The best fast bowler in cricket is someone who can bowl the ball really fast, accurately, and has the skill to mix in different types of deliveries. Fast bowlers use clever tricks to make the ball move unpredictably, keeping the batters on their toes.
In the world of cricket, there’s a saying that holds true: “Bowler wins you matches.” Fast bowlers play a vital role in the game, aiming to take wickets and pressure the opposing team.
Throughout cricket history, there have been several legendary fast bowlers who have left a significant impact on the game. They showcase exceptional abilities that greatly contribute to the success of their team.
List of Greatest Fast Bowlers in Cricket History:
- Malcolm secured a total of 533 international wickets: 376 in Test matches and 157 in ODIs.
- His bowling average in Test cricket was around 18.85, and in ODIs, it was approximately 14.92.
- His remarkable performance in a Test match against England in 1984, where he took 7 wickets for only 22 runs
Malcolm Marshall’s bowling career was like a tale of power and precision. When he ran up to the bowl, there was an energy that everyone could feel. He was really fast, and he had this ability to make the ball move in the air and off the pitch in tricky ways.
Marshall’s bowling was about more than just speed, though. He could put the ball exactly where he wanted it to go, and that made it incredibly hard for batters to hit him. He could also make the ball bounce really high or stay low, depending on what he wanted to do.
Malcolm Marshall played a big part in the West Indies cricket team’s amazing achievement of winning 11 Test series in a row from 1980 to 1986. This shows how important he was in their successful period.
What set Marshall apart was his determination and heart. He wasn’t just bowling to get wickets; he was bowling to win. This is why he is on the list of greatest fast bowlers of all time.
- Dennis Lillee secured a total of 458 international wickets: 355 in Test matches and 103 in ODIs.
- His bowling average in Test cricket was around 23.92, and in ODIs, it was approximately 20.82.
- Dennis Lillee’s big achievement was getting into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame
Dennis Lillee’s way of bowling was like a powerful storm in cricket. When he ran up to throw the ball, you could feel the energy in the air. He would throw the ball really fast and in the right place, which made it very tough for the batters to hit. He is one of the greatest fast bowlers in cricket history.
Dennis could also make the ball move strangely, which confused the batters. Sometimes it went sideways, and sometimes it bounced high, making it tricky to predict. He played with a lot of intensity and passion. Every time he threw the ball, it seemed like he was saying, “I’m here to win!”
His impact goes beyond just the game. Lillee left a big mark on cricket. He wasn’t just a fast bowler; he represented the heart of the sport. His way of playing still inspires young cricketers today. The memory of how he bowled continues to excite cricket fans all around the world.
- Wasim Akram secured a total of 916 international wickets: 414 in Test matches and 502 in ODIs.
- His bowling average in Test cricket was around 23.62, and in ODIs, it was approximately 23.52.
- First bowler in the history of One Day Internationals (ODIs) to achieve 500 wickets.
Wasim Akram’s bowling was like a magical performance on the cricket field. He had a unique way of making the cricket ball move in surprising and tricky directions. He could make the ball swing in the air, making it hard for the batters to predict where it would go. He could also bowl very accurate yorkers that were tough to hit, especially at the end of ODI matches.
What set Akram apart was how he could change his tactics depending on the situation and the batsmen he was facing. He was really good at reading what the batsman was planning to do and then coming up with the right kind of delivery to stop them.
His bowling wasn’t just about skill, though. He also had a great ability to handle pressure, especially in big tournaments like the World Cup. His performances in those important matches made him one of the greatest fast bowlers of all time.
- Kapil Dev secured a total of 687 international wickets: 434 in Test matches and 253 in ODIs.
- His bowling average in Test cricket was around 29.64, and in ODIs, it was approximately 27.45.
- The second player in the history of Test cricket to reach the milestone of 400 wickets
Kapil Dev, a cricket icon, holds a special place as one of the greatest fast bowlers. With his extraordinary ability to generate speed and accuracy while delivering the cricket ball, he was a challenge for batsmen worldwide. His deliveries were a combination of strength, power, and unpredictability.
Kapil Dev’s remarkable contribution to the game goes beyond his skill with the ball. His leadership and all-around added a unique dimension to his role as a fast bowler. His memorable performances, including the historic 1983 World Cup victory for India, are still remembered on this day.
Throughout his career, Kapil Dev displayed a rare blend of athleticism, technique, and determination. His role in taking crucial wickets in matches often turned the tide of matches in favor of his team. His legacy remains an inspiration to aspiring fast bowlers and shows dedication and talent can transform a player into a true cricketing legend.
- Curtly Ambrose secured a total of 630 international wickets: 405 in Test matches and 225 in ODIs.
- His bowling average in Test cricket was around 20.99, and in ODIs, it was approximately 24.12.
- Curtly Ambrose’s career was the first bowler from the West Indies to take 400 wickets in Test cricket.
Curtly Ambrose’s bowling style was special and fascinating. The cricket ball he bowled could move in interesting ways. Sometimes it would swing in the air or move away suddenly, making it hard for batters to know where it was going.
Curtly height was 6 feet 8 inches (203 cm), which allowed him to deliver powerful bouncers, making the cricket ball bounce high off the pitch and challenge the batsmen.
However, what made Ambrose really special wasn’t just how good he was at cricket, but how calm he stayed. He had a quiet kind of strength that showed in the way he played. He didn’t need to say much; his performance on the field said it all.
Ambrose played a pivotal role in the West Indies cricket team during the 1990s. His contributions were instrumental in helping his team achieve a memorable victory in the 1995 Test series against Australia.
