many world-class bowlers who played for most of their career as a third seamer and were equally good as a new-ball bowler. If the opening bowlers are genuine swing bowlers, third seamer will give you variety to the attack. As opening bowlers mostly depend on swing, third seamers need to have too many tricks up their sleeves like pace, bounce, line-length and reverse swing.
Brett Lee and Shoaib Akthtar are considered as the fastest bowlers in the last two decades and both of them played most of their careers as a first change bowler with Glenn McGrath-Jason Gillespie and Wasim Akram-Waqar Younis shouldering the opening bowlers duties for their respective countries. Like Lee and Akthar, few other pacers like Michael Kasprowicz, Stuart Clark, Andrew Flintoff, Tim Bresnan were also excellent one change seamers. Pat Cummins, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood, Lungi Ngidi are some of the promising third seamers in recent times.
Let us have a look at some of the finest third seam bowlers around the world in the last decade. Pacers are being ordered based on the number of wickets taken as a first change bowler.
#5. Ishant Sharma
Ishant Sharma is aged under 30 and he already has 11 years(2008-2018) of international experience. Even though he was taking new ball at earlier stage of his career, he is considered as a third seamer nowadays. He has been in and out of playing XI as India use to play only 2 pace bowlers in Indian subcontinent pitches. The 6 feet 4 inch tall bowler has the ability to reverse swing the ball which makes him the perfect third seamer for India.
Ishant Sharma has taken 62 wickets in 30 innings(26 matches) he played as a first change pacer.