If you ask a cricket fan about who is the best ODI bowler of all time, one might repeatedly hear familiar responses. Wasim Akram, Glenn McGrath, Waqar Younis, Allan Donald, and Muttiah Muralitharan dominate the charts when it comes to great ODI bowlers. Undoubtedly this bunch of bowlers was way ahead of the rest of the pack but there are a few who excelled as well. But these bowlers haven’t been given their due. Stay with us to know Who are the Underrated ODI Bowler
StumpsandBails lists out 5 underrated ODI bowlers of the past:
#5 Shahid Afridi
People often dismiss Shahid Afridi as a blink and miss cricketer. Fans often love him to go berserk when he walks in to bat. But not many are aware of the fact that Afridi was an excellent bowler too. He has won many games for Pakistan with the ball. His googly especially was difficult for batsmen to negotiate. Afridi picked 395 wickets in 398 matches. He averaged 34.5 with the ball and his strike rate of 44.7 was decent too. For a wrist spinner, his economy rate (4.62) was great as well. His 7-12 against West Indies is a grossly underrated bowling feat.
#4 Javagal Srinath
Javagal Srinath was India’s lone warrior in the ’90s and the 2000s. He kept running in on unresponsive pitches. Srinath would have had great numbers had he played for an overseas team since the Indian pitches weren’t conducive for fast bowling. Sourav Ganguly had to coax Javagal Srinath out of retirement in 2002 to make him play the 2003 World Cup. Srinath ended with 315 wickets in 229 games conceding runs at just 4.44 per over.
#3 Makhaya Ntini
Makhaya Ntini played in an era where South Africa were blessed with quality fast bowlers. Shaun Pollock and Allan Donald often dominated the proceedings and grabbed the headlines. But Ntini was incredibly unique. He used the crease perfectly to set batsmen up. Ntini hit the deck hard and troubled batsmen with pace and discipline. He picked up 266 ODI wickets in 173 games at an average of 24.6. His strike rate of 32.6 is right up there with the very best. Ntini was mighty economical (4.53) too.
Also read: Top 5 Active Bowlers With Most Test Wickets
#2 Chaminda Vaas
Chaminda Vaas was a highly skilled bowler. He was the spiritual successor to Wasim Akram as both were quality left-arm seamers. Vaas especially came into his own in the early 2000s. He single-handedly won a World Cup game against Bangladesh. Vaas remains the only bowler to pick 4 wickets in the first over of an ODI game. The over featured a hattrick of the first 3 balls. But despite his ODI heroics where he managed to pick 400 wickets in 320 matches at an average of 27.5 remains largely underrated. His economy rate of 4.18 is otherworldly too.
#1 Brett Lee
Brett Lee’s wicket-taking ability is often overshadowed by the fact that he bowled fast. But the key to Lee’s success was to marry pace with discipline. There was hardly ever a game where Lee was expensive. Lee’s celebration post taking a wicket provided visceral delight. His ability to pick wickets at will in the 2003 World Cup helped Australia successfully defend their World Cup title. Lee picked up 380 wickets in just 217 games. If you think his average of 23.4 was brilliant then his strike rate of 29.4 was plain outstanding.