Top 5 Best Seam Bowlers In The World

Josh Hazlewood is one of the best seam bowlers in the world and has been potent for Australia in test and ODI cricket.
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Best Seam Bowlers In The World

Fast bowling is a broad art. There are many skills that can make a fast bowler successful. For example, pace bowlers such as Jofra Archer or swing bowlers such as Chris Woakes. In this article, we will be exploring the best seam bowlers currently in world cricket.

Let’s define seam bowlers. They are fast bowlers who predominantly hold the ball’s seam in an upright position, so that when the ball lands on a certain spot on the pitch, it deviates or moves. The ball can also be bowled cross-seam or wobbled seam.

As with swing bowling, seam bowling conditions are more likely to be found in countries such as England or South Africa. However, the subcontinent has off late produced pitches that encourage such skills to be utilised as well.

So, who are the best seam bowlers currently?

5.  Mohammad Shami

Mohammed Shami (R) of India celebrates the dismissal of Roston Chase (L) of West Indies during day 4 of the 1st Test between West Indies and India at Vivian Richards Cricket Stadium in North Sound, Antigua and Barbuda, on August 25, 2019. (Photo by Randy Brooks / AFP) (Photo credit should read RANDY BROOKS/AFP via Getty Images)

Mohammad Shami has arguably one of the greatest seam positions in the current game. The ball comes out beautifully from his wrists and he uses such skill to hit the seam and generate whatever movement he can, especially bowling in the subcontinent.

His skiddy nature also plays a big factor in trapping batsmen in front. His record in both India and Sri Lanka is sublime. Shami has picked up 62 wickets at 21.08 in India and 10 wickets at 17.70 in Sri Lanka.

Shami also has a fantastic record in South Africa – a country known for aiding it’s fast bowlers. He has taken 21 wickets at 24.71. In the West Indies, Shami has taken 20 wickets at 22.20.

Mohammed Shami is number five on our list of “Best seam bowlers in the world.”

4. Josh Hazlewood

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – JANUARY 08: Josh Hazlewood of Australia celebrates with Matthew Wade, Tim Paine and Will Pucovski of Australia after taking the wicket of Rohit Sharma of India bats during day two of the Third Test match in the series between Australia and India at Sydney Cricket Ground on January 08, 2021 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe – CA/Cricket Australia via Getty Images)

Some describe him as the closest bowler in Australian Cricket to Glenn McGrath. Josh Hazlewood has seamlessly fitted into Australia’s bowling attack, taking over the role of Peter Siddle – the only difference being Hazlewood’s extra speed.

In 54 games, he has taken 203 wickets at a bowling average of 25.85. His accurate line and length coupled with subtle seam movements makes him a very potent bowler in all conditions.

He has very good records in Australia, England and the West Indies. He averages 25, 24 and 9 with the ball in those countries respectively.

Josh Hazlewood is number four on our list of “Best seam bowlers in the world.”


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3. Mohammad Abbas

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – AUGUST 06: Mohammad Abbas of Pakistan celebrates the wicket of Ben Stokes of England during Day Two of the 1st #RaiseTheBat Test Match between England and Pakistan at Emirates Old Trafford on August 06, 2020 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images for ECB)

The epitome of seam-bowling, Mohammad Abbas has been a breath of fresh life for Pakistan. Not since the days of Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis and Shoaib Akhtar has a Pakistani pacer been so deadly on the subcontinent, so regularly.

He has been excellent in both the UAE and in Pakistan. His immaculate seam positions have allowed him to generate whatever movement there may be. Coupled up with his pinpoint accuracy, batsmen have struggled against him.

27 wickets at 17.56 in the UAE and 9 wickets at 23.56 in Pakistan are excellent numbers. He has repeated such success in England and Ireland – countries that offer prodigious movement. He has taken 15 wickets at 21.40 in England and 9 wickets at 12.22 in Ireland.

Mohammed Abbas is number three on our list of “Best seam bowlers in the world.”

2. Stuart Broad

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – JULY 28: Stuart Broad of England celebrates after taking the wicket of Kraigg Brathwaite of West Indies for his 500th Test Wicket during Day Five of the Ruth Strauss Foundation Test, the Third Test in the #RaiseTheBat Series match between England and the West Indies at Emirates Old Trafford on July 28, 2020 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images for ECB)

Stuart Broad has been quite fantastic over the last decade – especially in conditions that aid him but also in the subcontinent at times. His record in England, where the ball seams quite prodigiously is very strong. Broad has taken 334 wickets at 25.54, often utilising the scrambled seam ball.

He has also done well in South Africa – picking up 45 wickets at 23.96. In the subcontinent he found reverse swing and bowled tight lines on England’s trip to the UAE in 2015 and had a successful tour. His only weakness perhaps is his inability at times in countries such as India or Sri Lanka to find any seam movement.

Stuart Broad is number two on our list of “Best seam bowlers in the world.”


Also, Read:

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Is Jimmy Anderson the king of swing?

Lovely spells but not many wickets for Abbas


1. Jimmy Anderson

Jimmy Anderson is the best seam bowler in the world and is an all-time test match great for England.
SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND – AUGUST 25: James Anderson of England acknowledges the changing rooms whilst being applauded by Zak Crawley, Jos Buttler and Rory Burns after taking the wicket of Azhar Ali of Pakistan to reach 600 Test Match Wickets during Day Five of the 3rd #RaiseTheBat Test Match between England and Pakistan at the Ageas Bowl on August 25, 2020 in Southampton, England. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

Despite a slow start to his test match career, Jimmy Anderson has evolved himself into one of the finest fast bowlers of all-time. His overall record of 600 wickets at 26.80 is a sublime record.

In England, with the seam movement available, Anderson has ripped teams apart with his bowling. He has taken 384 wickets at 23.84. His other successful countries include the UAE and the West Indies. In these two countries, he has picked up 22 and 36 wickets at 20.55 and 24.81 respectively.

He often uses a wobbly seam in English conditions and abroad, just to add subtlety to his bowling.

Jimmy Anderson is number one on our list of “Best seam bowlers in the world.”

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