Test bowling nominees

Chaos courtesy Mitch, Stu, Dale

Chaos courtesy Mitch, Stu, Dale

It was a year of some serious quick stuff, as our Test bowling shortlist reveals
Siddarth Ravindran January 9, 2014

Click here for the Test batting shortlist

Vernon Philander
5 for 7 v New Zealand

first Test, Cape Town
Philander took one of the quickest five-fors in history when he demolished New Zealand in the New Year's Test. He returned new-ball figures of 6-3-7-5, quite a feat for a bowler who had been doubtful for this Test after he tweaked a hamstring a fortnight previously, and who was described by Graeme Smith on the eve of the Test as "provisionally fit". There was nothing manifestly disturbing about Philander, no trepidation caused by express pace or even lavish movement. His method was simple and clinical: he maintained impeccable accuracy and found just enough assistance to be persistently threatening. New Zealand were still seeking stability after the controversial sacking of Ross Taylor from the captaincy, and Philander left them on even shakier ground.

Test Bowling: Vernon Philander, 5 for 7 v New Zealand

Dale Steyn
6 for 8 v Pakistan

first Test, Johannesburg
Pakistan joined a long list of teams who were bamboozled by Steyn, when he produced 8.1 mesmeric overs to roll them over for 49. It was Pakistan's lowest total in Tests, and the third time in 15 months that South Africa had bowled out an opponent below 50. Steyn allowed only three scoring shots off his bowling in the entire innings, as he confounded Pakistan with pace, swing and bounce. He conceded eight runs - the fifth-lowest ever for a bowler taking a five-for. This was the first Test of the series and Steyn's burst left Pakistan's already fragile batting bereft of confidence.

Test Bowling: Dale Steyn, 6 for 8 v Pakistan

Saeed Ajmal
6 for 96 v South Africa

second Test, Cape Town
The Cape Town pitch was expected to make Ajmal a central figure towards the end of the Test, but he made an impact as early as the second day with a beguiling display of spin bowling that left South Africa stuttering for the first time in their home summer. Though this was not a tailor-made turner for Ajmal, and it had been widely predicted to be a great day for batting, he got the ball to rear up and fizz off the track in an unbroken 25-over spell that could well end up as his greatest performance. The mighty South African batting was nonplussed, and an hour before stumps there was even the outside chance of them being forced to follow on. And this wasn't even one of those old South African teams that was frazzled by the sight of the turning ball.

Test Bowling: Saeed Ajmal, 6 for 96 v SA

R Ashwin
7 for 103 v Australia

first Test, Chennai
During the 4-0 takedowns in England and Australia, India sought solace in their robust home record. But that seemed under threat after Alastair Cook's side won 2-1 in India, just before Michael Clarke's men arrived. On the opening day of a series in which India had everything to lose and Australia everything to gain, Ashwin held up the entire Indian attack with a performance of dominance and variety. On a ground where Ashwin said he believes "the air is talking to me, each man sitting in the stands is talking to me", he took 6 for 88 on a day the rest of the attack could only muster 1 for 228.

Test Bowling: Ravichandran Ashwin, 7 for 103 v Australia

Nathan Lyon
7 for 94 v India

fourth Test, Delhi
Halfway through the series, Lyon's place as Australia's first-choice spinner appeared to be in serious doubt. He had been dropped after leaking runs heavily in the first Test, in Chennai, and the coach, Mickey Arthur, said Lyon "hasn't gone that well this year" and needed to work on some technical issues. Add in the bruising defeats in the first three Tests, the homework saga, and an injury to Michael Clarke, and Australia seemed set for a hiding in the Delhi Test. Lyon kept them fighting, though, shortening his length a touch bowling from round the wicket more, to wheedle out seven wickets and leave the game even after the first innings.

Test Bowling: Nathan Lyon, 7 for 94 v India

Stuart Broad
7 for 44 v New Zealand

first Test, Lord's
In a destructive spell of pace bowling, Broad blew away New Zealand with career-best figures of 7 for 44 as England surged to a 170-run victory. Broad took the first five of his wickets in 5.4 overs before lunch to crush New Zealand's hopes of chasing what was a testing but not-out-of-reach target of 239. It was another of the eye-popping bursts that have dotted his Test career. New Zealand were taken apart for 68.

Test Bowling: Stuart Broad, 7 for 44 v New Zealand

James Anderson
5 for 73 v Australia

first Test, Nottingham
Anderson led England to victory in the first Ashes Test of the back-to-back series as he took the last four wickets in a steadfast spell of fast bowling on a nerve-shredding final day at Trent Bridge. A last-wicket stand of 65 between Brad Haddin and James Pattinson took a wonderful match into the fifth afternoon, against expectations, before Anderson struck for the final time. Much is made of Anderson's skill, but it was his stamina that also came to the fore as he produced a gruelling spell of 13 overs and was then asked for 11 more deliveries after lunch. The importance of Anderson to England was doubly emphasised when he finally took a break. At that stage Australia still needed 64, but with Anderson withdrawn, the last pair immediately sensed they could hit their way to victory. It required Anderson's intervention to finish off the resistance.

