11 Young English Bowlers to get Excited About

Updated: Mar 6, 2020

Last week we focused on some exciting young batting talent making their through the system, this week it's the turn of the bowlers. A lot of the names on this list you'll be very familiar with, but hopefully, there are one or two new names as well. We look at these lists mainly from a test perspective, which is why Sam Curran is included in the list and Tom Curran/Pat Brown are notable mentions, as they are far more exciting in the white-ball format.

Jofra Archer - Age 24


Test: 30 wickets, 27.40 average

One of the most exciting fast-bowlers to come through. We saw how dangerous he could be in a devastating spell against Steve Smith. I don't think we've seen the best of Archer in test cricket yet, and that's quite scary considering in his 7 tests he's taken 30 wickets at 27 apiece. We do need to work out how best to use him, but his smooth repeatable action should ensure he's available more than not (although he is injured at the moment). His raw pace will come in handy down under on flat tracks. Already a World Cup Winner who in his first year of international cricket took the ball in the super-over, what a cool head.

Saqib Mahmood - Age 23


FC: 42 wickets, 28.90

With Mark Wood's injury, Mahmood was called into the side to tour Sri Lanka. With fast-bowlers needing to generate their own pace, his natural speed may result in him being handed his first test cap. Mahmood has already made his debut for England in T20 and ODI cricket, but personally I think he'll have the biggest impact in red-ball cricket. Capable of hitting 90 mph, the Lancashire quick was recently awarded a pace bowling development contract from the ECB with an eye to this Ashes down under. Mahmood has the world at his feet and I'm looking forward to seeing how he bowls this year in Division 1.

Dom Bess - Age 22


Test: 11 wickets, 29.72

Bess showed against South Africa exactly what he's capable of taking 5-51. The noticeable difference between the Bess we saw against Pakistan in 2018 and the Bess we saw against South Africa was his ability to consistently hit his spots. His accuracy was exceptional against South Africa and he really tied down an end. Bess has the potential in Sri Lanka to cement his spot as England's #1 spinner. I know people will talk about Leach and Moeen, but personally I think Bess has more potential than Leach and Moeen's test future is unclear and he is 33 this year.

Matty Pakinson - Age 23


FC: 62 wickets, 25.22

Nobody is saying that Parkinson is Poonam Yadav, bowling in the mid-'30s, but he does bowl noticeably slower than any other international men's spinner, and some people question whether that will derail his international career. It's simply too early to tell. Parkinson has been a fine first-class bowler so far in the county-championship. He has three stock deliveries in his googly, slider and leggy and he's spoken about adding more deliveries, but when he's on form he's very difficult to get away. I think in red-ball cricket he has the potential to spot his balls and take consistent wickets, looking forward to seeing what he can do on the turning pitches of Sri Lanka.

Amar Virdi - Age 21


FC: 69 wickets, 28.78

Virdi was the first player featured in our "Future Stars" series. The Surrey Spinner has a big looping delivery which gets a good grip and turns, fooling batsmen either in the air or off the pitch. Virdi committed himself to his fitness last year after getting a kick up the backside by Alec Stewart and he came back looking the best he's ever looked. At just 21, to have taken 69 wickets below 30 is a very nice stat line, everything points to Virdi having a big 2020 with Surrey and if he continues to take wickets, his England call will follow, likely on the tour of India next year.

Hamidullah Qadri - Age 19


FC: 23 wickets, 35.91

Qadri was one of the better performers for England at the U19 World Cup at the start of 2020, and with his move to Kent from Derbyshire this winter he'll be looking to really push on in 2020. It was obvious from the U19 performances to see why he's rated so highly, he's got a lot of variations to go with speed variations as well, and the best batsmen on show were struggling to pick it up through the air. It may be that his future sits more in white-ball cricket, but I think his off-break could come in handy for the test team down the line. Definitely one to watch next year.

Jamie Overton - Age 25


FC: 166 wickets, 30.87

Although it's Craig with the test caps, I personally feel that Jamie has the brighter future for England. With the capability to bowl in excess of 90mph, he's the quicker of the brothers and if he can try and nail down more consistency with his line and length, he'd give England yet another 90mph pace option. Last year we started to see better returns from Overton with him taking 28 wickets at 18.61, so it may be that he's turned the corner with a straight shot through to the England team.

Liam Paterson-White - Age 21


FC: 20 wickets, 21.00

After signing his first professional contract in 2019 at Trent Bridge, I'm fully expecting Liam Paterson-White to have the kind of 2020 season that makes people sit up and take notice. A left-arm spinner who bowls with plenty of pace on his deliveries, Paterson-White had the opportunity to learn from Indian spinner Ravi Ashwin last year, and he'll be looking to put that to good use this year at Trent Bridge, a pitch that usually offers a fair amount of turn. Paterson-White isn't just a bowler though, he's a good middle-order bat that scored a few centuries in the second XI. He's yet to make a score like that in first-class cricket, but I wouldn't be surprised to see him put a century up in 2020.

Sam Curran - Age 21


Test: 32 wickets, 29.87

It's easy to forget that Curran is just 21 years of age. He made his test debut back in 2018, just 2 days before his 20th birthday. Curran sometimes divides opinion, but his stats speak for themselves. On occasions he strays onto the pads too much, but how many big wickets has he taken with that left-arm swing bowling? Curran is, without doubt, one of the most exciting talents on offer for England, he was the player that Steve Smith looked uncomfortable against in the summer, and I guarantee he'll make a lot of batsmen very uncomfortable in the coming years.

Olly Stone - Age 26


FC: 126 wickets, 24.66

Olly Stone has suffered with a fair few injuries in his career, including a back problem that kept him out of the backend of the 2019 season. When he does play, he's one of the most exciting talents on any field. He's a 6'3 fast-bowler who gets superb bounce and bowls at 90mph. He is a weapon any team in the world would want in their arsenal. Stone confirmed to us the other day that he's on track to start the county season, if he can stay injury-free you can't help but be excited about the prospect of a bowling unit that contains Stone, Wood and Archer. Go well Olly.

Ollie Robinson - Age 26


FC: 236 wickets, 22.33

There is always some disagreement with Robinson around if he has enough pace to make it in international cricket. For me, you don't take over 200 first-class wickets at an average of 22.33 if you don't have other qualities that are capable of getting you scalps. Robinson has come a long way since getting the sack from Yorkshire during the 2014 season for unprofessional actions, with Jason Gillespie hinting that Robinson didn't seem all that bothered about playing for the club. Robinson continues to take wickets and having just been on the Lions tour, it's safe to say that I think England are keeping an eye on him.

Notable mentions: Aaron Beard, Craig Overton, Sam Cook, Tom Curran, Pat Brown, Matt Milnes, Henry Brookes, Mason Crane


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