Right from Wes Hall to Jeff Thomson to Richard Hadlee to the Caribbean Quartet to Wasim and Waqar, world cricket has over the years seen its fair share of fierce fast bowlers, who loved nothing but intimidating the batsman every time they had the ball in their hand. Although the numbers of those kinds of bowlers have reduced in modern day cricket, there are still a few who could give those stalwarts a run for their money. Here’s a look at 5 of the meanest fastest bowlers going around currently.
1. Dale Steyn
Modern day fast bowlers don’t get too much better than Dale Steyn. The South African, who has an action heavily influenced by his idol, Allan Donald, is as complete a bowler as one can imagine. Pace, movement, variations and a mean bouncer, he is a batsman’s ultimate nightmare. Steyn’s biggest strength is that he finds a way to pick wickets, whatever the conditions are like. Be it in England, South Africa, Australia or even in the subcontinent, there has been no territory left unconquered by the genius of Dale Steyn.
That spell of 7-51 against India at Nagpur was an exhibition of controlled reverse-swing bowling at pace. That spell at Cape Town against India when he breathed fire, but was impeccably negotiated by Sachin Tendulkar, was among the best passages of play one could ever witness.
340 wickets in 67 tests at an average of 22 with a strike rate of 41. You can’t ask for much more from your lead fast bowler, can you?
Erratic. Inconsistent. Over-rated. These are adjectives one often comes across while hearing others describe Mitchell Johnson. But, when he gets it right, watching Johnson bowl is an exhilarating experience, as we saw during the first Ashes test in Brisbane.
The Johnson of now, after making a comeback, is a much sharper bowler, and he’s added a good deal of pace to what we saw before. With the assistance of good planning and good captaincy, Johnson can be an asset, as he was in Brisbane. Most of his wickets were got by beating the batsmen through sheer pace
214 test wickets. 207 ODI Wickets. ICC Player of the Year in 2009. Slowly but surely, the Mitchell Johnson that we all enjoyed watching has got back, and got back with a bang!