Test cricket so often becomes so dominated by batsmen that it becomes hard to acknowledge the bowlers. Bats equalling their baseball counterparts in thickness and brutality have resulted in inflating averages, strike rates and sport turning into a claustrophobic bout for the bowlers. As Twenty20 cricket gains prominence, it is becoming increasingly difficult for the bowlers to stay dignified.
However, there are occasions when gray hues overhead and green tinges underneath pump up the bowlers. A bit of support from slightly conducive conditions, and there are bowlers around the world who can still turn the tide against the batsmen. Be it the fast bowlers down in the southern hemisphere, the likes of Kagiso Rabada or Pat Cummins, Asian spinners comprising Ravi Ashwin and co., or the Englishmen like James Anderson who can wreak havoc with the Duke in their hands, there are bowlers who are still dictating their presence in the game.
After New Zealand skittled out Sri Lanka on the second day of the Boxing Day Test with strike bowler Trent Boult scalping six wickets in a spell of just 15 balls, we look at the greatest bursts of bowling of all time, fewest balls required in the course of a match for a bowler to take five wickets.
- 19 balls
Ernie Toshak vs India in Brisbane, 1947, Bowling figures: 2.2-1-2-5
Stuart Broad vs Australia in Nottingham, 2015, Bowling figures: 9.3-5-15-8
- 13 balls
Jim Laker vs Australia in Manchester, 1956, Bowling figures: 16.4-4-37-9
Waqar Younis vs Bangladesh in Dhaka, 2002, Bowling figures: 16.2-2-55-6
- 12 balls
Jacques Kallis vs Bangladesh in Potchefstroom, 2002, Bowling figures: 4.3-1-21-5
- 11 balls
Trent Boult vs Sri Lanka in Christchurch, 2018, Bowling figures: 15-8-30-6