We're going back now, right back to the earliest days of Test cricket. Undoubtedly, one of them, if not both, would make our list? In the 1972 Ashes series, he took 31 wickets while he demolished the West Indies team in 1981 when he claimed seven wickets in one inning. He averaged at 16.79 in Test wins, which meant a robust Allan Donald performance near guaranteed a South African Test win. Add to this the 273 wickets and 11,000-plus runs in ODI cricket, and we have a true all-time great. He not only has the best strike rate among the trio, but also has an average below 23 and an overall average of 27.47 against the Aussies while playing against them. However, it is important to note while statistics do uncover more than they reveal, they are not everything when it comes to judging a player. Lastly, we have Dale Steyn. The bowlers we would look for here are Sir Richard Hadlee, Dennis Lillee and Imran Khan. A deep statistical analysis to find the five best fast bowlers of all time in Tests. His average was 22.29 and his economy rate 2.63. ICC Cricket ranking of teams, batsmen, bowler and all - rounder.Get latest ICC cricket ranking of ODI, Test matches, T20 and ICC rankings of batsmen, bowler and all-rounder. His best bowling averages were: 19 in South Africa, 23 in New Zealand, 23 in the UAE and 24 in England. Now, we can get into the more exciting stuff and probably one of the most important metrics- the average. Akram's average improved to 24 in Tests played in Australia. His test bowling average is 35.60 with an economy rate of 3.21. So the last spot would be taken up by either Joel Garner or Curtly Ambrose. Dale Stay epitomises fast bowling, and his stats speak for himself. While he was a superior bowler at home, his strike rate was still an incredible 43.8 away from home. His incredible statistics put him in contention for a top 5 spot. Was Akram really that good? ICC Best-Ever Test Championship Rating. He dispelled the myth that bowling fast on dusty tracks in the blazing heat was possible and lucrative. His overall overseas strike rate, however, was 47.2 which is impressive. Shaun pollock is considered one of the best ever bowlers playing for South Africa. Trent Boult became just the third bowler to reach 250 test cricket wickets for New Zealand in Sri Lanka on Friday. That system judges players by their all-time peak score—the highest ranking achieved at the height of their best form. Although he didn't have an overwhelmingly illustrious career, his most successful year came in 1998. Records includes the following current or recent matches: Australia v India at Sydney, ICC … In the course of nearly 14 decades of Test cricket, only two bowlers have claimed all ten wickets in an innings. He died tragically young, at the age of 41 from cancer. For the said analysis, we would primarily look at two critical metrics for a bowler, the average and the strike rate. He played as Australia’ opening bowler for longer than a decade and Australia’ match-winner of the time. Ambrose took over the West Indian bowling attack from the famed quartet of Marshall, Garner, Colin Craft and Sir Andy Roberts. He played in what is generally regarded as one of the greatest Test teams of all time. Were the West Indian quartet really that lethal? In an era where a plethora of world-class batsman emerged in Test Cricket, McGrath averaged nearly 20 during 2000-2009, which demonstrated his class. This list is, arguably, a better reflection of the top ten compared to the batsmen. Now we have just one spot left. However, when it came to Australia, he struggled with an average of close to 37 in 13 Tests. In the six Tests that he played in Asia, Ambrose averaged 22.50. When it comes to stats only, he's quite possibly the greatest ever. As a fast bowler, he took 405 Test … This alone puts him in a class of his own. What is most impressive about Ambrose is that usually, pacers show a decline in statistics towards the end of their careers. There is no better sight in world cricket than a big burly fast bowler steaming in and delivering a peach at 140 km per hour. Out of the current pool, Jimmy Anderson has the highest Test wickets (584) over 151 Test matches, which is an indicator of incredible longevity. But who makes the best five among this fierce and fast group? Waqar Younis has the best strike rate for a fast bowler after Steyn (qualification: minimum 50 Test matches). Now that we have the basic stats to look at, we can begin narrowing down our top 5. Lock took 174 wickets at an average of 25.58. Strike rate is significant as fast bowlers bowl short spells in Test Cricket. Like all great bowlers, McGrath did better overseas than at home. bass guitar in fellow West Indian star Richie Richardson's band. Anderson's long-time bowling partner, Stuart Broad, averages 28.50 in Test matches, which also puts him out of contention for the Top 5. Based on stats alone, Malcolm Marshall takes one of the top 5 slots because of his outstanding average and strike