5 cricketers who started as bowlers but became successful batsmen

Most of the prominent bowlers turned out to be batsmen.


Shahid Afridi
Shahid Afridi. (Photo Source: Getty Images)

Cricket is a game full of uncertainties. One can expect bizarre things to happen when he follows the sport. There can be last-minute thrillers, a wicket-keeper may roll his arms for an over or two in order to get a breakthrough, a lower-order batsman could hit the ball out of the park or a part-time bowler may get a hat-trick or even a 5 wicket haul.

In some of the most unanticipated cases, a cricketer who had started his career as a bowler became a successful batsman and vice-versa. Many of these cricketers became somewhat weak in their primary skill due to one reason or the other and hence, started improving their other skill. In some rare cases, the player became a master of their ‘secondary skill’ and became well-known throughout the world for the ability which they didn’t possess during the initial stages of their career.

Here we present a list of 5  such players:

1. Steve Smith

Steve Smith
Steve Smith. (Photo by Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images for Surrey CCC)

Steve Smith’s journey in international cricket has been on a roller-coaster ride since his debut. Originally drafted into the squad because of his leg break, he found himself batting at No. 3 for the Aussies a few years later. He made his debut for the Australian side in all the three formats in the year 2010. However, his selection to the Australian side raised a lot of eyebrows as he was still a raw talent having an experience of playing domestic cricket only for a couple of years.

He drew a lot of comparisons with Shane Warne earlier in his career. He was used as a leg-spinner who could bat at No. 7 or 8 in the batting line-up. However, the Ashes series in England in 2013 marked a turnaround in Smith’s career. He established himself as a proper batsman in that series. His unorthodox batting technique confused the opposition and worked wonders for the Australian team.

Smith has scored 6485 runs in 119 innings’ from 65 test matches at a magnificent average of 62.96 which includes 25 centuries and 2 double hundreds. The pinnacle of his career came in 2015 when he became the highest-ranked test batsman. In the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015, he became the first batsman to score 5 fifty plus innings’ in consecutive matches. As a batsman, Smith has cemented his place in the ‘Fab four’ of the modern generation which includes his contemporaries Virat Kohli, Kane Williamson and Joe Root.


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