The five bowlers to have picked up five-wickets hauls in all three formats as India's Bhuvneshwar Kumar becomes the latest

Ashish Peter 19/02/2018
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Bhuvneshwar joined an exclusive club with his performance on Sunday.

India pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar picked up his career best figures in T20I cricket with a five-wicket haul against South Africa in a 28-run win at the Wanderers on Sunday.

Bhuvneshwar’s 5-24 was the first ever five-for by any Indian pacer in the format. It also means that the 28-year-old now has a five-wicket haul in all three international formats.

Only five other bowlers in history have achieved this feat before the India man. We take a look at who they are.

AJANTHA MENDIS (SRI LANKA)

The 32-year-old spinner might be a forgotten man now but there was a time when he was bamboozling batsmen left, right and center when he burst onto the international stage as a youngster.

The mystery finger-spinner has nine five-wicket hauls in all formats. Four of them have come in Tests, three in ODIs and two in T20Is.

Mendis’ meteoric rise however, was mirrored by an equally quick downfall as batsmen around the world came to terms with his variations.

Mendis' rise in international cricket was meteoric.

Mendis’ rise in international cricket was meteoric.

TIM SOUTHEE (NEW ZEALAND)

The Blackcaps pacer has been around for some time now in international cricket. A bowler who relies very much on conventional swing, Southee has done well to pick up a five-wicket haul six times in Test cricket and two times in ODIs.

His sole five-for in the 20-over format in 2010 against Pakistan at Auckland where he finished with figures of 5-18.

Southee is the only New Zealand bowler to feature on the list.

The Kiwi pacer achieved the feat in 2010.

The Kiwi pacer achieved the feat in 2010.

UMAR GUL (PAKISTAN)

Once a crucial component of the Pakistan pace attack but now sidelined to the fringes, Gul was picking up five-wicket hauls for fun during his peak.

He has done it four times in Test crickets and twice each in ODIs and T20Is. The 33-year-old was a brilliant exponent of reverse swing and famous for his stinging yorkers at the death. It is no wonder therefore, that he has been so successful in limited-overs cricket.

The Pakistan pacer could bowl a mean yorker.

The Pakistan pacer could bowl a mean yorker.

LASITH MALINGA (SRI LANKA)

The second Sri Lanka bowler to feature on the list, Malinga has always been a phenomenal performer in limited-overs cricket with his slingy unorthodox action, pin-point yorkers and cleverly disguised slower-balls.

The 34-year-old has picked up seven five-wicket hauls in ODI cricket, three in Tests and once in T20Is. His sole five-for in T20s came in the ICC World Twenty20 clash against England at Pallekele where he returned with figures of 5-31.

The Sri Lanka veteran was always tailor-made for limited-overs cricket.

The Sri Lanka veteran was always tailor-made for limited-overs cricket.

IMRAN TAHIR (SOUTH AFRICA)

The 38-year-old Proteas veteran is the oldest name to feature on the list. The Pakistan-born leg-spinner has thrived in limited-overs cricket in recent years, especially T20s, with his subtle variations.

Tahir has picked up two five-wicket hauls each in Tests and ODIs. His sole five-for in the 20-over format came in New Zealand last year where he finished with figures of 5-24 in South Africa’s 78-run win at Auckland.

Tahir has been a late bloomer in limited-overs cricket.

Tahir has been a late bloomer in limited-overs cricket.

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Like it or lump it, Twenty20 international cricket is the future now and tomorrow

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Trevor Bayliss should be applauded for being brave and bold enough to maintain his opinion that Twenty20 internationals should be axed, but that’s not to say he is right. From an England perspective, it’s pretty worrying that the nation’s coach, who gets paid to coach T20, and is more of a specialist in limited-overs cricket, wants to disregard a format internationally that is the future now and may be the only future in a few years’ time. It’s here to not only stay, but dominate the game whether you like it or not.

Sometimes it needs someone in authority to just say what they think but his views differ from vice-captain Jos Buttler, with the England wicket-keeper batsman recently saying that he could see cricket becoming a ‘one-format game’, i.e, just T20s, sooner rather than later.

The timing of Bayliss and an under-performing Buttler’s comments have looked a little out of place after a dismal Trans-Tasman tri-series campaign for England, meaning the Three Lions have lost four of their past six series in the format – and have generally struggled since making the final of the 2016 World Cup in India. In contrast, England have caught up with and overtaken most in their wake but have fallen off the pace under Bayliss in the other two disciplines. That’s probably not surprising given his views and coaching background as a one-day specialist. Perhaps England need a change in direction before he calls time on his stint after the 2019 Ashes series on home soil. Indeed, his comments as well as the man himself give off a soporific vibe.