rate. Creating a ‘Best Bowlers of All Time’ list isn’t easy. Barnes is credited as one of the first bowlers who managed to take the bounce of the new ball and combine it with swing. Sydney Barnes is regarded by many as the best ever and the ICC all-time rankings agree. Best known for his probing line outside off stump, McGrath was a once in a lifetime quick and is still one of the most-loved players to ever grace the game, even if most England fans remember him with dread. Players make the all-time list by sustaining excellent form over a prolonged period. Like all great bowlers, McGrath did better overseas than at home. Shaun Pollock is a right arm medium fast bowler who played for South Africa from 1995 to 2008. Without a doubt, Richard Hadlee is one of the greatest Test bowlers of all time and merits the #5 spot on our list of the greatest bowlers of all time. A super all-rounder who inspired a generation of quicks. A third West Indian bowler rounds up our top 3. Only one left-armer makes our list in the form of Wasim Akram. His best figures during an innings are 7/27 against the West Indies in 1999 and he is one of only five New Zealand bowlers to take more than 200 wickets at international Test match level. He also had a good hand in batting and was a good all-rounder during his time. Dennis Lillee was the best bowler and wicket-taker of his time. Curtly Ambrose takes the number 1 spot of top 10 best bowlers of all time. So there it is, somehow and someway, I have managed to make a list of 6 out of these 16 incredible legends. The bowlers we would look for here are Sir Richard Hadlee, Dennis Lillee and Imran Khan. These stats put Anderson a world away from most bowlers on this list, many of whom performed equally well overseas. Jimmy Anderson has the most wickets of any bowler on this list, but he averages nearly 34 overseas which automatically puts him out of contention. In our opinion, McGrath was the all-time best fast bowler in terms of "using the no Ball". He managed to play for over a decade, though, and all the lovers of fast bowling will always list Waqar as one of their favourites. He strolled out to the crease and batted one-handed to allow his teammate Larry Gomes to bring up a ton. His average against England was superb, but his stats do not match up with either Khan or Hadlee. Not only is Younis the third highest ODI wicket-taker of all time, but he is also the fastest bowler to reach 300, 350 and 400 career wickets. Afridi took 5 wickets once in test cricket. The ratings shown are the highest points totals these players have attained and no player is allowed to appear on the list more than once. Allan Donald did not fare as badly against the mighty Aussies, averaging a little over 30 against them. There are dozens of factors and criteria that can be used to determine a player’s quality, such as career earnings, annual earnings, tournaments won, tournaments placed, career average, tournaments cashed relative to tournaments bowled, and on, and on… Some say he is the greatest to ever spin a ball, while his action, the result of a birth defect, drew huge scrutiny, particularly in Australia. Finally, a modern-day great in the form of Dale Steyn makes this list as well. Let's look at Ambrose first: he took over 400 Test wickets at an average of under 21, while bowling at an average of under 22 against Australia. Feel free to let me know who you would have in your list of top 5 Test fast bowlers of all time. Many will say Glenn McGrath is finest bowler to ever live and many will agree. Against Australia, the best team of the era, Steyn struck at an impressive average of 46.2. Although his performances against Pakistan and South Africa were excellent, he will have to be out of contention. He carried the England team for many years and his self-confidence ensured that even when his career plunged into controversy, as it did on many an occasion, he would always somehow find his way back. Now we can move on to the strike rate, which is another crucial metric to determine who belongs in the top 5. His away average totalled 23, and he also performed very well against the third-best side of that generation, Pakistan. Yes, we know, wickets were very different back then, but those stats remain outstanding. Shaun Pollock, one of the top 10 greatest bowlers of all time. The strike rate of a bowler is the number of balls bowled before taking a wicket. Now, what about the three South Africans - Allan Donald, Dale Steyn and Shaun Pollock? With such spikes in form, it's perhaps no surprise that the ranking system has put him on the list. The lack of cricket right now has hit all cricket lovers very hard but while we wait for cricket to restart, why not have a look at the five best fast bowlers of all time in Test cricket? Against the famed Windies of the '70s and '80s, Khan averaged 21.18 which is impressive. It is always great fun to watch the fast bowler at his best especially in a Test match as he does not have a limited quota of overs as compared to the limited overs cricket. Malcolm Marshall, Mr. Twinkle Toes, was one of the finest fast bowlers to ever live. He was another West Indian pacer, who like Garner, averaged better overseas than at home. Top 10 Greatest English Bowlers of All Time In the recently concluded Test Series against New Zealand, James Anderson became the 4th English Bowler to take 300 Test Wickets and most recently he became leading Wicket-Taker for England in ODI’s. Garner was phenomenal in England and New Zealand. 