With the emergence of big bats and unconventional methods of hitting the ball, death bowling has become an important aspect of the limited overs game. The difference between winning and losing is often just a single good over. And the teams who have a good death bowler are bound to be more successful than those who don’t. A good death bowler will be highly skilled and he will have good variety. Setting up the batsmen and mixing it up suddenly have become very important skills of the modern game. Spinners can no longer afford to flight it up to the batsmen four balls in a row. You have to keep thinking in order to be successful. You can’t switch your mind off for even one moment if you are a bowler in the modern day game. That is how rigorous it is and what distinguishes a good bowler from a fairly average one. So here’s a list of 10 of the best death bowlers who have managed to contain the batsmen and come out triumphant.
During the early stages of his career, a lot of people including his own countrymen, had apprehensions about his style of bowling. His action was termed by many former cricketers as “chucking” or “throwing”. But Malinga underwent various tests and proved to his critics that he was no chucker. His arm did not cross the 15 degree rule; his was only an extraordinarily slingy action. If you take his unconventional action out of picture, he is a fast bowler who would be any captain’s dream.
Genuine pace, excellent accuracy, a lethal slower one and good with both the old and new balls. With the old ball he is able to get reverse swing which makes him one of the more capable death bowlers. You can’t just whack him out of the park. His worth is accentuated by the fact that MI, who acquired him in the inaugural 2008 IPL auctions, haven’t let go of him since then. He was the highest wicket taker in two editions of the IPL, a feat achieved only by Dwayne Bravo other than him.
He retired from Tests because of his knee injuries in an attempt to elongate his limited overs career. Over the years batsmen have figured him out and have taken measures such as standing outside the crease to tackle him. But Malinga has always come back stronger and one such event that highlights this prowess of his is the 2014 World T20 final where he took to bowling slower and way outside the off stump so as to make it difficult for the batsmen to hit him. Even Virat Kohli, his nemesis, succumbed to that tactic. Now, the Sri Lankan pacer has been out of favour in the IPL