Test Bowling: James Anderson, 5 for 73 v Australia

Stuart Broad
6 for 50 v Australia

fourth Test, Durham
In an hour or so, Australia undid the patient progress of three and a half days of hard cricket to tumble to defeat in Durham and confirm England's Ashes victory. It was Broad, bowling with pace, persistence and skill, who provided the impetus for England to claim nine wickets after tea on the fourth day of this game with a spell of 5 for 20 in 40 balls. His away-cutter to defeat Michael Clarke was among the balls of the series. Topping 90mph at times, Broad looked every inch the fine Test bowler his talent has long suggested he could become. His match haul - 11 for 121 - was his best in Tests to date.

Test Bowling: Stuart Broad, 6 for 50 v Australia

Tendai Chatara
5 for 61 v Pakistan

second Test, Harare
A 12-year-wait to win a Test against a top-eight country finally came to an end for Zimbabwe in September when quick bowler Chatara, in just his fourth Test, took a five-for that knocked out Pakistan. Chatara celebrated several of his wickets with a joyous run towards fine leg, roughly the direction of the shy 22-year-old's hometown of Mutare. Chatara bowls with a curious action - his left arm is almost locked to his body through the delivery stride - but that hasn't prevented him from becoming one of Zimbabwe's most useful bowlers. And it didn't hinder him when he bowled in an absorbing finale against Pakistan, when, despite Misbah-ul-Haq's best efforts, Zimbabwe held on for a 24-run victory.

Test Bowling: Tendai Chatara, 5 for 61 v Pakistan

Mitchell Johnson
4 for 61 v England

first Test, Brisbane
Going into this match, Australia were winless in nine Tests and England were widely considered favourites for the Ashes. Johnson was returning to the side after nine months, and no one was quite sure what he would serve up. It was the good Johnson who turned up: reborn, he was at his fearsome best in the Test, touching speeds of around 150kph to harry England in both innings. His first victim was Jonathan Trott, caught behind in the final over before lunch. Michael Carberry then perished to a short-ball barrage, and England were soon hurtling towards a paltry score of 136, leaving too big a first-innings between them and Australia. The game ended Australia's ten-month wait for a Test victory, and signalled a power shift in the Ashes.

Test Bowling: Mitchell Johnson, 4 for 61 v England

Mitchell Johnson
7 for 40 v England
second Test, Adelaide
If Johnson's Brisbane demolition involved terrifying quick bowling, his Adelaide takedown had terrifying quick bowling on a flat pitch where no other bowler could generate much of a threat. Johnson's sustained menace bore comparison with the great fast-bowling spells of the modern age. He took 5 for 16 in five overs immediately after lunch to leave England in a state of bewilderment. Plenty of pacemen have succeeded when the going is fast, the bounce and carry providing ample encouragement, and even through the development of a pack mentality, but in Adelaide it was a one-man wrecking ball that left England in ruins.

Test Bowling: Mitchell Johnson, 7 for 40 v England

Dale Steyn
6 for 100 v India

second Test, Durban
Going into the second day, Steyn had been wicketless for 67 overs in Tests, the longest barren spell of his career. It didn't help that the Durban surface was more subcontinental than South African, hardly offering any lateral movement with the new ball. India's batsmen dominated the first day, finishing on 181 for 1. All cues for Steyn to conjure the sort of devastating performance that we've come to expect from him. He peppered the batsmen with quick bouncers, mixing in the full ball as he searched for reverse swing. It worked; the first spell of the day read: 5-2-19-3. That took care of the top order and he returned later in the day for a burst of 5-1-13-3 that polished off the lower order.

Test Bowling: Dale Steyn, 6 for 100 v India

Click here for the Test batting shortlist

Posted by satezguru on (January 30, 2014, 8:15 GMT)

my vote goes to ashwin...

Posted by kashifkhaira on (January 30, 2014, 7:32 GMT)

SAEED AJMAL the best spinner

Posted by Kodhi on (January 29, 2014, 21:08 GMT)

Dale Steyn - 6 for 8 V/s Pakistan...

Posted by westindiesupporter on (January 29, 2014, 8:17 GMT)

For me Chatara was the best

Posted by   on (January 28, 2014, 11:37 GMT)

I understand and we are all fully aware that Dale Steyn is still the number one bawler in the world. But the just concluded ashes series which was won by the Australians the Man of the Series was Mitchell Johnson of Australia. AND THE WINNERE IS MITCHELL JOHNSON of Australia.

Posted by thesuraaz on (January 26, 2014, 18:16 GMT)

actually for me philander and steyn are the best choice from the nominated player on their performance. but my vote is for dale steyn's 6-8 due too his 1 wicket more for just 1 run compare to philander's 5-7..gud luck steyn

Posted by   on (January 26, 2014, 18:09 GMT)

Ajmal or Nathan Lyon

Posted by pk.khanna on (January 26, 2014, 6:14 GMT)

For me it's Mitchel Johnson 7/40 in Adelaide where he thrashed England from his unbelievable quick bowling and amazing spell after lunch and this is the spell after that England was down under Australia...

Posted by   on (January 25, 2014, 6:03 GMT)

s ajmal bowl well against chmp test side

Posted by eng.malik on (January 24, 2014, 5:03 GMT)

Dale Steyn 6 for 8 v Pakistan and he has ability to destroy any batting line up in the world.

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