- Glenn McGrath secured a total of 944 international wickets: 563 in Test matches and 381 in ODIs.
- His bowling average in Test cricket was around 21.64, and in ODIs, it was approximately 22.02.
- Glenn holds a record for getting the most batters out as a fast bowler in Test cricket.
Glenn McGrath was really good at bowling accurately. He made the ball move exactly how he wanted. Batters had a hard time hitting his deliveries.
This shows he was very skilled. He helped his team, Australia, win a lot with his wicket-taking ability. In short, Glenn McGrath was all about accuracy and taking wickets, and he’s remembered as a cricket legend for that.
He was awarded best performer in the ICC World Cup 2007 because he was the leading wicket-taker with 26 wickets. Glenn McGrath’s memorable match was during the 2005 Ashes series, where he took nine wickets in the Edgbaston Test, contributing significantly to Australia’s victory.
McGrath’s impact wasn’t just about numbers; it’s how he changed the game and earned respect from players and fans all over.
- Richard Hadlee secured a total of 589 international wickets: 431 in Test matches and 158 in ODIs.
- His bowling average in Test cricket was around 22.29, and in ODIs, it was approximately 21.56.
- First player to reach 400 test wickets and also holds the record for most Test wickets when he retired.
Richard Hadlee was a cricket legend, known for his brilliant bowling. He had this amazing ability to make the ball move in tricky ways. Batters found it tough to figure out his deliveries. He was smart too, adjusting his bowling to different situations.
He inspired bowlers to be smart and skillful. His impact on the game and the way he made the ball talk remain unforgettable. He was an important part of the New Zealand teams that won the Cricket World Cups in 1987 and 1992.
One of his standout games was in 1985 when he took 9 wickets in an innings against Australia. This was a remarkable feat that showed his skill. He also played a crucial role in New Zealand’s first-ever Test series win against England in 1983.
- Dale Steyn secured a total of 699 international wickets: 439 in Test matches,196 in ODIs, and 64 in T20.
- His bowling average in Test cricket was around 22.95, in ODIs it is 25.95, and in T20 it is 18.35.
- He is South Africa’s all-time leading wicket-taker in Test cricket.
Dale Steyn was like a hurricane on the cricket field, known for his incredible pace and ability to swing the ball. Steyn’s ability to generate high pace while also being able to swing the ball both ways made him a threat to batsmen.
Dale Steyn had an intense and aggressive on-field. Steyn’s passion for the game and his determination to win often showed in his celebrations and interactions with opposition players. His performances in Test cricket were especially remarkable. He holds the record for being South Africa’s all-time leading wicket-taker in Tests, showing his consistency and effectiveness over a long career.
Steyn was undoubtedly one of the legendary fast bowlers but his career was plagued by injuries, which limited the number of matches he could play and sometimes affected his performance.
- Waqar Younis secured a total of 699 international wickets: 789 in Test matches, and 416 in ODIs.
- His bowling average in Test cricket was around 23.56, in ODIs it is 23.84.
- He is the fastest bowler to take 400 wickets in ODIs.
Waqar Younis, a legendary Pakistani cricketer, is renowned for his deadly pace, swing, and mastery of reverse swing. Born on November 16, 1971, in Vehari, Punjab, Waqar emerged as one of the fiercest fast bowlers in cricket history.
Waqar’s career was marked by his mastery of reverse swing, a technique he and his partner-in-crime Wasim Akram perfected. His toe-crushing yorkers and slower deliveries often left batsmen in a tangle.
Waqar’s most iconic moment came during the 1992 Cricket World Cup, where he played a pivotal role in Pakistan’s victory. His partnership with Wasim Akram formed a deadly duo that dismantled opposition batting line-ups.
An essential part of Pakistan’s cricketing history, Waqar reached the pinnacle of success by becoming the youngest bowler to take 400 wickets in Test cricket at that time. His insights and understanding of the game continue to influence the next generation of cricketers.
- Courtney Walsh secured a total of 746 international wickets: 519 in Test matches, and 227 in ODIs.
- His bowling average in Test cricket was around 24.44, in ODIs it is 30.47.
- First bowler to take 500 wickets in Test cricket.
Courtney Walsh is undoubtedly one of the all-time great fast bowlers and has left a lasting legacy. He is remembered as one of the most respected and effective fast bowlers to have graced the game
Standing at 6 feet 6 inches tall, Walsh’s physical presence was matched by his exceptional bowling. Making his debut for the West Indies in 1984, His impressive career lasted nearly two decades. Known for his line and length, Walsh’s ability to bowl bouncer from even the flattest pitches set him apart.
Beyond the numbers, Walsh’s legacy is defined by his sportsmanship and leadership. He led the West Indies as captain during a challenging period of transition and rebuilding. After retiring from international cricket, Walsh continued to contribute to the game as a coach and mentor, passing on his knowledge and experiences to the next generation of fast bowlers.
Courtney Walsh’s impact on cricket goes beyond the statistics. He remains a symbol of determination, humility, and excellence. His name is forever associated with the rich history of West Indian cricket and the legacy of fast bowling.
Conclusion for Greatest Fast Bowler
Wrapping up our exploration of the legendary fast bowlers in cricket history, a few more legendary names deserve recognition: James Anderson; celebrated for his swing mastery; Imran Khan, whose leadership and bowling led Pakistan to victories; Shane Bond, known for his lightning pace also is fastest bowler in cricket.
These amazing players have added their special touch to the exciting world of fast bowling, making the sport we love even better.