Create
Notifications

Top 10 Australian bowlers of all time

L
Lyon's journey has been anything but a cakewalk
Chaitanya Halgekar

Unarguably the best side since the turn of the century, Australia dominated the world riding on the sterling performances delivered by their bowlers. The bowling pairs of Lillee-Thomson and McGrath-Warne pulverized batsmen from all nations and allowed Australia to stamp their supremacy.

Over the years, the nation has produced several incredible bowlers who have left their mark with their sensational bowling. But who among them are Australia's best bowlers?

Here, we look at the top ten bowlers produced by Australia.


#10. Nathan Lyon

Australia's most successful spin bowler after Shane Warne, Nathan Lyon has gone through a massive transformation in the last few years. From being an Adelaide Oval groundstaff in 2010, he has become an essential member of Australia's Test team in 2017.

However, the journey has been anything but a cakewalk.

In 2011, Lyon broke into the national team as a spinner who could bowl few overs to boost the over rate and allow the pacers to rest before the new ball is available. But, the 29-year-old improved significantly and became a force to reckon with.

His recent heroics in the Asian conditions has made him one of Australia's best spinners ever and with a tally of 269 wickets in 69 Tests at an average of 31.83, the off-spinner has inked his name in the history books.

#9. Jason Gillespie

Gillespie featured in only 71 Tests and 97 ODIs
Gillespie featured in only 71 Tests and 97 ODIs

With his towering presence and ability to pitch the ball in the right areas, Jason Gillespie combined with Glen McGrath to create one of Australia's best bowling pairs ever.

Gillespie was constantly in and out of Austalia's team because of the frequent injuries he picked, but even then. he emerged as one of the finest bowlers produced by Australia. He was the one who excelled in performing the 'dirty job' of bowling long spells in tough conditions to keep the batsmen quiet.

Gillespie featured in only 71 Tests and 97 ODIs but has under his belt more than 400 international wickets.

#8. Craig McDermott

<p>A highly under-rated bowler, he finished his career with 291 Test wickets and 203 ODI wickets
A highly under-rated bowler, he finished his career with 291 Test wickets and 203 ODI wickets

At Perth in 1991, England were well-placed at 191 for 2 and it looked certain that the visitors will put up a mammoth score on the board, but from nowhere, Craig McDermott struck.

England panicked and were bundled out for 244 runs. McDermott picked eight wickets in that game and single-handedly demolished the Three Lions.

The right-arm bowler wasn't as fast as Thomson, wasn't as big a crowd puller as Lille and wasn't as accurate as McGrath, but he had a textbook out-swinger that could turn the fate of the game in no time.

A highly under-rated bowler, he finished his career with 291 Test wickets and 203 ODI wickets. However, he is best remembered for his onslaught against England.

In 17 Tests, he picked 84 wickets against Australia's arch rivals.

#7. Mitchell Johnson

Johnson finished his career with 313 Test wickets and 239 ODI wickets
Johnson finished his career with 313 Test wickets and 239 ODI wickets

Mitchell Johnson wasn't a consistent bowler at first and frequent injury issues and his inability to convert potential into performance plagued his career.

But when on song, he was arguably the most destructive bowler.

His left-arm bowling was pacy, accurate and had plenty of swing. England and South Africa, unfortunately, had to face him during his peak in 2013/14 and the statistics reveal the impact Johnson created.

Against these two teams, in eight Tests, during that period, the Aussie pacer claimed 59 wickets at an average of 15.23 and picked a wicket every 32.01 balls.

Apart from those two series, Johnson was an effective bowler throughout his career and among the Aussie pacers with more than 150 Test wickets, he has the best strike rate. (51.1).

Johnson finished his career with 313 Test wickets and 239 ODI wickets in 140 and 150 innings respectively.

#6. Brett Lee

In 76 Tests, Lee picked 310 wickets and in 227 ODIs, he has 380 wickets
In 76 Tests, Lee picked 310 wickets and in 227 ODIs, he has 380 wickets

Australia's leading wicket-taker in the ODIs, Brett Lee was as lethal as a fast-bowler could be. His trademark 'chainsaw celebration' is as famous as his clean and effective bowling action.

One of Lee's major achievements is his swift transformation from Tests to ODIs. He is one of the only five Aussie bowlers to have more than 300 Test wickets and the only second Aussie bowler to reach the mark of 300 wickets in ODI cricket.

Lee was Australia's leading wicket-taker in the 2003 World Cup with 22 wickets and was the man-of-the series during the Border-Gavaskar Trophy in 2007/08 against India.

