Australian legend Glenn McGrath who retired with 381 ODI wickets against his name in a career that spanned 14 years from 1993 to 2007, put forward his choice of the five best ODI bowlers. The Aussie has given his best picks with the ball. In his list of the best, he went to choose four pacers and a sole spinner. That was in a list that included none from the active cricketers, which not really be a talking point.
The leading wicket taker for Australia chose Wasim Akram- 502 wickets, Muttiah Muralitharan- 534 wickets, Brett Lee- 380 wickets, Chaminda Vaas- 400 wickets and Shaun Pollock- 393 wickets as the best five of the all-time lot. He left out quite a few big names and there were some questions raised about his top picks.
The Best Five Bowlers And What More Did Glen McGrath Have To Say About His Picks?
Also known as the Pigeon, McGrath started his list with one of the best swing bowlers and the assumed inventor of reverse swing, Pakistan’s Wasim Akram. The Sultan of Swing, who is a contemporary to McGrath is the leading wicket taker for Pakistan in limited overs cricket. His performances helped them win a lot of accolades, including a World Cup as well.
Glenn next turned towards his fellow countryman Brett Lee and the 380 ODI wickets that come along. Lee, who was a crucial part of the dream team Ricky Ponting cradled in the last century, played for 12 years (2000-2012). Brett Lee with his pace and the beamer ball, he allegedly honed in, literally brought the best batsmen to their knees.
Next in the list stands a tall Sri Lankan with the ability to fox a batsman with variations both in pace and movement, is Chaminda Vaas. The current fourth all time leading wicket taker in the 50 overs format picked up a hat-trick in the first over of the 2003 World Cup match against Habibul Bashar’s Bangladesh. He played in the 2007 World Cup before retiring in 2008. Vaas wasn’t only the Sri Lankan mainstay at home across the formats but also made sure he haunted his opponents in their dens.
Shaun Pollock’s name comes fourth in the list. The South African not only had a phenomenal record of 393 wickets in 303 ODI games, but boasted an economy rate of 3.67 runs per over, being a cause of frustration for the best batsmen. Good thing, there was no mention about his batting ability to say the least.
The Lone Spinner And The Reason Why Muralitharan Was Picked
The lone spinner in the list is one who is unavoidable in any format of the game- Muttiah Muralitharan. The leading Test wicket taker is way ahead with his 800 wickets in the longest format of the game. He has been one of Sri Lanka’s mainstay in the colourful uniform too. He is currently the leading wicket taker in One Day Internationals with 534 against his name. With an economy rate of 3.93, Muralitharan was the best a captain could ask from an off-spinner spending most of his time on Asian pitches.
He didn’t do too baldy overseas as well. However, surely, the conditions back home favoured him and any other spinner more than they did abroad. He is truly a maestro of the game and that was also acknowledged by McGrath.
We last saw Muttiah Muralitharan in the IPL 2020 tournament. He was part of the Sunrisers Hyderabad setup and helped them reach the playoffs of the competition. Unfortunately, they were beaten in the penultimate game by the Delhi Capitals. Despite that, they would have been pleased with the way they fought to make it till that position.
However, the irony of the situation is that, McGrath left out his team-mate Shane Warne. One of the best leg-spinners in the world and his friend was not part of the top five. Well, there could be a lot of reasons for the same. However, let’s not speculate as to what was the exact reason for him not being part of this list.
Glenn McGrath was a great bowler and a really smart man. He knows his cricket and his picks well too. So, it will be interesting to see what other cricketers think of his picks.