As the exhilarating journey of the World Test Championship 2021-23 cycle reaches its climax, cricket enthusiasts worldwide eagerly anticipate the final showdown between India and Australia at the historic Oval. With the much-coveted trophy at stake, both teams have showcased exceptional prowess throughout the tournament, vying to assert their dominance in the longest format of the game.
Within this riveting Test championship, bowlers have played an integral role, displaying their mettle and fortitude on the challenging red-ball battleground. The red-ball format demands unwavering patience, focus, and skill, pushing bowlers to their limits and rewarding those who rise to the occasion.
In this article, we delve into the top five bowling performances that have graced the WTC 2021-23 cycle, leaving a lasting impression on the cricketing world.
1) Ajaz Patel – New Zealand: A Magnificent Feat of Ten Wickets in an Inning
At the iconic Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, in the year 2021, Ajaz Patel etched his name into the annals of Test cricket history by achieving an extraordinary feat. The left-arm spinner spun a web of magic, capturing a remarkable ten wickets in a single inning, becoming only the third bowler to accomplish this rare milestone. Despite New Zealand’s eventual loss in the match, Patel’s remarkable performance earned him widespread acclaim from players across the globe.
Ajaz Patel’s accuracy and ability to extract prodigious turns from the pitch have established him as a valuable asset in the New Zealand Test squad. His mesmerizing display serves as a testament to the profound impact a spinner can make in the traditional format of the game.
2) Scott Boland – England: A Dream Debut and a Bowler’s Triumph
Every cricketer dreams of a memorable debut, and Scott Boland transformed his aspirations into reality during a clash against England at Melbourne in 2021. In a stunning display of bowling prowess, Boland wreaked havoc on the English batting lineup, scalping an impressive six wickets while conceding a mere seven runs in the second innings.
Within a mere span of four overs, Boland’s masterful performance defied the English batters, establishing his dominance over the game. Remarkably, he went on to claim 14 wickets in the Ashes series, etching his name in the record books as the first Australian bowler to achieve such a feat in his first two Tests.
3) Ebadot Hossain – Bangladesh: A Breathtaking Display of Skill and Swinging Mastery
The second edition of the World Test Championship witnessed Bangladesh’s astounding performance against formidable opponents like India and New Zealand. Amidst their remarkable journey, Ebadot Hossain emerged as the hero of the team, captivating spectators with his exceptional skill set.
In January 2022, Hossain showcased his brilliance against New Zealand at Mount Maunganui, where he weaved his magic and claimed six crucial wickets, conceding a mere 46 runs. Hossain’s ability to swing the ball both ways adds a layer of complexity to his bowling, making him a formidable force to reckon with.
His exceptional performance against the Kiwis showcased his immense potential and the valuable contributions he brings to the Bangladesh Test team.
4) Matt Henry – New Zealand: The Enthralling Comeback of a Resilient Bowler
Considered one of the greatest comebacks in the 2021-23 WTC cycle, Matt Henry’s return to the New Zealand squad marked a momentous occasion. His resplendent brilliance shone through during New Zealand’s encounter with South Africa on their home turf. Henry’s remarkable performance signaled his triumphant return, as he dismantled the Proteas’ batting order, snatching an impressive seven wickets for a mere 23 runs.
Henry’s exceptional display filled the void left by Trent Boult and solidified his position as a potent force in the New Zealand Test squad. With an impressive record of 113 wickets in 46 Tests at an average of 26.52, Henry’s effectiveness and consistency make him a vital asset in the red-ball format.
5) Nathan Lyon – Australia: The Resilient Revival in the Face of Adversity
Australian cricket has long been synonymous with producing remarkable performances, particularly in challenging situations against formidable opponents like Team India. During the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, where Team India had taken a 2-0 lead after winning the first two Tests, Nathan Lyon stepped up to the plate, displaying his true mettle as a bowler.
In the third Test of the series, Lyon took matters into his own hands, stunning everyone with a mesmerizing haul of eight wickets for a mere 64 runs. Rising to the occasion, he played a pivotal role in helping the Australian squad secure a victory and mount a thrilling comeback.
Nathan Lyon’s ability to extract turn and deceive batsmen with his off-spin bowling has been a constant asset for the Australian team. His tenacity, combined with his exceptional record of over 400 Test wickets, highlights his invaluable contributions to the success of Australian cricket.