Top 5 ODI bowlers since 2015 ICC World Cup
With the ICC World Cup 2019 approaching, the last edition of the tournament almost has an ancient feel to it. Australia no longer field a side brimming with destructive all-round cricketers, England no longer play the game with neanderthal game tactics, India have given up their perennial conservative attitude to pave way for an ultra-aggressive side led by Virat Kohli. Most importantly, there are striking contrasts in the way the format is approached by teams now.
The 2015 World Cup had an average strike rate of 88.97, by far the highest of all editions. This was caused by the then existing PowerPlay rules, docile Australian decks worn out into lifelessness by a long summer of international and domestic cricket and lastly the microscopic grounds in New Zealand.
Since then, though, the introduction of the new field restriction phases allowing five fielders outside the ring in the last ten overs and the acclimatizing of bowlers to two new balls and more balanced pitches have suddenly brought back bowlers into the game. We look at the most successful bowlers across the world in the aftermath of the batting carnage in the World Cup down under.
#5 Imran Tahir, Matches- 50; Wickets- 79; Average- 26.63; E.R- 4.91
Ever since his debut in the 2011 World Cup, Tahir has easily been the Proteas' most dominant spin bowling force in a format where they have always struggled in conditions not conducive to their fast bowling battery. While earlier he was criticized for bowling the odd boundary ball way too often, since the last World Cup he has been remarkable in the aspect of assuming the role of a senior bowler in the side. His economy rate of under five runs an over is a testament to the control he has brought to his craft.
He has not only limited his role to the trickery of a leg-spinner but a considerably fuller length has allowed him to stem the flow of runs when needed. In the second ODI against Zimbabwe this year, Tahir took his maiden hat-trick and ran through the hosts' middle order while defending a paltry 198. As the format is inching towards a wrist-spinning potency, Tahir's value as an asset to South Africa's chances in England next year is increasing exponentially.