Shane Watson names his top 5 T20 bowlers of all time; picks one Indian seamer

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Shane Watson (Screengrab: YouTube)
  • Shane Watson mentions two Caribbeans in his top five T20 bowlers list.

  • Watson is currently playing for CSK in IPL 2020.

Former Australia international Shane Watson is regarded as one of the finest all-rounders in the shortest format of the game. He is currently playing for the Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

CSK opener struggled with the willow in the first few games before returning to his exceptional form against Kings XI Punjab (KXIP). He had scored unbeaten 83 runs to take his side over the line. Even in the last game against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), on Wednesday, Watson scored his second fifty of IPL 2020, though his team lost the contest.

Meanwhile, Watson has shared a video link on Twitter of his YouTube channel – T20 Stars – where he named his top five T20 bowlers of all time. The Queensland cricketer started with Sri Lankan legend Lasith Malinga, terming the latter as the greatest T20 bowler.

“The first one in my top 5 T20 bowlers of all time is the greatest T20 bowler, Lasith Malinga… His execution of yorkers is something that has not been seen before and might not be seen again for a long period.”

Malinga is the leading wicket-taker in IPL with 170 wickets to his name in 120 matches. Watson picked former Pakistan all-rounder Shahid Afridi at number two and Team India’s frontline bowler Jasprit Bumrah at number three.

Watson addressed Afridi as a dynamic batsman and a wicket-taker bowler in the shortest format.

“Number two is Shahid Afridi. I am just talking about his bowling right now, he is obviously an incredibly dynamic batsman, but from bowling perspective, he is the perfect T20 bowler. He is a wicket-taker, but also, he does not concede that many runs.”

“He is an all-round package bowler”: Watson on Bumrah

Watson heaped praises on Bumrah, stating that the latter is so young but has complete dominance in world cricket.

“Number three on my top 5 T20 bowlers of all time is a younger guy; it’s Jasprit Bumrah. He, for me, is an all-round package. He is only 26 at the moment but the dominance that he has had in T20 cricket so far as a bowler is absolutely phenomenal.”

The Ipswich-born cricketer opined that Bumrah has unprecedented control on executing yorkers. Watson remarked that the change of pace makes Bumrah a very lethal bowler.

“His skill with the new ball, he is different, he is fast, he comes out slightly different to most bowlers. He can swing the ball both ways. He has got a significant change of pace, and his execution of yorker is incredible as well.”

Watson further added that facing Bumrah is extremely difficult and he would go down as one of the most fantastic bowlers in T20 cricket.

“Facing him is a huge challenge, he has got so many different high-quality bowling options, and you got to be absolutely on your game to be able to score and put him under pressure. I am sure he will be absolutely fabulous at the end of his career in T20 cricket alone with incredible skills that he has got.”

Watson completed his list by naming his CSK teammate Dwayne Bravo and KKR spinner Sunil Narine as the final two bowlers.

Watson hailed Bravo for bowling so many death overs in T20 cricket and taking wickets in the process.

“It’s phenomenal for someone to take 500 (506) T20 wickets. That’s 100 more than the second-placed Lasith Malinga. DJ Bravo, What a man! He has bowled so many overs in the death, which is super-challenging, and he knows how to find a way of taking wickets.”

The former Aussie articulated that Narine has a tremendous impact on the game and he takes wickets at crunch situations.

“It’s phenomenal the impact he has had on games. Like all ultimate T20 bowlers, he takes wickets at crucial times and hardly goes for any runs.”

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