With the game leaning and favouring the batsmen more often than not these days, bowlers who can control the shortest format of the game are truly rare. Chennai Super Kings all-rounder Shane Watson, being a veteran and having dipped his toes in all formats, named his top five bowlers when it comes to T20 cricket.
The Australian has become a formidable name in the T20 circuit with his explosive batting. Despite being away from the bowling mark, Watson has garnered enough experience with the ball to assess the crop of T20 bowlers during his time.
Watson was asked to pick his top 5 T20 bowlers during a recent chat on T20 Stars’ YouTube channel. The 39-year-old proceeded to pick T20 legend Lasith Malinga as his first choice and lauded his execution of yorkers. He said:
“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 of time,”
For his second pick, he opted for former Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi. The leg-spinner’s wicket-taking ability combined with his penchant for keeping the runs in check prompted Watson to select Afridi.
Jasprit Bumrah has dominated T20 cricket claims Watson
Watson named India and Mumbai Indians’ spearhead Jasprit Bumrah as the next addition to his top T20 bowlers. The all-rounder, who retired from international cricket in 2016, claimed that the pacer is the all-round package and has dominated the T20 circuit in such a short time.
“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,” Watson said.
“He has got speed, he can swing the bowl both ways, he has got a great change of pace, the execution of his yorkers is incredible as well… 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 great at the end of his career in T20 cricket alone with incredible skills that he has got,”
For the remaining two spots, Watson named fellow CSK teammate Dwayne Bravo and KKR’s Sunil Narine to complete his list.
Shane Watson will have to gear up to face one of the bowlers from his list today as CSK take on KKR tonight. The all-rounder returned back to form after struggling in the first few matches. He shared an unbeaten 181-run opening stand with Faf du Plessis, to get CSK back to winning ways after the franchise had lost 3 matches in a row for the first time since 2014.