How often do you see a cracking start to an ODI match? Oh, my fellow cricket fans, I am not talking about the batsman’s start, which they give; rather, let us focus on some of the best first-over bowlers ever in ODI history.
There are very few instances where you see bowlers dominate right from the very first over of the match. So this article will focus on the same and discuss the players who have this good habit of providing breakthroughs in the first over of an ODI match.
#10 Irfan Pathan – 13
There was this sweet golden phase of Pathan where he was in the best phase of his life. Taking wickets early off in the game was just so easy for him. The swinging ability he possessed had no match during his peak time. And for that reason, there shouldn’t be any surprise to see him being a part of this list with 13 wickets.
#9 Mashrafe Mortaza – 14
Next, we have the Bangladeshi bowling legend, Mashrafe Mortaza, who has been truly the main reason behind everyone knowing about Bangladesh and taking them where they are now. He was the first Bangladeshi bowler to cross 250 wickets in ODIs, of which 14 were from the first over itself.
#8 Kyle Mills – 19
Often known for his ODI exploits, he has been a handy lower-order batsman and has also been successful in taking those early wickets. He boasts a record of 19 wickets in the first over and stands tall at the 8th position of this list.
#7 Zaheer Khan – 19
Moving on, one of the best and most legendary left-arm pacers, Zaheer Khan. Known for his pace and awesome skill set has always been one of the pioneers in many of India’s wins. He has given 19 first-over breakthroughs.
#6 Shaun Pollock – 20
Pollock is one of the best cricketers ever produced from South Africa. A brilliant career ODI economy of 3.68 and a breathtaking strike rate of 39.98 show how great he has been in this format, topping up with 393 wickets he took in just 297 innings. He has taken 20 first-over wickets and being an all-rounder, this is good.
#5 James Anderson – 20
Can we end any bowling record discussion without talking about this maniac? No, right? Here we have him in 5th place, successfully taking 20 wickets at the start of the innings.
#4 Mitchell Starc – 22
Up comes the legend in the making, or I should say a blockbuster bowler already. Hearing his name gives a chill down the spine to even the most sort-out batters. It comes up with a slow run-up and bowls at a dangerous 140+ consistently. So there should be no shock seeing him up here. He is probably the only player to be the highest wicket-taker in two consecutive ODI World Cups, 2015 and 2019. He has taken 22 first-over wickets to sit nicely at the 4th position of this list.
#3 Brett Lee – 22
Gun bowler is what I should say. One of the fastest bowlers who ever played cricket. He has taken 380 scalps in just 221 matches, with a meager average of close to 23. With these stats, it was obvious to see him be in the top 3 of the list with 22 early wickets and providing mighty Australia with a fierce start.
#2 Lasith Malinga – 24
Surely this modern-day genius had to be on this list. His quirky action, toe-crushing yorkers, and whatnot made him unplayable in his prime. He has the most wickets taken by any ODI bowler in the last decade despite missing out on 70 matches played by Sri Lanka in that period, which shows his capability. He took 24 wickets to sit comfortably at the second position on this list.
#1 Chaminda Vaas – 29
Now we have the former left-handed seam bowling legend Vaas is often known for his sharp swinging ability, due to which he has such a great record in taking wickets now and then quite easily. The stats mentioned above is just another indication of the same.
How can we forget how great he is at picking wickets in the first over? Remember his masterclass in the 2003 World Cup game against Bangladesh, where he single-handedly turned the game in Sri Lanka’s favor. He took four wickets and, too, including a hat trick. It is hard and rare even to take a hat trick in the first over and talk about this man taking four wickets in the starting over.
He has successfully taken 29 first-over wickets to top this list.
I hope you would have liked this article. You can also read the same record for T20 internationals here.