“Cricket is a batsman’s game” and for the most part this statement seems correct, the fans drool over the massive sixes, the elegant fours and great strokes made by the batsman. But it is the competition between the bat and ball that makes this game truly entertaining. The toe crushing Yorkers, the jaw breaking Bouncers, the unplayable swings and the absolute jaffa deliveries are some of the most exciting parts of the game. Without the heat between the batsman and bowler the game will become dull. It is actually the bowler who does more hard work, makes the team win matches and produce those exciting moments for the fans to truly live. Here is our list for the best bowlers in the cricketing history.
10. Malcolm Marshall
The first Caribbean superstar who created a sensation in the cricketing world. Malcolm Marshall was certainly one of the most complete fast bowler in the history of the game, known mainly for his sheer speeds and his skills to swing the bowl both ways without much variation in the hand which made unrest in the minds of the batsman. Malcolm Marshall has a total of 376 scalps in just 81 tests to his name with an economy of 2.68 and average of just 20.9. He also picked 157 wickets in 136 odi he played.
9. Waqar Younis
Waqar Younis, a former Pakistani legend created an outrageous impact in the cricket, known as the toe crushing sultan, Waqar was famous for his toe crushing Yorkers. His blazing speeds and great accuracy, the control over swing made him unplayable for even the greatest batsman of that generation. Waqar Younis was a great bowler of both the Test (took 373 wicket in 87 tests @23.56) and Odi (416 wickets in 262 odi at economy of 4.69.
8. Joel Garner
The Big Bird, Joel Garner was a tall man standing at 6ft 8inches created a sense of fear among the batsman. Like Malcolm Marshall, Joel Garner was also a sensational Caribbean talent, due to his height he was able to generate extra bounce and movements. In just a short career he made a big name for himself by taking 259 test wickets in just 58 test matches @20.98 and he played 98 odi and took 146 wickets at an economy of just 3.1.
7. James Anderson
James Anderson, the longest career for a fast bowler ever, his longevity is just out of this world. He has performed in the international stage from so long and is still wreaking havoc on the oppositions. He hold the record for most test wickets by any fast bowler and also holds the record for most deliveries bowled by a fast bowled. Jimmy Anderson is a master of swing, in overcast conditions his deliveries become unplayable. In 165 tests he has picked 630 wickets @26.52 and in 194 odi he took 269 wickets at an economy rate of 4.92.
6. Dale Steyn
The Steyn Gun, Dale Steyn was like a machine with stealth as a Tiger. He was the perfect fast bowler with a bit of aggression, sheer speed, most beautiful action and an intimidating attitude. Dale Steyn was the worst nightmare for the oppositions, fastest to take 400 test wickets, The Steyn Gun also holds the record for longest time as the no.1 test bowler ever (2343 days) a record which is near impossible to break. If not for his injury prone body, he was sure to be the greatest that the world has ever seen. He bagged 439 wickets in just 93 test matches (highest strike rate for 100+ wickets) @22.9 with 196 wickets in 125odi @4.87 economy rate.
5. Curtly Ambrose
The last member of the Caribbean Trinity and also the most feared one. Curtly Ambrose a 6ft 7inches tall intimidating former Caribbean speedster. With his gigantic height and quick speed he bowled unplayable deliveries and hold the record for the most dot balls ever balled. Due to the extra bounce and sheer speeds of his deliveries, batsman preferred to be on the non-striker’s end. In just 98 test he took 405 wicket @21.0 and 225 wickets in 176 odi @3.48 economy rate.
4. Wasim Akram
The Sultan of Swing, the biggest Pakistani Superstar, an idol for many and a legend of the game. Judging by his title you can guess, he was the king of swing and is also given the credit for developing and mastering the art of reverse swing. Wasim Akram had total control on his deliveries with quick speed, rocket precision accuracy and the art of swing. The pair of Wasim and Waqar the two W’s formed solid partnership together. Wasim Akram in his long and decorated career took 414 test wickets in 104 matches and astonishing 502 odi wickets in 356 matches.
3. Glenn Mcgrath
The pigeon, proved that blazing speeds is not the only factor that makes a fast bowler successful.
Mcgrath was a bowling machine, he is considered as the most accurate and consistent bowler to ever play the game. He also holds the record for the most wickets taken by any fast bowler and also the record for most wicket taken in world cups. He was also a big match player and completely dominated almost every great batsman of his generation. In 145 tests he picked 563 wickets with 381 odi wickets in 250 game that he played.
2. Shane Warne
The greatest leg spinner to ever play the game of cricket, Shane Warne was in a league of his own. Warnie was a genius who produced the ball of the century that spun more than any normal spin delivery. He was amongst the greats who made cricket worth watching. Though a leg spinner, he had the attitude of a fast bowler, he was an absolute superstar of the game and still the biggest inspiration for any leg spinner in the world. In 145 tests he got staggering 708 wickets, he also got 293 wickets in 194 odi that he played.
1. Muttiah Muralitharan
The silent assassin and the highest wicket-taker in the history of the game. Muttiah Muralitharan is a Sri-Lankan legend who is widely regarded as the greatest spinner to ever play the game. Murali used to pick wickets in a bunch and acted like it was no big deal for him. He produced various variations in his bowling and was said to bowl a different delivery each time that left the batsman puzzled. Murali picked a tally of staggering 800 wickets (highest ever) in just 133 tests @22.7 and again an astonishing 534 wickets (highest ever) in just 350 odi.
This is our list for the greatest cricket bowlers of all time. Note that, this list based on the opinion of our cricketing experts and fans and we are sorry if we hurt you sentiments by not including your favorite bowler in the list. Make sure to share your list with us, and contact us for any queries/suggestions.