Cricket is a deadly contest between bat and ball. Some batsmen have risen from the ordinary to achieve memorable feats. These outstanding batsmen, too, sometimes have their heart pumping when facing a particular bowler.
Here is the list of top 10 batsmen in International cricket right now and the bowlers they fear:-
Quinton de Kock
Quinton de Kock has established himself as one of the best openers in the world. The 28-year-old has the ability to smash the bowlers at will. However, de Kock named Sri Lanka’s Lasith Malinga when asked about the toughest bowler he has faced.
De Kock further stated that it was Malinga’s sling action that made him difficult to read. Malinga is famous for delivering toe-crushing Yorkers at will. The former speedster is also the highest wicket-taker for his side in T20Is and the third highest in ODIs.
With over 17500 runs in international cricket, Ross Taylor is the highest run-scorer for New Zealand in ODIs and Tests. Taylor was also the second batter after Stephen Fleming to cross 1000 runs in World Cup Cricket.
When asked about the toughest bowlers he has faced, Taylor quickly pointed out Lasith Malinga, Muttiah Muralitharan and Dale Steyn.
While Muralitharan has bagged the most wickets in international cricket- Tests and ODIs, Malinga has taken the highest wickets for Sri Lanka in T20Is. The Sri-Lankan duo is difficult to manoeuvre due to their action. At the same time, Taylor named Steyn because of his pace and consistency.
“Both Murali and Malinga are hard to pick up because of their unique bowling actions. Talking about Steyn, its obviously the pace and consistency which the pacer possesses,” Taylor remarked.
Aaron Finch has been the limited-overs captain for Australia. The 34-year-old is the only Australian to record two 150+ scores in T20Is.
When asked about the toughest bowler he faced, Finch instantly came up with Mitchell Johnson’s name.
“Mitchell Johnson in the nets!!,” Taylor tweeted.
Mitchel Johnson in the nets!! 🥵 https://t.co/HkGahdmtrk
— Aaron Finch (@AaronFinch5) March 27, 2020
On being further probed about the spinner he had the most difficult time facing, Finch named Muttiah Muralitharan and Saeed Ajmal.
“Murali and Ajmal,” Finch wrote.
Murali and Ajmal https://t.co/gEpBMhr4Rc
— Aaron Finch (@AaronFinch5) March 16, 2017
Joe Root is one of the most prolific batsmen in international cricket. The 30-year-old leads England in Tests and play long innings when he gets going.
Root has often been listed in the Big Four batsmen in the current era of cricket with Steve Smith, Virat Kohli and Kane Williamson.
However, Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood, and Nathan Lyon have dismissed the Yorkshire cricketer seven times. While Cummins barraged the batter seven times in only 19 innings, Hazlewood and Lyon have taken 24 and 42 innings, respectively.
Babar Azam is an indispensable part of the Pakistan squad. The youngster has worked so hard on his technique and consistency that he is also compared with the great Virat Kohli.
When asked about the toughest bowlers he had to face, Azam named Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Pat Cummins and Trent Boult.
“Every team has bowlers that bowl above 140kph and are experienced. Bowlers like Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Pat Cummins and Trent Boult always give you a tough time,” Babar stated.
While the Australian trio is known for working in tandem with its strategy, Boult is the spearhead of the Kiwi attack and has taken over 250 wickets in Test cricket.
David Warner is the only current Australian cricketer to have scored a triple century. His exploits are famous throughout the world, such that the batter is the second-highest century-maker for his side after Ricky Ponting.
When asked about the toughest bowlers he has faced, Warner was quick to name South Africa’s Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel.
— David Warner (@davidwarner31) February 28, 2017
Steyn and Morkel have picked up more than 700 wickets in Test cricket. The duo was dreaded throughout the world for their aggressive style of bowling.
Kane Williamson is regarded as one of the best New Zealand batsmen in their current lot of cricketers. Former England skipper Michael Vaughan even termed him as better than Virat Kohli.
Williamson has scored more than 14000 runs in international cricket and averages around 50 in whites for his country.
When asked about the bowler he dreads, Williamson named Dale Steyn as the latter had broken his box in a game.
“Its hard to tell. There are a lot of quick bowlers around. But I do remember a number of years ago facing Dale Steyn and he broke my box. So, that was a memorable experience,” Williamson reckoned.
Rohit Sharma is also popularly known as the ‘Hitman’ by his fans. Rohit is the only cricketer to score three double tons in ODI cricket.
The 34-year-old is feared across formats for his aggressive batting and an ability to decimate the opposition bowlers.
Responding to the toughest bowlers he has faced, Rohit named Brett Lee and Dale Steyn due to their speed.
“When I came into the side, the fastest bowler in the world used to be Brett Lee. In my debut ODI series, I went to Ireland to face South Africa, and Dale Steyn was pretty quick then as well. When I started playing, I really liked Lee and Steyn, but I had difficulties in facing them as well,” Rohit answered.
Steve Smith has the highest average in Test cricket among cricketers who have played more than 30 red-ball matches after Sir Donald Bradman.
When questioned about the most difficult bowler he had ever faced, Smith named Ravindra Jadeja for his deception. Smith argued that Jadeja has the ability to skid and turn the ball with the same action that makes it difficult for the batters t read the left-arm spinner.
“(Ravindra) Jadeja in the subcontinent. Why he is so good because, he hits that good length and one ball skids on and one spins, and it just all looks same out of the hand. I think consistency in length is key and then having at least one variation,” Smith enunciated.
Virat Kohli is the fastest batsman in world cricket to cross the 10,000 run barrier in ODIs. He is the only Indian batsmen to score seven double centuries in Test cricket and has smashed 70 centuries in his international career.
According to the maestro himself, the toughest bowler he has faced is Pakistan’s, Mohammed Amir. Amir has the ability to swing the ball both ways at lethal speeds, which makes him a deadly bowler.
“In recent times, Mohammad Amir of Pakistan (is the hardest to face). He is in the top two or three bowlers in the world and one of the toughest bowlers I have played in my career. You have to be on your ‘A’ Game when you’re facing him or he will strike. Outstanding. A very good bowler,” Kohli had said.