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Top 5 reverse swing bowlers of modern-day cricket

The art of reverse swing is most difficult to learn. Here in this article a look at the top 5 reverse swing bowlers of the modern era in cricket.

Last updated: 11.07.2020
Top 5 reverse swing bowlers of modern-day cricket | Sports Social Blog

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Arguably, the best weapon in the bowler arsenal is reverse swing. Normally, the new ball swings in both ways Inswinger or outswinger but as the ball gets older it loses its shine and not to provide the swing like a new ball.

With the old ball, the swing is possible from the side which is shining rather than from the rough side. Even the captain prefers to have a bowler in a team who have this talent to do reverse swing and befuddle the batsman of the opponent team.

The art of reverse swing is most difficult to learn. Not every fast bowler have this ability to do reverse swing with the old ball. With the new ball, every bowler has the chance to give early breakthroughs to the opponent team but the ultimate test of bowler come when the bowl is rough and drift towards the opposite direction.


If we compare both traditional and reverse swing, the batsman finds it quite difficult to play reverse swing in any conditions. The more dangerous part of reverse swing bowling is that ball drift towards the shinner side of the ball rather than the rough side.


The ball usually does reverse swing after 40 overs, if bowler tries to confuse the batsman with the outswinger the result would be more difficult for the batsman to play the ball in the form of reverse Inswinger and if tries to confuse the batsman with the Inswinger the result is opposite the outswinger.


Bowler has to hide the rough side of the ball while keeping the shinning side visible so to confuse the batsman. The ball should be pitched close to the batsman and with accurate seam movement to get the perfect reverse swing.

1.Dale Steyn:


After Shaun Pollock and Allan Donald if there was one bowler who was Unplayable then it was Dale Steyn. One of the greatest bowlers Of this generation is definitely Dale Steyn.

The right-arm fast bowler and never like batsman to dominate the field. Bowling in the morning session at 150km/h was normal but bowling throughout the day takes strength and that's where Dale Steyn stands above the rest.

Ability to swing the ball both ways at sheer pace was one of his ability but the ability to do reverse swing with old ball makes more dangerous to face. The main reason for South Africa success in international cricket was definitely Dale Steyn.

While making his debut along with AB de villiers in 2004, Steyn was not good in the early years of his career. Although, series against New Zealand in 2006 was the turning point And from there there was no way back then.

The year was 2008, where Dale Steyn took 78 wickets at an average of 16.24 and ICC awarded him the test cricketer of the year for his unbelievable performance.

During 2008-2014, he was at the top of test cricket ranking with no one coming close to him or even remove from the top side. There were doubts Asian pitches were spinner friendly but Dale Steyn walked in while holding the red cherry in his hand and befuddled the greats of game on knees.

Second best strike rate after Waqar Younis 39.7 and 92 wickets in just 20 matches, Steyn was in the complete league. Fast, fiery and aggressive by nature and has dismantle many batting line ups with his reverse swing talent.

Even the greats of the game like Andy Roberts believed that Dale Steyn is very similar to me the way his attitude and wicket taking style ability.


That Unplayable spell of 7/51 against India at Nagpur was clear show of ‘awe inspiring reverse swing’ bowling.

Although he had retired from cricket, but in past two decades or even in long history of cricket there is no one as consistent as Dale Steyn was in his cricketing days.

439 wickets in just 93 test, at an mind boggling average of 22.95, what else you demand from your frontline bowler? Anything else!


Allan Donald and Shaun Pollock were my heroes, so I thought averaging 22 or 23 and taking five-wicket hauls was normal -Dale Steyn


2. Mitchell Starc:


Most destructive pacer with new and old ball Australia in the modern day cricket. One of the most consistent performers for Australia in the last one decade and fastest to reach 100 wickets mark In his career.


After making his debut against India in 2010, not having the good Start of career. But most destructive side of bowler comes in 2015 World cup, where he emerged as frontline for Australia picking up 22 wickets in just 8 matches at an mind boggling average of 10.18, with unplayable performances throughout the tournament.


The biggest instincts of Mitchell Starc is ability to deliver to the ball at a quick pace to spot on Yorkers and ability to clinch wickets turn him the most “Unplayable” bowler in the modern-day cricket.


While playing for Australia in the three formats of the game,  Starc also plays for Sydney Sixers in big bash league and Royal challengers Bangalore in Indian premier league.


3. Shane Bond:


A career with injuries, but still he has the thunderbolts in his arsenal that no one else. The fear of him was witnessed when a player like Mathew, Hayden wears the toe guard over his spikes to protect against his toe crushing yorkers – define the fear he has in batsman’s hearts.


For the cricketing world, he was Shane bond, but for New Zealand, he was definitely Richard Hadlee.


If a single word to describe this legendary bowler, definitely be “Awe-inspiring” with 87 wickets in just 18 tests with an unbelievable average of 22.09 and in the ODIs he has 122 wickets in just 82 games with an amazing average of 20.88


He has destroyed every batting line up who have comes in his way. Stated his career pretty late, but he has turned himself into most respected bowler of his time in just quick period of time.


He was the artist of pure breed instincts. Who can forget his hat-trick against Australia and that redemption against India when has dismantled 6 wickets with an awe-inspiring spell.


I was determined to bowl well after not performing up to the standard the previous evening – Shane Bond


4. Mitchell Johnson:


After Brett Lee and Glenn Macgrath if there was any bowling pair that trouble the great batsman it would definitely be ‘Mitchell Johnson and Mitchell Starc’.

Although, Australian are born fast bowlers. Still, experts say he was overrated, inconsistent or One-time bowler.

But believe me, when things work out as his plans he was treated to watch out and who will forget those thunderbolts in Ashes 2013-14 series against England and those 37 wickets the series will definitely be remembered for him.

It’s very difficult for the batsman to face someone like angry Mitchell Johnson, a bowler who has a career of intimidating, definitely be Mitchell Johnson.

During the last few years of his career, he was the nightmare for the batsman, intimidating them and forcing them to take a step back without getting injured by his bouncers. There were the incidents when he has intimidated the batsman with his instincts of fast bowling.


With 239 wickets in 153 ODIs, 313 wickets in 73 tests and 123 wickets in 112 T-20s – stats define he was the class bowler.


In the history of cricket, there were bowlers who had success in the 3 formats and definitely, Johnson was another one and arguably the best-left arm fast bowlers of the modern day cricket.


5. Brett Lee:


Growing up, you look at guys like Jeff Thomson as heroes, so going past him is pretty special – Brett Lee


Well in the top 5 of the last two decades, he definitely deserved the place. The man who defined the art of fast bowling before Dale Steyn arrived. Oone of the most stylish bowing action and ability to bowl over 150km/h consistently put him above many other bowlers of this era.


Brett Lee was the part most dominating Australian side in cricket after 20the The 00s and proven it many times why he was most feared bowler of his time with his hard bouncer to perfect Yorker and with inswing ability at sheer pace.


The bowler who has justified the tag of lion-hearted was definitely been, Brett Lee. A young schoolboy who befuddle the batsmen in 6 consecutive deliveries – it was sure he has something different – Steve waugh.


While playing with him for New south wales, Steve waugh was shell shocked to see the aggressive fast bowling and led him to have this young lad into Australia team.


With 310 wickets in 73 tests and 380 wickets in 221 ODIs, define the impact he has on his cricketing career journey.

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