Top 5 bowlers in Test cricket in 2019

NEW DELHI: The year 2019 saw some notable performances in all three formats. But the sand of Cricket test witnessed something special. Bowlers dominating the batsmen once again. Just like in the 70’s and 80’s, the world, in 2019 witnessed some exceptional bowling performances by international cricketers in whites. The batsmen were left rattled and even hurt in some cases. The introduction of the ICC World Championship too gave a new life-line to Cricket test . But the bowlers’ efforts in the longest format were quite commendable. And leading the way from the front were the Australian bowlers, setting an example for the world with three out of the top five bowlers being the men in baggy greens.

Here’s a detailed look at the top 5 bowlers in Cricket test in 2019 that takes Test matches till December 16 into consideration.

Pat cummins (Australia)

The year 2019 saw almost total domination by the Australians in the bowling department in the longest format of the game. And leading the pack from the front was pacer Pat cummins . Unarguably the best bowler of the year, Cummins delivered some incredible performances throughout the year and deservedly finished at the top of the ICC Test bowlers’ rankings in 2019. 54 wickets in 11 matches at an average of 20.61 (Till December 16 2019) and no other bowler was close to him during the period. The 26-year-old started the year with a bang, claiming the Man of the Series award with 16 wickets in 2 matches against Sri Lanka Down Under. But Cummins’ A-Game was on display in the Ashes, where his 29 wickets in 5 matches helped the Aussies retain the Urn. With an impressive average of 19.62, Cummins (211 overs including 61 maidens) bowled his heart out in England as the world witnessed a ferocious battle between cricket’s oldest rivals. Following that, Cummins's impeccable line and length along with some serious pace, rattled Pakistani batsmen as he played a crucial role in Australia whitewashing the subcontinental team 2-0 in Australia. In the first of the three-Test series against the Blackcaps, Cummins took three wickets to continue his golden run with the red cherry. Nathan Lyon (Australia)

From being a pitch curator to becoming Australia’s No.1 off-spinner, Nathan Lyon has come a long way. But just like good wine, the 32-year-old is getting better and better with age. 2019 was another great year for the New South Wales off-spinner, as he finished as the second highest wicket-taker in Tests after his compatriot Pat cummins . Often denied a chance in limited-overs cricket, Lyon has time and again proven that he is amongst the best in the longest format. The year 2019 (Till December 16 2019) saw him claiming 41 wickets in 11 games at an average of 33.68. In the much hyped 2019 Ashes in England, Lyon finished as joint-fourth in the wickets column with 20 scalps, including a six-for in Birmingham. Against Pakistan too, Lyon was impressive Down Under, as he clinched 7 wickets in two matches. With 21 wickets on the fast paced Australian wickets along with 20 in England, Lyon used his experience beautifully to outwit the batsmen. Mitchell Starc (Australia)

Left-arm pacer Mitchell Starc missed a few matches this year for different reasons, but whenever he was given a place in the XI, the lanky pacer proved his worth. In just 7 matches that he played this year, Starc claimed 40 wickets to finish in third place on the list of the most successful bowlers of 2019 (Till December 16 2019). With an impressive average of 19.52, Starc rattled the batsmen with his pace and toe-crushing yorkers. After being denied too many opportunities (4 wickets in one match) due to team composition in the Ashes, Starc wreaked havoc against Pakistan Down Under, claiming 15 wickets in the 2-match series, helping his team register an innings win in both the games . At the start of the year (2019) too, Starc showed tremendous skills against Sri Lanka, chipping in with 12 wickets in the 2 matches. In the ongoing series against New Zealand, Starc took nine wickets in the first Test to move up to fifth spot in the ICC Test rankings. Stuart broad (England)

Old English warhorse Stuart broad has been England’s frontman alongside James Anderson in the fast bowling department in Tests for quite some time. And him being England’s second most successful bowler of all time (476 wickets in 135 Tests so far) tells you just how big a role he has played and still plays for his country. The year 2019 was no different for the 33-year-old pacer, as he finished fourth on the list of most successful bowlers of the year. With Anderson being out for most part of the year due to injuries, Broad led the team’s bowling department from the front in the longest format of the game. Although England’s performance was not quite up to the mark in the longest format, Broad’s efforts were one of the major highlights. After starting off gingerly (4 wickets in 2 games) against the West Indies in the Caribbean, Broad picked up the pace in the lone Test against Ireland (match figures of 7/79). His top performance came during the Ashes where he was the second highest wicket-taker of the series (23 wickets in 5 Tests) behind Pat cummins . But that could not save his team from the embarrassment of not being able to win back the Urn in their own backyard. In England’s final series of the year against New Zealand, which is currently on, Broad took 5 Kiwi wickets in the first Test, but couldn't stop the Proteas from winning the Test by 107 runs. Neil Wagner (New Zealand)

Along with huge success in limited-overs cricket, New Zealand enjoyed a great run in Tests too in the year 2019. Although the Blackaps played only five Tests - four of which were at home - one man who stood out from the rest in the Kiwi line-up was South Africa-born left-arm pacer Neil Wagner. Not gifted with the lethal weapon of pace, Wagner explored and worked on accuracy along with swing to rise to the top of the bowling charts. In four out of the five Test matches, Wagner got a 5-wicket haul at least once with one of the best Test averages (17.58) around the cricketing world this year. A total of 33 wickets (Till December 16 2019) and Wagner took them at an impressive strike rate of 35.7. 16 wickets against Bangladesh, followed by 13 against England helped Wagner climb to the No.3 spot in the ICC Test rankings. In the ongoing Test series against Australia Down Under, Wagner continued his impressive run, claiming seven wickets in the first Test and then coming up with an encore of 7 wickets again in the second Test.