India's off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin
India's off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin

The decade has seen some outstanding cricketing performances from players all around the world and in all formats of the game. With the introduction of rules that would favour the batsman to a large extent, one might call it the 'decade of the batsmen', but that isn't the case. The bowlers have shown their A-game time and again, and given the batsmen a run for their money.

There is a mixed combination of veterans and young bowlers like Anderson, Malinga, Steyn who have been carrying their fame from the previous decade, competing with young bowling enthusiasts.

In past ten years, we have also seen rise of few young bowlers like Indian off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin and New Zealand pacer Trent Boult who have managed to break the records set by legendary bowlers like Shane Warne and Muttiah Muralitharan.

Here are the top 5 of the decade:

1) Ravichandran Ashwin

It is surprising to see R Ashwin, who has only played Test cricket in the last two and a half years, end with most international wickets with his tally of 564 wikcets-- 364 in Tests, 150 in ODIs and 52 in T20Is.

Ashwin equalled Sri Lanka's mystery bowler Muttiah Muralitharan's record of fastest 350 Test wickets. He also joint the veteran spinner's tally of picking 250 wickets at home in just 42 Test matches.

Ashwin has been dominated in the sub continent with his carrom ball trick to upsetting the batsmen on many occasions. He has been awarded the man of the match award for seven times throughout his Test career.

2) James Anderson (535)

With a classical side-on action, he generates natural outswing and with the old ball is capable of reverse swinging it.His most deliveries pitch on middle and leg making him pretty unplayable, leaving the batsmen bewildered.

Anderson surpassed Australian legend Glenn McGrath to become the highest wicket-taker by a fast bowler in Test cricket.He sits fourth on the table accounting 575 Test wickets.

In this decade he picked 535 wickets across formats. He returns back to England's Test side that will tour South Africa for four Tests starting on December 26.

3) Stuart Broad (525)

Broad has overcome from the incident where Yuvraj Singh smashed him six sixes in World T20 and has emerged as England's specialist red-ball bowler, pairing with James Anderson to comprise the deathly duo.

Broad is the second most wicket-taker for England with 714 wickets across formats. He scalped 525 between 2010-19 and is the second English bowler to take more than 400 wickets in Test cricket. His best figures is 8/15 in the longest format that came against Australia in 2015 Ashes.

4) Tim Southee (472)

Outswing is the biggest weapon of Tim Southee, which he uses to cause damage in opposition's batting line-up. He is not only recognised as a new-ball bowler, but has developed himself into a fine old-ball bowler with his pace variations and reverse swings.

Southee, who currently serves as deputy to skipper Kane Williamson, has scalped 472 wickets in this decade and overall holds 528 wickets in his 11-year International career.

In 2015 World Cup, Southee produced one of the great fast bowling spells to take seven for 33 against England that bowled them out for 123.

5) Trent Boult (458)

Boult has the ability to switch between the three formats effortlessly with minimum fuss. Boult has always been a gun bowler for his side, despite facing injuries, and rotation conditions.

The left-arm pacer has picked 458 wickets (255 Tests, 164 ODIs and 39 T20Is) since his debut in 2011.

Boult was the joint-highest wicket-taker with Mitchell Starc during 2015 World Cup. He became the first New Zealand bowler to pick a hat-trick in World Cup.

(To download our E-paper please click here. The publishers permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)

Free Press Journal