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Top 10 Greatest Fast Bowlers of All Time9 min read

Best fast bowlers of all time- wasim akram is pakistan green jersey with cap

This post is all about the greatest and today we talk about the top 10 greatest fast bowlers of all time. We will look at the top 10 greatest fast bowlers of all time to ever grace the cricket world.

Fast bowlers are the core elements of any cricket team. They can make a huge difference on any particular day for the team.  

A great fast bowler is a boon for any team in the world. We all know fast bowling is not an easy task to perform on the other side the fast bowlers are also prone to injuries. But there are some legendary bowlers over the years who have maintained their fitness and came out as a legend of the game.

Let’s check out some of the top 10 greatest fast bowlers of all time.

Top 10 Greatest Fast Bowlers of All Time

10 Dale Steyn

Image Credit- Cricket Australia

When you talk about swing, pace, and rhythm you have to talk about Dale Steyn. He is number 10 in the list of best fast bowlers of all time.

Steyn is one of the best fast bowlers of his generation. After the era of Allan Donald, it was Steyn who led the fast attack of the South African team all over the world. It is remarkable to see the achievements of Dale Steyn over the years.

There are only a few bowlers around the world who can distract any batsmen with both pace and swing and Steyn is one of them. Getting 400th test wickets in just 80 matches shows the caliber of the modern great. The best part is that he is equally effective in home and away fixtures.

ODIs Stats– 125 matches, 196 Wickets, 25.95 average, 4.87 Economy

Tests Stats– 93 matches, 439 wickets, 22.95 average, 3.24 Economy

9 Waqar Younis

Image Credit- Neuronerdz

Waqar Younis was one of the greatest fast bowlers Pakistan has ever produced. He is one of the best swingers on the ball. He is well known for his capability of reverse swing. His toe-crushing yorkers are the nightmare for any batting lineup around the world.

His pairing with the great Wasim Akram said to be the most fearsome duo in the history of the game.

The former Pakistan legend has more fifers than anyone in the history of the game. Waqar Younis also holds the record for the best bowling figures as a captain in an ODI(7/36) and was also the first captain to take a 7 wicket haul in an ODI inning.

ODIs Stats: 262 matches, 416 wickets, 23.84 average, 4.68 economy

Tests Stats: 87 matches, 373 wickets, 23.56 average, 3.25 economy

8 Courtney Walsh

Image Credit- Skysports

Courtney Walsh does not need any introduction in this list. Taking 500 test match wickets is not a joke and he is the first bowler to achieve this feat in the history of test cricket.

His partnership with Curtly Ambrose is well known and both are phenomenal for West Indian cricket.

ODIs Stats: 205 matches, 227 wickets, 30.48 average, 3.84 economy

Tests Stats: 132 matches, 519 wickets, 24.45 average, 2.54 economy

7 Curtly Ambrose

Image Credit- Skysports

Curtly Ambrose is well known for his fearsome and economical bowling throughout his career. He took 405 wickets in 98 matches that he has played with West Indies. His economy of 2.31 is one of the best in the history of test cricket.

Ambrose has just extended the legacy which was left behind by the former West Indies bowlers. His great partnership with Walsh is one of the most destructive sights for any opposing batsmen.

He has always been a commanding bowler for his team who can change the fortune of the game with his spells. An average of 20.99 and an economy of 2.30 just prove the player’s caliber. He is just unplayable for any batsmen.

ODIs Stats– 176 matches, 225 wickets, 24.12 average, 3.48 Economy

Tests Stats– 98 matches, 405 Wickets, 20.99 average, 2.30 Economy

6 Glenn Mcgrath

Image Credit- BMS

It would not be wrong to say that McGrath was a backbone for the Australian team in the 90s. His 563 Test wickets in 124 matches are the most by any fast bowler which was later broken by James Anderson. He also holds the record of most World Cup wickets than any other player in the history of the game.

He is the most accurate bowler in the game. The line and the length of this bowler is unmatchable in the cricket world.

