Top 10 New Zealand bowlers of all-time
Over the years, New Zealand have earned a reputation in cricketing circles for their ability to dig up quality fast bowlers. While injury has been a major concern for a large majority of their fast bowlers, they have still managed to unearth enough quality to stake their claims as one of the best countries for fast bowlers.
Right from the early years of cricket, New Zealand has been famous for producing some of the quickest wickets in World cricket. These kind of wickets have also gone a long way in building up budding fast bowlers in the country. But it has hampered the development of spinners although they do boast of one of the best left-arm spinners ever to play cricket.
Here we compile a list of New Zealand's top 10 bowlers of all-time. Bear in mind that statistics aren't the only criteria used to determine this list. Here you go!
#10 Danny Morrison
A swing bowler with immense talent, Morrison made his name courtesy his unplayable outswingers. A round-armish action with a smooth follow through, Morrison wasn't extremely pacy but relied on consistency in line and length combined with swing in the air, available in plenty in New Zealand, to earn his wickets.
He is one among the only two Kiwi bowlers to achieve a hat-trick in ODIs. The feat unfolded in 1994 against India. Ever smiling and very pleasant, Morrison earned quite a fan following for his quirky comments and easy going personality. Sure enough, all these translated into a career in the press box post his retirement.
#9 Richard Collinge
Richard Owen Collinge was a 6'5" deadly left-arm fast bowler from Central Districts. He later represented Wellington and Northern Districts as well. A pretty good exponent of conditions, Collinge relied on late movement to trouble the batsmen. Not high on the pace gun, Collinge used his left-arm angle to create inward movement into the right-handers.
He formed a potent bowling attack with a young Richard Hadlee in the late 1970s. Collinge made his Test debut in 1965 and played for 13 long years before playing his last match at Lord's when he left the game as New Zealand's highest Test wicket-taker.
#8 Ewen Chatfield
In an era where Richard Hadlee flourished, Ewen John Chatfield played a perfect foil to the legendary fast bowler. A medium pace bowler who stuck to a stump to stump line and movement off the wicket, Chatfield exerted immense pressure that Hadlee exploited from the other end.
He played 43 Tests and 114 ODIs, grabbing 123 and 140 wickets respectively. He was a key member of the New Zealand side that won their first Test series in England and Australia, both home and away. Chatfield is also known for a head injury he suffered in a Test against England in 1974.
#7 Chris Cairns
Son of former New Zealand cricketer, Lance Cairns, Chris Cairns was an all-rounder of the highest quality. A destructive batsman and a quality medium pacer, Cairns was a prominent member of the Black Caps team for more than fifteen long years. He is New Zealand's fourth highest wicket-taker in Test cricket with 218 scalps in 62 Tests.
His best came against the Windies in 1999 when he owned figures of 7/27 in a searing spell. He is one among the very few players to possess the double of 200 wickets and 3000 runs in Test cricket. He was second fastest to this feat, behind Ian Botham of England. He mastered the slower ball in ODI cricket and even used it in Tests to pretty good effect. But all of his reputation took a beating when he was charged for manipulating games in the Indian Cricket League. He was acquitted of perjury charges in 2015.
#6 Jack Cowie
Jack Cowie played a total of just nine Test matches but is widely regarded as one among the best fast bowlers New Zealand have produced. A fast-medium bowler hailing from Auckland, he started as a batsman before working on his bowling skills just to fit into the side. But then, he found that he was a much better bowler than a batsman.
He could move the ball off the pitch and Wisden commented that "Had he been an Australian, he might have been termed a wonder of the age". In his 9 Tests, Cowie picked up 45 wickets at 21.53 with four five-wicket hauls. He had a total of 359 First-class wickets, 114 of which came in England-Ireland in 1937.
#5 Chris Martin
Chris Martin is one among the only four New Zealand bowlers with more than 200 Test match wickets. Although his batting earned more popularity than his bowling because he has more wickets than runs, Martin was a pretty good seam bowler, especially in Test cricket.
A consistent seamer with an ability to move the ball around, in the air and off the pitch, Martin spearheaded the New Zealand Test bowling attack in the pre-Southee period. His 233 wickets in 71 Tests came at an average of 33.81.
#4 Tim Southee
A swing bowler with good pace and a few handy variations, Southee has made his name in Cricket with his ability to adapt his game to the format being played. He rose to prominence in the under-19 World Cup in 2008 where he was the Player of the Tournament. However, he had already played two T20s for New Zealand by then.
He began his International career as New Zealand's youngest debutant and earned fame for his searing yorkers, sharp outswingers and well disguised slower variations. In the 2011 World Cup, Southee finished as the third highest wicket-taker with 18 wickets at 17.33. Alongside Trent Boult, Southee leads the Kiwi pace attack across formats at the moment.
#3 Shane Bond
An injury prone short career saw Shane Bond earn the praise of critics and fans, who hailed him as the best New Zealand bowler since the legendary Sir Richard Hadlee, for his searing pace, toe-crushing yorkers and match-winning abilities. His career was hampered by constant injuries but that did not deter him from sending shivers down the batsmen's spine with his pace.
He clocked his fastest delivery at 156.4km/hr in the 2003 World Cup in South Africa. Although he had a forgettable Test debut, Bond made rapid strides in limited-overs cricket. He picked up 21 wickets in a VB Tri-Series involving South Africa and Australia, earning the player of the series award. In the 2003 World Cup, Bond picked up career-best figures of 6/23 against Australia. Constant back injuries caused by a soft tissue cut short a very promising International career.
#2 Daniel Vettori
Probably the only spinner to make a lasting impression from New Zealand, Vettori was the youngest Test debutant for the country when he debuted in 1996 at the age of 18. He is their most capped player with 118 Test matches and 284 One Day Internationals.
Known for his stump to stump lines and tricky flight, Vettori wasn't a big turner of the ball. But that wasn't required given that he was pretty immaculate with his lines and lengths. He skippered the national team from 2007-2011 and was also the eighth player in Tests to take 300 wickets and 3000 runs.
He currently dons the role of head coach of IPL franchise Royal Challengers Bangalore.
#1 Sir Richard Hadlee
A bowling all-rounder of the highest standard, Richard Hadlee was the first bowler to take 400 wickets in Test match cricket. A fabulous exponent of the new ball, Hadlee had pace, swing and everything else you expect from a pace bowling spearhead. Debuting for Canterbury in 1971/72, Hadlee started his Test career a year later and thrived despite the presence of some legendary names in the fast bowling circuit at the time.
Wisden in 2002, named him the second greatest fast bowler of all-time. He had already been knighted in 1990 for his enormous contributions to the game. In 2009, he was inducted into ICC Cricket Hall of Fame. Hadlee played 86 Tests, taking 431 wickets at 22.29 including a mind-boggling 36 five-wicket hauls and 9 ten-wicket hauls.