In cricket’s history, many exceptional bowlers have gained popularity with their bizarre bowling actions. They have become a worldwide sensation with their stupefying action and maintaining flawless accuracy. Surprisingly, their actions are popularized with quirky names.
Sri Lanka, for example, is renowned for having numerous exceptional bowlers. Mastering the art of bowling is laborious because it needs tremendous practice and appropriate bowling techniques. Nobody gains fame in a day; a bowler’s performance rate throughout their career is solely based on their consistency, which can only be acquired with practice and believing in themselves. Although fans try to emulate bowler’s techniques, the truth is each bowler has a unique style that can neither be copied nor taught. Every bowler’s action is distinctive possessing
amazing muscle-memory. To be renowned for having the weirdest bowling actions in cricket is a whole new ballgame.
Here is the list of some of the extraordinary bowlers:-
1. The reviver of Chinaman bowling: Paul Adams
During the 1996 World Cup, the South African bowler Paul Adams gained popularity with his bizarre action. He is known as the inventor of the weird bowling actions and his technique is described as ‘the frog in the blender’ by Mike Gatting. His bowling requires a high jump
after a small run throwing the ball giving a jerk in the neck. The ball appears from behind like magic and confuses the audience how he does that, him having no sight of the batsman while tilting his neck. In 1996, he gained 30 wickets in 30 runs at the Pepsi Sharjah Cup against India which is one of his best performances till now. In 69 international games for the Proteas, Adam took 163 wickets in total.
2. The Indian Paul Adams: Shivil Kaushik
The Indian bowler, Shivil Kaushik who has gained popularity in the Indian Premier League, representing Team Gujarat Lions (GL). His techniques are unarguably compared to Paul Adams; during the delivery, he has no view of the batsman and makes him in the second
position of bowlers with weird actions.
3. Toe-crunching Yorkers by Lasith Malinga
Sri Lankan bowler Lasith Malinga’s slinging round-arm style with express speed has deranged many batsmen. His low point of release and slinging action possesses the weirdest bowling action and also earned him the title ‘Slinga.’
4. “Thommo” the fastest slinger.
Jeff Thomson, Australian’s former fastest bowler was not only known for his speed but his unique slinging action as well. He had an unusual but constructive slinging ball delivery, which he actually learned from his father. This slinging technique has helped deriving speed in his bowling.
5. Wrong-footed action of Mike Proctor
Mike Proctor has a quite quirky style of bowling having an awkward chest on the action. Being described as a man who bowled from mid-off off the wrong foot. After the end of an intimidating run, he seemed to jump off the wrong foot. This action of his creates a late swing in the correct conditions and sometimes, could be unplayable by the batsman.
6. Colin Croft freakish bowling
The right-hand West Indies bowler having an unconventional approach to the bowling technique. Although he is well known for his fast over the wicket wide crease delivery, he used to run too close to the wickets, hampering umpires’ vision and sometimes even pretend to be a left-hand bowler. Over the top, he cleverly changes his angle towards the left, which seemed awkward, in case the batsman realizes his moves.
7. The renowned off-spinner: Muttiah Muralitharan
The Sri Lankan bowler, Muttiah Muralitharan whose facial expression has made everyone laugh. His controversial bowling actions were considered illegal and always been a topic of long debate but nothing has affected his spirits. He used to deliver the ball from very close to
his head, as a result, the batsmen had difficulty in watching the grip of the ball. He ended his career with a record of 800 wickets in Test matches while totaling 1347 wickets in 495 games for Sri Lanka.
8. The wrong foot bowler: Sohail Tanvir
The Pakistani bowler who actually got his fame in the T20 format is also renowned for his unorthodox bowling action. The left-arm bowler has a peculiar style which is better known as ‘pankha’ action; he bowls off the wrong foot and his style makes him one of the rarest bowlers.
In the 2008 IPL campaign, SohailTanvir became the first-ever winner of the Purple Cap with 22 wickets in 11 matches in Rajasthan Royal’s team. Till now, he has acquired a total of 130 wickets in 121 international matches.
9. The clock poser: Jasprit Bumrah
The Indian wide-arm action bowler, Jasprit Bumrah has a weird bowling action. His hands turn into an awkward position like a clock, when he takes a jump to throw the ball after running.
10. Gentle Left-arm Traditional bowler: Inzamam-ul-Haq
The all-time greatest Pakistani batsman Inzamam-ul-Haq who had scored phenomenal runs in both ODI and Test series is also renowned for his short-period but weird bowling career. He used to hide his bowling arm behind his back until the release and hence confusing the
batsman. His actions have even won him three international wickets. In 1991, during his second ODI against West Indies, he took the wicket of Brian Lara with his first ball and got his name registered in the record books of bowlers.
11. The right-arm version of Chinaman bowling by Kevin Koththigoda
The Sri Lankan leg-spinner Kevin Koththigoda was noticed by the cricket community during U-19 Asia Cup in Malaysia in 2018. The 18-year-old bowler gets his popularity with his unorthodox bowling actions and has been termed as Paul Adam’s right-hand version. He
delivers without looking at the batman and has kept the essence Chinaman style of bowling but in his own way.
12. The open-chested bowler: Chris Harris
The New Zealand all-rounder Chris Harris who bowls open-chested leg-spin without even
spinning the ball. He is known for his versatility in his bowling techniques.