In cricket, left-arm bowlers are skilled with a naturally swinging delivery. Having a world-class left-arm pacer is an absolute blessing for any team. They provide diversity to the attack by bowling from a varied angle. A right-handed batter will never enjoy playing a left-arm quick bowler, especially one who can swing the ball into them. They might have come in small numbers, but they can destroy anyone when they are in good form. There is no doubting the rarity of left-arm bowlers in international cricket. We have seen some of the best left-arm fast bowlers throughout the year who have done well on the biggest platform. Here are the Top 10 best left-arm bowlers of all time:
1. Wasim Akram
Former Pakistani fast bowler Wasim Akram is widely known as the greatest left-arm bowler in cricket history. Akram is also known as the king of swing bowling. He was a master of the reverse swing, seam, bouncer, and lethal Yorkers. Akram had a trickier slower ball and used to bowl at a high tempo with a short run-up. He currently holds the world record for List-A cricket's most wickets (881). In 2009, the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame honored Akram.
2. Alan Davidson
Alan Davidson was an Australian cricketer in the 1950s and 60s. Among all the left-arm bowlers, Alan is well known as one of the best in cricket history. He was great with the new ball, fooling the batter with a strong-late swing and a good bouncer. Alan is only one of the selected few bowlers with more than 100 Test wickets at a 20-plus average. In 2011, the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame honored him after recognizing his career wickets (856).
3. Derek Underwood
Derek Underwood is a former English international cricketer. He was one of the most effective left-arm spinners in Test cricket. Underwood bowled at a medium pace and was frequently unplayable on English wickets. He was known for his consistent accuracy and possessed an arm-ball that trapped batsman LBW. He was the only player who took 1000th first-class test wickets in 1971 and was honored in the ICC Cricket Hall of fame in July 2009.
4. Chaminda Vaas
Chaminda Vaas is a former Sri Lankan international cricketer and is considered one of the finest left-arm bowlers in cricket history. Vaas was a fast-medium bowler who had an exceptional command of cricket. Instead of relying on pace, he placed a lot of emphasis on his precise line, length, and ball-swinging skill. With more than 400 wickets and a world-record bowling performance, Vaas is Sri Lanka's most productive fast bowler in ODIs after Muralitharan (8-19).
5. Hedley Verity
Hedley Verity was an expert cricketer who played for England between the 1930s to1940s. Hedley was one of the foremost effective slow-arm bowlers to play cricket. He could surprise the batsman with an in-swinging Yorker. Hedley was the only bowler to record 14 wickets in a day Test match against Australia at Lord's in 1934, and he also holds the record for most wickets in a Test match overall.
6. Mitchell Johnson
Mitchell Johnson is an Australian former cricketer who played all formats of the sport internationally. Johnson is known as one of the best left-arm bowlers of his time. His rapid pace and unmatched aggression caught the crowd's attention. Johnson was the quickest bowler to succeed in 150 Test wickets, taking 313 wickets in test matches. He played a crucial role in the semi-final and final game of the 2015 World Cup, winning the World Cup for the fifth time by the only team in history.
7. Rangana Herath
Former Sri Lankan cricketer Rangana Herath is regarded as one of the best and most successful left-arm bowlers in Test cricket history. Rangana had accuracy as his weapon. A quicker delivery that comes back into the right-handed batsman was another surprise from him. With 433 wickets, Rangana outworked Daniel Vettori's record for the best bowling stats in Test cricket. He is the only left-arm spinner to reach 400 Test wickets with 400 victories.
8. Zaheer Khan
Former Indian cricketer Zaheer Khan is considered one of the best left-arm fast bowlers. He finished behind Kapil Dev as India's second-most effective fast bowler in Test cricket. Zaheer was renowned for his versatility in moving the ball off the wicket. He also reversed swing the old ball and had better control over it. At a 32.94 average, he claimed 311 Test wickets. Zaheer's contribution to the 2011 World Cup, he became the World Cup leading wicket-taker while helping India win the championship.
9. Garfield Sobers
Former cricketer Garfield Sobers represented the West Indies cricket team from 1954 to 1974. He was known as the best all-rounder in the history of cricket. Sobers was a flexible left-arm bowler and had the rare ability to excel in both quick and slow left-arm spin bowling. He amassed 235 wickets at an average of 34.03 while scoring 8032 runs in 93 Test matches. In 383 games, Sobers claimed over a thousand wickets and scored 28,000 runs in first-class cricket. The ICC Cricket Hall of fame honored Sobers in 2009.
10. Mitchell Starc
Mitchell Starc is an Australian international cricketer who plays for the Australian cricket team. He is one of cricket's all-time greatest left-arm fast bowlers. Mitchell Starc delivered one of the quickest deliveries in a Test match (160.4 km/h) against Ross Taylor on November 15, 2015. He became the second fastest left-arm bowler behind Shoaib Akhtar (161 km/h). He attained 100 ODI wickets in the shortest time ever against Sri Lanka on August 21, 2016.