Top 5 greatest fast bowlers of all time
Fast bowling is quite possibly the most exciting thing in the game of cricket. It is an adrenaline-pumping and enjoyable aspect of the game which keeps the spectators occupied and delights them. It is always fun to see the ball hurled at over 90 miles per hour at the batsmen, though it might not be as enjoyable for the batsman himself. Still, fast bowling is not about raw pace only. It is also about accuracy and outwitting the batsman.
Over the decades, cricket has been graced by some great fast bowlers who have enthralled us with their pace, accuracy and guile. The list of great fast bowlers is really long and it is not easy to choose the top 5 from such a long list. Still, we have managed to come up with our top 5 and would like to take a look at them:
5. Wasim Akram (Pakistan)
There has probably never been a cricketer as talented as Wasim Akram. He had all the attributes a great cricketer should have. Moreover, he was quite possibly the most versatile fast bowler of all time. He could swing the ball both ways, could bowl with an upright seam, was quick enough and had a lethal yorker. He was a great exponent of the reverse swing also and could be deadly with the old ball.
Akram’s record speaks for itself. He took 414 wickets in 104 test matches at an average of 23. His strike rate was just a shade below 55. Akram also took 502 ODI wickets, the highest by a fast bowler. Akram was able to maintain an economy rate below 4 throughout his ODI career.
He performed superbly in all conditions and on every kind of surface. He destroyed England in their own backyard with his superb swing bowling, pinned down West Indies in West Indies with his guile and accuracy, troubled Australia in Australia with his raw pace and bounce and remained a champion bowler on his home turf. Akram was diagnosed with diabetes at the age of 30 but he continued to play till the age of 37. He reduced his run-up and depended more upon his accuracy and experience in the latter part of his career. He was also a great sight to look at and had a smooth, effortless bowling action