Top 10 Greatest Fast Bowlers of All Time

Top 10 Greatest Fast Bowlers of All Time

Fast bowlers are very crucial in cricket. For any team, having a world class fast bowler is a godsend. They constantly have the potential to significantly affect how well the team performs. Greatest fast bowlers take wickets and pose a threat with their raw pace in any situation, which is a batsman’s nightmare and a team’s delight. We are all aware that fast bowling is a challenging skill to learn and that fast bowlers are particularly prone to injury. But there have been a number of great fast bowlers over the years who have maintained their health and gone on to become game legends.

Here’s a list of Top 10 Greatest Fast Bowlers of All Time –

1. Dennis Lillee

Dennis Lillee was the greatest and most ideal fast bowler—truly quick, aggressive, and precise. He set the benchmark for fast bowling in the middle of the 1970s thanks to his pace, talent, and tremendous amount of acumen. Naturally, he also swung the ball away, which is obviously far more deadly when done at his pace. He was quite physically fit. His left arm was raised high and bent at the elbow and wrist in a traditional manner, and he ran up perfectly.

Denis Lillee
Denis Lillee

He would always choose to go on the offence over the defensive. When Lillee retired from Test cricket in 1984, he had taken 355 wickets at an average of 23.92, which was more than any other player. He also recorded 67 wickets in 14 World Series “Supertests,” more than any other bowler in those particularly difficult conditions. Lillee displayed excellent control and had the flexibility to change his line of attack and speed at will.

2. Malcolm Marshall

Malcolm Marshall was a complete fast bowler in the sense that he could bowl on extremely flat surfaces, roll his fingers over, and attempt to cut the ball in addition to swinging the ball incredibly quickly. He was completely aware of how to react to various situations and batsmen. In addition to all of that, he was prepared to toil for his wickets. He had all the attributes of a greatest fast bowler. After Andy roberts and Michael holding, he became the acknowledged leader of the pack in the early years of Walsh, Ambrose and Patterson.
Malcolm Marshall
Malcolm Marshall

He set the tone for the 1984 season by breaking Mike Gatting’s nose with a nasty bouncer and took 27 wickets in that 5-0 whitewash series. He was as effective, taking more than four and a half wickets each Test, on average. He is one of the greatest fast bowlers, and his record of 376 Test wickets at an average of 20.94 per a figure unmatched by any bowler who has taken more than 200 wickets supports the claim that he is the greatest of all time.

3. Wasim Akram

Wasim Akram is the one of the greatest fast bowlers to have ever lived. He was a left-armer with a lightning-quick action. Wasim also bowled as rapidly as anyone in the world, had remarkable control over both the new and old balls, and had the ability to reverse swing both. Wasim Akram is the only fast bowler in cricket history with 400 wickets throughout both Test and ODI cricket. No one can beat Wasim Akram’s 414 test wickets, which he added to miraculously by taking 502 wickets in one-day internationals at an average of 23, across both arenas.

Wasim Akram
Wasim Akram

If speed was his surprise, swing was his art. Wasim Akram was a highly skilled performer, a wonderful entertainer, and a prolific wicket-taker. It was particularly difficult for anyone new to the crease to have an early sight of the ball because Wasim, who is 6 feet 5 inches tall and has a muscular build, altered his angles excellently by going over the wicket and around as the circumstances required. He also possessed such a rapid arm (hence, perhaps, his record four international hat-tricks).

4. Glenn McGrath

Glenn McGrath was an excellent bowler who, more often than any other contemporary bowler, was able to place the ball where it was most difficult for batters to reach it. There weren’t many bad balls bowled by McGrath, and the batsman was constantly under pressure. McGrath is obviously much more than a medium-pacer who can maintain a line and length. He tears his fingers through the stitches, commanding the ball to do what he wants. It is incredibly challenging to use this technique in both directions and at a rapid rate even once, let alone on every ball. Because of this, no one else has been successful.

Glenn McGrath
Glenn McGrath

Of all the pace bowlers, he has been the most reliable. The skipper could confidently send the ball to him if Australia was having a problem. He leads the attack responsibly, separates the openers frequently, and often dispatches the opposition’s most dangerous player. Arguably one of the greatest fast bowlers of all time, surpassing the great Courtney Walsh’s 519, he went on to eventually take 563 wickets in Test cricket even took 381 wickets in ODIs.

5. Curtly Ambrose

Curtly Ambrose was arguably the bowler who was truly the fastest and most accurate all the time. Curtly Ambrose had a fluid, effective action, was  incredibly reliable, and consistently put the ball where it belonged. His track record is self-evident. Any other fast bowler cannot match his economy rate of 2.30; the seven players with 200 wickets who have lower rates are all from prior times. He undoubtedly crossed the threshold separating the great from the very excellent at his finest. Pace, movement, and accuracy are the three main requirements for good bowlers. Ambrose possessed them all.