20. The team of Curtly Ambrose's generation faced competition from the mighty Australians as the power of the West Indies began to wane during this period. Could one of them possibly have a chance here? 86 Tests, 431 wickets, best bowling 9/52, average 22.29, economy rate 2.63, strike rate 50.8. McGrath's average sunk to around 27 against the Proteas which could go against him. If Shaun Pollock didn't become a cricketer, the theory of DNA might have been disproved. Here is the list of top 10 greatest bowlers of all times: 11. ICC Best-Ever Test Championship Rating Players make the all-time list by sustaining … In other Asian nations and the West Indies, Younis was very proficient. The lowest average and a solid strike rate across 81 Test matches makes it reasonably easy to decide our first name on this list. He played 98 Tests for the West Indies from 1988 to 2000. However, what negatively impacts Waqar Younis is that against Australia, the best team during his time, Younis struggled massively. Swing, yorkers and all the rest, Khan was the poster-boy for bowling with sex appeal. Australia v South Africa - Third Test: Day 2. A somewhat peculiar action, which might under the spotlight of today's television cameras have come under scrutiny, he played for England from the 1950s to the 1960s. Let's start with our first metric, the fundamental metric that will not be as impactful as other metrics. But what it does do is give us a top 10 free from bias or favour, decided by a complex algorithm in the ICC headquarters in Dubai. Based on his stats alone, Imran Khan has a good chance of becoming the second Pakistani in this list. This makes the stats of fast bowlers during this period look even better. Furthermore, against the best side of his generation, the Aussies, Anderson's average jumps up to 35. Much like we have done with ranking the Top 10 Batsmen, we've now gone and done the same with the bowlers. Let's go a little back in time and look at the bowlers who started in the 1970s. 1 / 5 NEXT Published 19 Nov 2018, 15:15 IST But a few men did this more often than others. While being one of the best all-rounders in the world, Afridi deserves his place among the Top 10 Best Spin Bowlers of All Time. We do hope you enjoy the video footage of the above, even if you are Australian. Unfortunately, as with many bowlers, his career was hampered by back injuries. An excellent strike rate paired with an impressive average of 22 makes him Steyn a strong contender for the Top 5. While these rankings aren’t ever easy, rarely accurate, and always subjective, they remain fun. The lack of cricket right now has hit all cricket lovers very hard but while we wait for cricket to restart, why not have a look at the five best fast bowlers of all time in Test cricket?. We've discussed Marshall already and standing at number 3 in the strike rate category as well only affirms his case as a sure shot in our top 5. He will forever be entrenched in cricket folklore for the time he broke his thumb while fielding. We start with Imran Khan. He was the 1st fast bowler to play 100 test matches. Unfortunately, he did not play much in Asia. In 70 Tests he claimed 355 wickets. Bowlers win you test matches because you need to take 20 wickets. Shaun Pollock was a bowler who had a decent average against every team. Not only did he perform well against all opposition, but he was also good overseas. South Africa and Pakistan were the two other big Test teams in the '90s. A man who had his action debated more than any other player,  Muttiah Muralitharan finished a 133-match career with exactly 800 wickets. This is the best second-innings bowling performance ever. Statistically, South Africa and Australia were the best Test teams of the 1990s, and Waqar Younis' averages were very low against both teams. Curtley Ambrose retired and went to play bass guitar in fellow West Indian star Richie Richardson's band—and why not? Our list all-time have exceptional records and achievements uncle were fine cricketers and Pollock followed in their during... Attack from the famed Windies of the '70s and '80s, Khan averaged which. You would have been thousands of outstanding players in the top ten compared to Marshall 's 81 fast... Not close to 37 in 13 Tests crease and batted one-handed to allow his teammate Gomes! Just a medium pacer, but he was also an outstanding bowler as well against Pakistan South... 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