Top 10 Fast Bowlers Of All Time #9: Dennis Lillee

From the country which dominated world cricket for over a decade, in the years when fast bowling was a battle hard fought and every batsman’s nightmare did not stop just with the Caribbean bowlers, it went on, and from Australia emerged one of the world’s finest fast bowlers of all time, Dennis Lillee. One mistake or a slight nick is what every bowler aimed and wanted to send the batsman packing. Lillee was a natural match winner and several factors contributed for his immense success in all forms of the game. The rivalry and fight for the Ashes became more intense after the emergence of the Aussie pace demon who is now considered a legend of the game.

Fearsome and Fast, and Possessing Eyes Which Never Gave Up-Dennis Lillee

The Ashes was the pet bunny for the man who made his debut in the 1970-71 Ashes sixth test and picked up a 5-84. One of the few bowlers to have picked up a five wicket haul on debut, from then on Lillee’s fives were incomplete without wicketkeeper Rodney Marsh. The Marsh-Lillee combination still stands to be the most powerful for to have produced 95 catches from 69 matches, definitely more than the combo of Adam Gilchrist and Glenn McGrath. Lillee’s success lay in the basics, whenever he took guard, just like any other fast bowler, he stayed longer for the battle and even in the worst situations, he produced the best and proved for the first time then that bowlers too can be match-winners.

A Natural Match Winner

DK’s fame in the Ashes is endless, for he had no reason whatsoever to spare the English batsmen. Considered one of the most genuine fast bowlers to have made the best use of the pitch conditions and providing the right balance between pace and bounce, DK specialized in hard pitches and dry-bouncy tracks which were a bonus to him. There were only few who stood tall and strong against DK, but runs were limited like streetlights on broken roads, his low economy as low as 2.75 proves that. DK made a difference even on slow tracks, his sharp cutters that fooled 11 Englishmen in a test match will stand as an example for young bowlers of Melbourne. In an era when Australia dominated World Cricket, DK meant endurance and that’s how he ripped apart the world-XI batting and buried them for a meager 59.

There was more power in the eyes of DK which he used along side his pace. There was more a statement than a question when he appealed for LBW. His finger pointing OUT made the umpires perplexed with the direction of the ball and its way to the stumps. If there were any doubts on the line and length at which DK could bowl, one must have a look at the picture below.

A Hallmark Of Confidence

DK bowling with 9 slips.Yeah come Australia and its all there-DK’s clash with Javid Miandad still remains grey like mysteries of every history. But for Australians, sledging is a form of cricket and why would DK be an exception.

I think the best moment I had on tour was when I managed to get through a day of bowling and had absolutely no problem from my back injury – I suppose it might have been partly psychological but, from that time, everything went right and I had no injury troubles for the rest of the time we were in England.“-DK on one of the English Tests.

Dennis Lillee’s insights into cricket surely marks him as one of the smartest cricketers of Australia. Not many cricketers get a chance to play along side their sons, DK did alongside his son Adam, and how proud would that made him! In this generation of quick-fix, Lillee inspires a lot of young bowlers who try to learn the art of fast bowling which is truly a man’s thing.

Read #10: Malcolm Marshall here

Looking for fast live cricket scores? Download CricRocket and get fast score updates, top-notch commentary in-depth match stats & much more! 🚀☄️

App download animated image Get the free App now