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10 most expensive bowler in ODIs [Updated 2019]

The modern cricket has been promoting aggressive form of batting and risk-taking character in all the forms of cricket. With the introduction of T-20 format, this trait became more popular than ever and all the high score records were broken quicker than one would have imagined. The game has been inclining more towards the batsmen and bowlers are facing the burden in what is the new era of cricket. Let us look back to the 10 bowlers who had a bad day which stained them for being the most expensive bowler in the history of ODI cricket.

1
Mick Lewis (Australia) 

Mick Lewis Kreedon
Most Expensive Bowler ever Mick Lewis (Source: Fox Sports)

Mick Lewis is one of the lesser known bowlers of Australia who was the latest of the late bloomers. In fact, he made his debut at an age of 31 years. The day went down in the history of cricket as the day when impossible happened. It was 12 March 2006 and South Africa were hosting Australia in a 5 match ODI series. This was the decider 5th match of the series which was tied at 2 each. Both Australia and South Africa were missing their star bowlers, Glenn McGrath and Shaun Pollock. 

Australia put an unbelievable total of  434/4 in 50 overs on the back of Ricky Ponting’s 105-ball 164. This was the first time ever that a team has ever scored more than 400 runs in an ODI. Well, the day wasn’t just over for the so-called ‘Chokers’ South African legends Herschelle Gibbs and captain Graeme Smith. Gibbs scored the highest South African score of 175 runs of 111 balls. And in the process, our dear Mich Lewis conceded 113 runs in the 10 overs he had to bowl. As a result, the South African team pulled off the highest successful chase and score in ODI cricket and Mich Lewis remains the most expensive bowler in an ODI inning. 

2
Rashid Khan (Afghanistan) 

Rashid Khan Kreedon
Rashid Khan (Source: News18)

This one of the most recent memories in the head of cricket fans. Rashid Khan, the world’s No.3 ODI bowler, registered the most expensive figures in the history of the World Cup history. The leg-spinner was smashed 110 runs off 9 overs in the first inning of the league match between Afghanistan and England at Old Trafford on Tuesday. 

England put up a score of 397/6 with the help of the England captain, Eoin Morgan’s explosive innings. The left-hander scored 148 runs in just 71 balls at a staggering strike rate of 208.45. He also broke the record of most sixes in an innings, hitting 17 of them in this out of worldly knock. The 20-year old also became the first spinner to concede 100 runs in an innings, being hit for 11 sixes in the process. 7 of them were hit by the captain himself, and the rest 4 was Moeen Ali’s contribution to the massive English total.

3
Wahab Riaz (Pakistan)

Wahab Riaz Kreedon
Wahab Riaz

One of the better-known bowlers in the world, Wahab Riaz once had to face the nightmare of English cricket at its best. It was the 3rd ODI between England and Pakistan in Nottingham (2016). England put up the second highest ODI total ever on the back of Alex Hale’s 122-ball 171. Buttler’s 51-ball 90 and Morgan’s 27-ball 57 came in handy for the huge score of 444/3. In the process, Pak bowler, Wahab Riaz conceded 110 runs in the 10 wicketless overs that he bowled. The man even admitted having sleepless nights after this nightmare on the field. This match also clinched the series for England as they were 3-0 in the 5 match series. 

4
Nuwan Pradeep (Sri Lanka)

Nuwan pradeep Kreedon
Nuwan Pradeep (Source: New Age)

This match went down in the history books as Hit-man’s day. The Indian opener Rohit Sharma was captaining the side in the 3 match series against Sri Lanka in the absence of rested Virat Kohli. What came out from Rohit’s bat as an anniversary gift to his wife Ritika Sajdeh turned out to be a harsh punishment for the Lankan bowler, Nuwan Pradeep. The stylish Indian batsman scored his 3rd double-century. He led his side to a 141 run win, levelling the 3 match series to 1-1. Nuwan conceded a total of 106 runs in his 10 wicketless overs. 

5
Bhuvneshwar Kumar (India)

Bhuveneshwar Kreedon
Bhuvneshwar

This was one of the most depressing matches in the history of Indian cricket. India hosted South Africa for the 5 match ODI series and the Indians had the perfect start winning the first 2 matches. However, India ended up playing the 5th ODI with the series tied at 2-2 after losing 2 consecutive matches. The decider was held in Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium and the South African batsman produced one of the best knocks in ODI history. South Africa amassed a total of 438/4 as 3 batsmen scored a century in the innings. None of the Indian bowlers went for less than 6 runs an over but Bhuvi ended up having his worst day ever, conceding 106 runs in the 10 overs. India went on to lose the game by a giant 214 runs margin and South Africa clinched the series 3-2. 

