Cricket is a batsman’s game, every one knows that; but there were few bowlers who made it theirs by being aggressive and who induced fear in batsmen. These bowlers ran in hard, bowled fast and made batsmen face chin music. There are a few bowlers who remain in the all time fast bowlers list.
The most prolific fast bowler of all times, Lillee has been Australia’s premium fast bowlers. He picked up 355 wickets at an average of 23 in Tests. He was known as player who would do anything to win. He had a never-say-die attitude and was a favorite among Australian crowds. Though he suffered from injuries, he made a comeback later in his career to be the highest wicket taker by the time he retired.
2. Malcolm Marshall
This fast bowler from West Indies has been one of the many quicks that the country has produced. Though he was shorter in height than many other fast bowlers of his era, he was extremely quick and his average is the best (20.94) for a bowler who has taken more than 200 wickets.
3. Michael Holding
“The whispering death” as he was fondly called in his playing days was one of the quickest bowlers to have ever played the game. He was partnered by other quick bowlers like Andy Roberts and Joel Garner. He has picked up 249 wickets in Tests at, an average of 23.45. He deserves a place in this elite list for his exploits.
4. Dale Steyn
Currently the world’s best bowler, Dale has been a thorn in his opponents’ flesh whenever he came to bowl. He has always bowled quick with very good control and that made him more terrifying. His impeccable line and length with raw pace and swing makes him one of the most feared bowlers of his era.
5. Jeff Thompson
The bowler from Australia is known as the fastest bowler Australia has ever produced. His partnership with Dennis Lillee was well-known and theirs was one of the most fearsome bowling pair ever. He was rated ahead of bowlers like Michael Holding and Imran Khan. Rod Marsh, the Australian wicket keeper has claimed that Thompson bowled at almost 180 km/h though there are no records to prove his claim.
6. Shoaib Akthar
Technically the bowler to have bowled over 160 km/h twice, Shoaib Akthar was a terrific bowler in his playing days.He has competed against batsmen like Waugh, Ponting, Lara, Tendulkar, Sehwag and has bowled some terrific deliveries. He was known for his speed more than anything else.Though he had a suspicious round-arm action, he was cleared to play and became one of the most terrifying quicks the game has ever seen.
7. Brett Lee
The quick bowler from Australia was a typical fast bowler who ran in hard and fast and exerted his full strength into the delivery. He is know
n to be the quickest bowler of Australia after Jeff Thompson and Shaun Tait.
8. Joel Garner
One of the pace bowlers of the pace bowling quartet of West Indies, Joel Garner was both fast and effective picking up 259 wickets with an average of less than 21. His bowling average in ODIs is also an impressive 18 making him one of the better fast bowlers to have played the game.
9. Courtney Walsh
The most successful bowler of all time for West Indies, this bowler has got the most number of wickets by a fast bowler during his time and has the record for the most number of Test wickets till Murali over took him. He was successful in ODIs too, picking up more than 200 wickets and he is one among the greatest fast bowlers of all time.
10. Andy Roberts
Another of the pace bowling quartet, Andy Roberts was a terrific bowler who used to work up good speeds and had a very good action claiming more than 200 Test wickets and about 90 wickets in ODIs. Though I’ve mentioned only 10 of the fast bowlers and this is only my choice there are other bowlers who were equally lethal though they couldn’t make this list with above bowlers. Notable omissions include Shaun Tait, Charlie Griffith, Wesley Hall, Imran Khan, Sylvester Clarke, Colin Croft, Curtley Ambrose, Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis among others.Published 21 Sep 2012, 18:49 IST