10 bowlers with unusual bowling actions in cricket

Here's presenting a list of 10 such bowlers who are best remembered for their weird actions.

10 bowlers with unusual bowling actions in cricket
Updated: July 6, 2017 11:30 AM IST | Edited By: Chinmay Jawalekar


They say that cricket is batsman s game. The rules are heavily loaded in favour of the batsmen while the bowlers are made to suffer. But still, if we take a look at cricket s history, we will find some exceptional bowlers who have played the game. With their flawless action and immaculate accuracy, those bowlers have made a mark for themselves. Today, however, we are not going to talk about those perfect bowlers, but about the ones, who did earn a name albeit for a different reason. Chinmay Jawalekar pens down a list of 10 such bowlers who are best remembered for their weird actions.

10. Inzamam-ul-Haq: Yes, you have read the name right! This burly batsman from Multan not only had a phenomenal appetite for scoring huge runs, but also had a habit of getting involved in silly run outs. Very few people know that Inzamam also bowled for a brief period in his career and even has three international wickets to his name. His bowling action though was nothing short of weird, as the slow left-arm orthodox bowler would take a small run up and keep his bowling arm hidden behind the back almost up to the point of release. It made for a funny view. Watch it here:

9. Jeff Thomson: Former Australian fast bowler and an all-time great Jeff Thomson is arguably the fastest bowler ever to play the game. Viv Richards himself has given a testimony to this fact, saying Thomson was the fastest he ever faced. However, the legendary bowler had a bit of an unusual bowling action. The first and the original slinga of world cricket, Thomson bowled with a slinging action, from which he derived his pace.

8. Mike Proctor: Mike Proctor, who is best known by the current generation of fans for being the cruel Match Referee who banned Harbhajan Singh for three matches on the charges of racism during the second Test of 2007-08 Border-Gavaskar Trophy, was an extremely fast and lethal fast bowler for South Africa in his playing days. He was once described as man who bowled "at 100mph from mid-off off the wrong foot". Yes, he had a wrong-footed action, as he jumped off his wrong foot while delivering a ball. Such an action is defined as one where the bowler delivers the ball while landing on his right foot (for right-handed), and on the left foot (for a southpaw).

It was unusual by all means. Watch it here:

7. Colin Croft: One of the most fearsome bowlers ever to come out of the Caribbean, Croft had a freakish bowling action, which would keep the batsmen guessing. On most of the occasions, he ran in so close to the stumps that he almost came in the way of the umpire s vision of the batsman, thus making it virtually impossible for him to read the bowler. On top of it, when the batsman finally got to see him, he would drift away towards his left at an awkward angle. He also gave an impression of being a left-arm pacer when he charged in, while in reality, he was a right-arm bowler.

6. Muttiah Muralitharan: Arguably the greatest off-spinner and the leading wicket-taker in Tests and ODIs, Muralitharan had a debatable bowling action. While many swear by the square turn he would get on pitches across the globe, some others argued he had an illegal action. And even as his action was cleared by the ICC time and again, it was his facial expression while releasing the ball that made many laugh.

5. Sohail Tanvir: Tanvir is another wrong-footed bowler on this list, just like Proctor. He would also land on his left foot while delivering the ball, thus making his action look bizarre.

4. Jasprit Bumrah: This latest Team India find also finds a mention on this list for his weird bowling action. Bumrah has a wide-arm action, which many find strange and unorthodox. When he takes the jump after running in hard to bowl, his hands create an awkward pose of a clock. Watch him bowl here:

3. Lasith Malinga: When we talk about unusual bowling actions, it is hard to keep Malinga away from the conversation. The bowler has a slinging round-arm action which is almost impossible to imitate. His action has earned him the nickname slinga .

2. Shivil Kaushik: Shivil Kaushik became a household name after playing in the recently concluded season of the Indian Premier League (IPL), where he represented Gujarat Lions (GL). A Chinaman bowler in Paul Adams mould, Kaushik has no view of the batsman at the point of releasing the delivery. His awkward action has been compared with former South African spinner Adams, who unarguably, tops this list.

1. Paul Adams: Adams caught the attention of the world during the 1996 World Cup in the Indian subcontinent. He revived the dying art of Chinaman bowling, which even today has little or no takers. Described as the frog in a blender by Mike Gatting, Adams action bordered on being ugly. His bowling process involved taking a small run up and then a high jump, before giving his neck a jerk. In the process, he had no view of the batsman when he released the ball, thus making people wonder how he actually did that. Sadly, he could not play for his country for long. But he must be happy to see the likes of Kaushik and Kuldeep Yadav keeping the flag of this rare art high.