HAMILTON, NEW ZEALAND - FEBRUARY 17: England coach Trevor Bayliss looks on during England Cricket nets at Seddon park ahead of their T2O match against New Zealand Black Caps on February 17, 2018 in Hamilton, New Zealand. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

England coach Trevor Bayliss has caused a stir with his comments.

There is a lot of cricket being played all the time, end of. It’s not been overkill in 20-over internationals but certainly in the format as a whole with leagues the world-over cramming the calendar to boiling point. Bayliss, a man who has previously coached the likes of the Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL and Sydney Sixers in the Big Bash League, is happy to just see the format based around domestic leagues.

To do so would only leave the international game behind the curve, and nor would it prevent the many more specialists we are seeing now from earning their crust – if they couldn’t find it with their country, they’d certainly find it elsewhere. The argument that many international matches are pointless or not competitive doesn’t hold up, either. While there are plenty of riches to be made throughout the game now for a select few, cricket is hard graft and toil where careers are on the line for the majority of players when they stride to the crease.

The workload issue has been a long-term problem in cricket, not just T20s, but it is very difficult to change given the onus on making money. As we saw at Eden Park last Friday, watching an uneven contest between bat and ball isn’t actually that fun. Indeed, that day, the novelty of hitting sixes went up in smoke and to be honest, watching on, it wasn’t a fair contest between bat and ball. But 35,000 people were still there to see it in a game where attendances have been dwindling. That’s a tick in the box and off the back of that there is cash to be made through commercial and huge TV-focused revenue drives. The IPL being a case in point.

Many maintain a love affair with Tests and even when the ICC Test Championship is implemented in a couple of years to make for more trophy-laden series, the problem is it probably won’t be enough to swing the massive tide of momentum that serves in the favour of T20s. It may still thrive in England but soon, apart from India and Australia, there may not be many other nations to fill up the opposition tours. It was brilliant to see the likes of Afghanistan and Ireland granted Test status last year, and to see what it meant, but it all seems a bit too late. The need to recognise what is happening and lean towards it is important to keep the great game alive.

In a world where gifs, Instagram stories and how many likes you receive on social media seems to define how popular you are, you can apply it to T20 cricket, with the current and future generation feeding into a fast-food diet of popcorn cricket.

Put it this way, if you’re a talented batter coming through the ranks now, and wish to earn a living and support your family, would you be blocking and playing conservative cricket? No, you’d be doing everything in your power to become a world-beating T20 star. Ultimately, the international stage remains the grandest of them all.

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - FEBRUARY 18: Shikhar Dhawan of India celebrates the wicket of Jon-Jon Smuts of the Proteas during the 1st KFC T20 International match between South Africa and India at Bidvest Wanderers Stadium on February 18, 2018 in Johannesburg, South Africa. (Photo by Lee Warren/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

India are a dominant force in the T20 game.

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Australia spinner Ashton Agar expecting another run-fest in T20I tri-series finals against New Zealand at Eden Park

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Agar is expecting runs to flow once again with Eden Park's short boundaries.

Australia spinner Ashton Agar said on Monday that Eden Park’s notoriously short boundaries mean another run-fest is likely in this week’s Twenty20 tri-series final against New Zealand.

Australia completed a world-record run chase to overhaul New Zealand’s 243 at the Auckland ground last Friday in a match that featured 32 sixes.

They go into Wednesday’s decider as favourites after winning all four of their round robin matches, and Agar said the “amazing” result had further boosted their belief.

“It was great for us to take confidence out of chasing a record total, knowing we can do that,” he said.

“We’ve had the right guys firing at the right times now and I think we’re ready to put together a really good performance again.”

Eden Park more closely resembles a rectangular pitch than traditional cricket oval, and the Australian spinner described the layout as “unique”.

The Aussies had pulled off the highest ever T20I chase last time at the venue.

The Aussies had pulled off the highest ever T20I chase last time at the venue.

Agar said bowling there was the hardest challenge he had faced in T20 cricket but he had accepted batsmen were going to go after him at the ground.

“If I get hit I’ve got to turn around, keep a smile on my face and try my best with the next ball,” he said, adding that “some people are going to get away to a flyer here”.

Agar said containing New Zealand’s in-form openers Martin Guptill and Colin Munro would be a key element in the final.

The pair took full advantage of the ground’s tiny dimensions to score 105 and 76 respectively last Friday, only for Australia’s batters to produce similar pyrotechnics and claim the win.

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