Left-arm bowlers have always held a special place in the world of international cricket. Their unique angle of attack and variations provide a distinct advantage to their respective teams, making them a crucial asset. Left-arm bowlers bring a variation in the line and length that is different from their right-arm counterparts.
This variation can often unsettle batsmen who are accustomed to facing predominantly right-arm bowlers. Their deliveries can angle across or into the batsman, creating doubts and opportunities for dismissals. The top bookmakers in India have cricket odds with them.
Depending on their natural angle, left-arm bowlers can swing the ball away from right-handed batsmen or into left-handed batsmen. This ability to move the ball both ways makes them a potent force, capable of exploiting the weaknesses of different batsmen.
It is because of the same reason that left-arm bowlers are comparatively difficult to play and even batsmen like Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli have struggled in front of them.
1) Shaheen Afridi
Shaheen Afridi has established himself as a formidable force in international cricket with his exceptional bowling skills. The Pakistani left-arm fast bowler possesses the attributes that make him a true standout in the sport—his tall frame, pace, and ability to generate steep bounce trouble batsmen consistently.
Shaheen's accuracy and lethal yorkers add depth to his repertoire. He is known to capture India’s opening lineup in tournaments like the 2021 T20 World Cup and the recently held Asia Cup 2023. During the Asia Cup 2023, he picked up wickets of both Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli with his left-arm swing bowling attack.
2) Trent Boult
The New Zealand left-arm fast bowler is a master of swing, seam, and pace. His ability to move the ball both ways makes him a relentless threat to batsmen, particularly in challenging conditions. Boult's inswinging deliveries can dismantle batting lineups, and his pinpoint yorkers are a nightmare for tail-enders.
With a consistent ability to take crucial wickets and a penchant for breaking partnerships, Boult is a jewel in New Zealand's cricketing crown. He was the main co-conspirator for India’s loss in the 2019 World Cup semi-final where Boult picked up Kohli’s wicket in the 3rd over.
3) Mitchell Starc
Starc's knack for taking early breakthroughs and cleaning up tail-enders showcases his versatility. With numerous records and match-winning performances to his name, Mitchell Starc's mastery of fast bowling is undisputed, making him a standout figure in the world of cricket.
He is known for his rivalry with Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma and in numerous situations, Starc has overpowered both batters in the same match. In the upcoming ODI World Cup, both Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma will be on the target of Mitchell Starc’s left arm.
4) Mohammad Amir
Mohammad Amir is known for his remarkable bowling skills. Amir burst onto the cricketing scene as a prodigious talent who can swing the ball both ways. His artful seam movement and deceptive pace make him a constant threat to batsmen. Despite a temporary hiatus from international cricket, Amir returned with a vengeance, displaying his mastery in T20 leagues.
His knack for taking early wickets and his ability to bowl in pressure situations exemplify his excellence. Before retiring, Amir was a significant threat to India’s trio of Rohit Sharma, Dhawan, and Kohli.
5) Reece Topley
The English left-arm fast-medium bowler possesses a rare combination of height, pace, and accuracy that make him a formidable opponent. Topley's ability to swing the ball, both conventionally and with variations, keeps batsmen guessing.
His deceptive slower balls and yorkers add depth to his bowling arsenal. Although plagued by injuries early in his career, Topley has made a promising comeback, showcasing his talent in limited-overs cricket. One of his memorable performances was in Lords in 2022 where his figure was 6/22 against Team India.