He mostly relies on his length and swinging deliveries rather than focusing on pace.

Glen McGrath is unquestionably one of the greatest bowlers Australia has ever produced. He also had a total of 381 wickets in 250 matches that too with an average of 22.02.

ODIs Stats– 250 matches, 381 wickets, 22.02 average, 3.88 Economy

Tests Stats– 124 matches, 563 Wickets, 21.64 average, 2.5 Economy

5 Dennis Lillee

Image Credit- Cricket Australia

Lillee was known for his aggressive style and he is one of the most ruthless fast bowlers the world has ever seen. In a total of 70 matches, he took 355 Test wickets which was a record during his time. Facing Lillee at his prime always been difficult for any batsmen around the world.

He has known for his fearsome pace which was dreadful for any batsmen to face. Many great bowlers around the world knew him as the one who set up the pioneer of fast bowling in the Cricketing world.

He was the first bowler to surpass the barrier of 350 wickets in test cricket.

ODIs Stats – 63 matches, 103 wickets, 20.82 average, 3.58 Economy

Tests Stats– 70 matches, 355 wickets, 23.92 average, 3.58 Economy

4 Richard Hadlee

best fast bowlers of all time
Image Credit- Wisden

Hadlee was the record-breaker bowler of his time. He broke the record of Lillee which was stood for so many years. In his career, he became the first bowler to pass the 400 Test wickets mark. The New Zealand international took the wickets with an impressive average of 22.29 which was quite impressive during his time.

He was one of the greatest bowlers New Zealand has ever produced. Hadlee was well known for his swing and accuracy throughout his career. He took a total of 431 wickets in 86 matches that he had played..

ODIs Stats– 115 matches, 158 wickets, 21.56 average, 3.30 Economy

Tests Stats– 86 matches, 431 wickets, 22.29 average, 2.63 Economy

3 Malcolm Marshall

best fast bowlers of all time
Image Credit-Caught at point

Marshall aggression is well known in the history of the game. If you talk about aggression and fiery bouncer you have to talk about the West Indies legend Malcolm Marshall. A total of 376 wickets with an economy of 2.68 is just insane.

The dominance of West Indian Cricket during the 70s and 80s is mainly due to their top-class bowling and fearsome batting. Malcolm Marshall was leading the pace attack during his time which was extended by some great bowlers like Joel Garner, Curtly Ambrose, and Courtney Walsh.

His ability to swing the bowl and his fiery bouncers are always difficult to deal with for any batsmen.

ODIs Stats– 136 matches, 157 Wickets, 26.96 average, 3.53 Economy

Tests Stats– 81 matches, 376 Wickets, 20.94 average, 2.68 Economy

2 Sydney Barnes

best fast bowlers of all time

The English legend is number 2 in the list of best fast bowlers of all time. His contribution to the game is unmatchable and never be repeated again in the game. The most unique stats of his career is phenomenal average which cant be repeated again in cricket. He had played a total of 27 Test matches in which he took 189 wickets with an astonishing average of 16.43.

Fast bowling is incomplete without mentioning the name of Sydney Barnes. He had made a test debut on 13 December 1901 against Australia. His unbreakable average still stands tall and strong and may never be broken again.

Tests Stats– 27 matches, 189 Wickets, 16.43 average, 2.37 Economy

1 Wasim Akram

best fast bowlers of all time

Wasim Akram was rated as the greatest bowler of all time. The influence of this man on the cricketing pitch is just unmatchable. He is known for his reverse swing and toe-crushing swinging yorkers.

He was a part of the world cup winning team in 1992 and also adjudged the Man of the Match for his all-around performance of 3/49 and 33 of 18.

The world of cricket may never witness a bowler like Wasim Akram again. His capability of swinging the ball in both ways and his lethal Yorkers are just impossible to face.

ODIs Stats– 356 matches, 502 Wickets, 23.52 average, 3.9 Economy

Tests Stats– 104 matches, 414 wickets, 23.62 average, 2.59 Economy

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