In 76 Tests, Lee picked 310 wickets and in 227 ODIs, he has 380 wickets. His economy of 4.76 in ODIs demonstrates his accuracy and his control over pace.

#5. Jeff Thomson

Thomson left his mark courtesy of his accuracy and aggressive attitude
Thomson left his mark courtesy of his accuracy and aggressive attitude

Few bowlers in cricket have bowled faster than Jeff Thomson. With an action that terrorized the batsmen, Thomson clocked speeds that were too hot to handle for the batsmen. His action which aided his pace took a heavy toll on his body and resulted in frequent injuries.

But despite the injuries, Thomson left his mark courtesy of his accuracy and aggressive attitude. He wrecked England and West Indies during the 1974/75 and 1975/76 season and joined Denis Lillee to form one of the most feared bowling pairs in Test cricket.

He finished with 200 wickets in 51 Tests at an average of 28.00 and he claimed a wicket every nine overs.

#4. Charlie Turner

Cha
Charlie Turner (middle row, first from right)

Those who saw Charlie Turner bowl, regard him as one of the finest bowlers in Test cricket and those who faced his bowling, feel he had no competition.

Nicknamed as 'Terror', he took 101 wickets in 17 Tests at an average of 16.53. He claimed a wicket every nine overs and leaked less than two runs in every over. Very few bowlers have better statistics in Tests than Turner.

In his debut inning against England in 1887, Turner took six wickets to pulverize England. England were all out for 45 runs, their lowest total against Australia to date.

#3. Dennis Lillee

Dennis Lillee Statue Unveiled at the MCG
Dennis Lillee statue at the MCG

Dennis Lillee had the pace to threaten the batsmen, the stamina to bowl like a work-horse, the attitude to dominate the opposition and the charisma to pull crowds. No wonder he finished his career as the leading wicket-taker of his time.

For more than a decade, Lille opened Australia's bowling attack and claimed 355 wickets in 70 Tests. His 31 wickets in the 1972 Ashes series demonstrated his abilities and in 1981, he reduced the mighty West Indies to a pulp by claiming seven wickets in an innings.

Lilee was undoubtedly a genuine 'match-winner' on whom the captain always relied and the crowds always focused their eyes on.

#2. Glenn McGrath

McGrath ended with 563 Test wickets in 243 innings and 380 wickets in 247 ODI innings
McGrath ended with 563 Test wickets in 243 innings and 380 wickets in 247 ODI innings

Glenn McGrath demonstrated the effectiveness of accuracy and patience in cricket. His habit of bowling in the same channel over after over without losing steam, tormented batsmen across the world.

The Aussie bowler's height allowed him to generate awkward bounce while his smooth action injected speed. This combination coupled with his temperament and the skill to read the pitch quickly made McGrath successful in all conditions and on all surfaces.

His sheer genius lied in his ability to trouble even the best of the batsmen. Brian Lara and Sachin Tendulkar, the top two batsmen of that era have spoken highly about the pace bowler's abilities.

McGrath became the first pace bowler to reach 500 Test wickets and played a vital role in Australia's several successful Ashes campaigns and in other Test series wins. He was the leading wicket-taker in the 2007 World Cup and is Australia's best pace bowler ever.

He ended with 563 Test wickets in 243 innings and 380 wickets in 247 ODI innings. His economy rate of 3.87 in ODIs is highly impressive and he also gave less than 22 runs for the every wicket he picked.

#1. Shane Warne

In Tests, he has 37 five-wicket hauls, the most by an Aussie bowler
In Tests, he has 37 five-wicket hauls, the most by an Aussie bowler

The greatest leg-spinner the world has ever seen, Shane Warne turned the ball massively, had immaculate control over his lengths and variations and had a sharp mind that kept him ahead of the batsman. Courtesy of all these skills, it comes as no surprise that he ended up with 700 Test wickets and 293 ODI wickets.

In Tests, he has 37 five-wicket hauls, the most by an Aussie bowler.

The massive turn Warne produced resulted in several of his deliveries being hailed as 'ball of the century,' with the one he bowled to Mike Gatting in 1993 generating a widespread acclaim.

Although Warne's Test career blossomed more than his ODI career, his spell in the semi-finals of the 1999 World Cup against South Africa is regarded as one of the best ODI performances ever.

With mastery over his art, the leg-spinner became a decisive member of the Australian team that dominated world cricket.

He was instrumental in Australia's overseas Test victories in Sri Lanka, India, and England during the 2000's.

Edited by Sankalp Srivastava

Comments

Quick Links:

More from Sportskeeda
Fetching more content...