Curtly Ambrose
Curtly Ambrose

He was undoubtedly quick, especially in the middle of the 1990s, and the extra bounce his beanpole body produced made things even more difficult for the batter. His outstanding bowling performance occurred in January 1993 vs Australia at the WACA in Perth, where he had taken seven wickets for just one run in thirty-two deliveries, that was phenomenal in cricket history. Ambrose concluded his test carer with 405 wickets in 99 test matches and 225 ODIs wickets.

6. Waqar Younis

Waqar Younis is also known as the toe crusher, who is considered to be one of the greatest fast bowlers of all time. He had developed an unstoppable mix of a long, swift run-up with a late swing that spelled disaster for batsmen all over the world. He bowled the most gorgeous outswing and producing toe crushing inswinging yorkers, at a real nasty pace. After 31 tests he had racked up an incredible 180 wickets at an average of 18.78, with only Sydney Barnes having taken fewer Tests to claim the same number of wickets.

Waqar Younis
Waqar Younis

In all of ODI cricket, he claimed thirteen five-wicket hauls, still a record. Waqar Younis was one of cricket’s most captivating figures for a decade. Additionally, he had the lowest balls-per-wicket strike rate of any bowler of the modern period. Released with a slightly round-arm action, he has dismissed dozens of batsmen either bowled or lbw with the ball that became his trademark. High caliber players found it difficult to stop, and tail-enders found it nearly impossible to do so. He took 373 test wickets in 87 tests and 416 in just 262 ODI matches which just goes to show what special kind of bowler he was.

7. Dale Steyn

Dale Steyn is arguably the greatest fast bowler of the modern times. Steyn had been consistently outstanding for a number of years; he was quick, accurate, aggressive and able to swing the ball, and he was completely devoted to leading the South African attack. He was a valuable resource and one of the key factors in South Africa’s success. His outswing was his primary tool, but he also possessed a wicked bouncer that was deceptively swift and appeared to track the batsman.

Dale Steyn
Dale Steyn

He helped South Africa win a Test series in England for the first time in 2008, earning him the title of ICC Test Cricketer of the Year. In just five years, he had passed the 300 wickets mark. In 2015, he became the second South African to reach the 400 wickets mark, and he finished his career as his nation’s all-time leading Test wicket-taker. At a 22.95 average, Dale Steyn concluded the Test format with 439 wickets. Additionally, he recorded 26 5-wicket hauls, more than any other fast bowler.

8. Kapil Dev

Kapil Dev was a remarkable fast bowler. He had a fantastic start to his career and was skilled at quickly swinging the ball away from the bat with his beautiful, high action. He was extremely accurate. India didn’t typically produce fast bowlers, but Kapil defied the norm. At age 21, he completed the 1,000 run/100 wicket double in less than a year, the quickest time ever and a record that still holds today. At first, he was a raw talent who frequently attempted to bowl rapidly and hit the ball as far as he could.

Kapil Dev
Kapil Dev

India at last got a fast bowler with the pace and swing to finish off the opponents. At the MCG in 1981, he took 5-28 against Australia for just 83 runs and lead an incredible Indian victory by 59 runs, that was marvellous performance. He dismissed Hashan Tillekeratne in February 1994 at Ahmedabad, breaking Richard Hadlee’s previous mark of 431 test wickets. The current crop of Indian pace bowlers may all credit Kapil Dev as being their biggest influence because he brought hope to a new generation of seamers that wickets could be taken in certain circumstances.

9. Fred Trueman

In addition to being one of the greatest fast bowlers, Fred Trueman was a fantastic showman. Bowling quickly has a dramatic component, and Fred made the most of it. His strike rate of 49.43 and average of 21.57 are both excellent. Fred Trueman had smooth, accelerating run-up, sideways-on delivery looking through the left arm with perfect poise and balance.
Fred Trueman
Fred Trueman

In 1952 Fred Trueman made his debut vs India and he took 28 wickets fantastically in 4 test match series. Between May 1957 and May 1963, Trueman took awesome 197 Test wickets. Fred Trueman is the first bowler in the history of the cricket to take 300 Test wickets, which Trueman did in 1964. He had achieved on top of his terrific record of 307 wickets in 67 matches at 21.57 average, one every 49 balls. He held the world record for most Test wickets for nearly 12 years.

10. Richard Hadlee

Richard Hadlee is regarded one of the greatest fast bowlers in cricket history. He currently dominates all other New Zealand bowlers by a wide margin. With 431 Test wickets, 158 one-day international wickets more than twice as many as any other Kiwi bowler at an average (22.30) that was more than four runs higher than any other Kiwi. He could alter his line and length for a certain batsman. He was able to make a quick adjustment for a specific pitch condition.

Richard Hadlee
Richard Hadlee

He had the pace when he wanted to. He placed the ball correctly, swung it, seamed it, and cut it off the wicket. Therefore, he used all of his techniques to force the batsman to play the ball. He was a highly methodical and cerebral bowler. In 1978 at Wellington, England was defeated for the first time in 48 years; Hadlee shredded them with figures of six for 26. His 15 for 123 statistics are the best for New Zealand throughout all Tests.

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