6
Brian Vitori (Zimbabwe)

Brian Vittori Kreedon
Brian Vittori

In Feb 2012, Zimbabwe cricket team was touring New Zealand and this was the 3rd ODI match of the 3 match series. New Zealand team had nothing to lose as they already won the series 2-0. Their top order showcased the same fearless intent in batting after winning the toss. Martin Guptill scored 85 off 69 balls and Brendon McCullum scored 119 off 88 balls.

Unlike the previously listed matches, this does not sound that destructive. Actually, in this case, the only bowler who was exceptionally bad in the match was Zimbabwe’s Brian Vitori. He was smashed all over the park for a total of 105 runs in just 9 overs at an economy of 11.66. No other bowler in the team had an economy more than 10. This helped New Zealand amass a score of 373/8 and went on to win the match by 202 runs, sweeping off the series 3-0.  

7
Tim Southee (New Zealand)

Tim Southee Kreedon
Tim Southee

In March 2009, the Indian team was on the tour of New Zealand and visitors were giving a tough time to the Kiwis. In the third ODI of the 5 match series, the world witnessed history as the master blaster Sachin Tendulkar scored his 43rd ODI ton. A 133-ball 163 as India scored its then second highest total in ODI, 392/4. Even Tim Southee, a world-class bowler from New Zealand had to face the wrath of Sachin’s bat as he went for 105 runs in 10 wicketless overs. India won the match by 58 runs and took a series lead of 2-0.

8
Martin Snedden (New Zealand)

Martin Snedden Kreedon
Martin Snedden

This instance dates back to the time when ODIs were 60-over a side affair. In those days, bowlers could bowl 12 overs each and the batsmen were meant to play for the whole 60 overs rather than worrying about the run-rate. The 1983 World Cup began with a blast in England with the host team facing Kiwis on 9 June. Martin Snedden, one of the best in bowling in the era, became the first bowler to concede 100 runs in an ODI match. He went for 105 runs in the 12 overs he bowled. The English batsman did not score in a hurry but seemed to target Martin and Crowe. The later conceded 51 runs in 6 overs and England kicked off their World Cup campaign with a 106-run win. 

9
Jason Holder (West Indies)

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Jason Holder (Source: The Indian Express)

This is a recap to the 2015 World Cup when AB de Villiers went off mad and scored the fastest 150 of ODI cricket. It was the 19th match of the World cup and the Proteas were facing West Indies on what was, believe it or not, a slow two-paced pitch. After South Africa put up a staggering total of 408/5, thanks to the breathtaking 66-ball 162 of captain De Villiers, Windies collapsed to a total of 151. In fact, the narrative was so bad that they didn’t even cross De Villiers individual score. 

Turns out their young captain Jason Holder was more responsible for the turmoil than any of his men. He was the only Windies bowler to have an economy of more than 9. Holder conceded 104 runs in the 10 overs he bowled, which included 6 sixes and 8 fours. He even bowled a couple of no-balls in the spell helping the Proteas register a massive 257 run victory.

10
R Vinay Kumar (India)

Vinay Kumar Kreedon
Vinay Kumar (Source: Pro Kerela)

This is the only case from the list where a bowler from the winning team produced such a poor performance. In 2013, India hosted Australia for a 7-match ODI series and the series was tied at 3-3. The decider was set in Bengluru’s Chinnaswamy Stadium. Rohit and Dhawan were India’s new opening pair after the Champions Trophy success and everything started smoothly for India. After a 100 run opening stand, Doherty got Dhawan on 60 off 57.

Everyone had their eyes on India’s rising star Virat Kohli who unfortunately got run out due to slight confusion and lapse of Rohit Sharma. What followed went down in history as one the most destructive and dominating innings of all-time. Rohit started batting with utmost focus. Even the ball seemed to stick to the middle of his bat every time he played a shot. Eventually, Rohit ended up scoring his first double-ton and the word ‘Hitman’ was born. 

In the reply, Australian batting collapsed early to the Indian bowling, but one man stood tall till the end. James Faulkner scored a 73-ball 116 with 11 fours and 6 sixes. Even Glenn Maxwell looked fierce scoring 60 runs off just 22 balls. Injured Shane Watson also managed to score 49 off 22 balls. All this destruction seemed to boil down on one Indian bowler, Vinay Kumar. Being the only bowler with an economy of more than 8, he conceded 102 runs in 9 overs. Australian team collapsed for 326 and India won the match by 57 runs clinching the series 4-3.

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Raghav Heda
Raghav is a sports enthusiast and a content writer at Kreedon. Being a former state-level cricketer and Captain of the Basketball team at IIT Patna, he understands the problems faced by a student-athlete in India. He is also a die-hard NBA fan and has been following the league and American Sports Media for long. Comparing the Indian sports economy to American Sports' was something that motivated him to work for the development of Indian Sports.

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