World’s Greatest Bowlers

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In cricket, bowlers win matches. They take important wickets to create pressure on the batsmen of the lower orders and in this way, prevent teams from scoring runs. Also, for this reason, bowlers are placed parallel to batsmen responsible for scoring runs.

A good cricket team constitutes of a set of excellent batsmen and bowlers. The bowlers could be fast bowlers or spinners who dodge batsmen with their balls. If you are asked to name a few ballers, you will name Shane Warne the legendary Australian spinner who was a challenge for any team during his time.

Here I’m listing the top 10 bowlers in the world

1. Courtney Walsh (West Indies)

Born: 30 October 1962, Kingston, Jamaica

Batting: Right-handed

Bowling: Right-arm fast

Tests Played/Wickets: 132/519

ODI Played/Wickets: 205/227

5 Wickets Tests/ODI: 22/1

10 Wickets Test/ODI: 10/0

Best Test/ODI: 7/37 and 5/1

Courtney Walsh is one of the greatest bowlers in the world and this is evident from his career statistics. He was one of the few bowlers who had the capability of dismissing even an entire team. In West Indies, he was an opening bowler with Curtly Ambrose and was responsible for clipping the wings of batsmen from making runs.

2. Wasim Akram (Pakistan)

Born: 3 June 1966, Lahore, West Pakistan, Pakistan

Batting: Left-handed

Bowling: Left-arm fast

Tests Played/Wickets: 104/414

ODI Played/Wickets: 354/502

5 Wickets Tests/ODI: 25/6

10 Wickets Test/ODI: 5/0

Best Test/ODI: 7/119 and 5/15

One of the finest bowlers Pakistan has ever produced, Wasim Akram was often called the Sultan of Swing. His ability to bowl at a significant pace made him popular across the globe. He even scored good runs for his team. He led Pakistan to the 1999 Cricket World Cup final where they lost to Australia. 

3. Curtly Ambrose (West Indies)

Born: 21 September 1963, Swetes, Antigua and Barbuda

Batting: Left-handed

Bowling: Right-arm fast

Tests Played/Wickets: 98/405

ODI Played/Wickets: 176/225

5 Wickets Tests/ODI: 22/4

10 Wickets Test/ODI: 3/0

Best Test/ODI: 8/45 and 5/17

Curtly Ambrose was a bowler of the top order. At 6 feet 7 inches, he looked like a fierce fast bowler who can ball anyone out. He had the advantage of bouncing his balls due to his height. Together with Courtney Walsh, he had tied many batsmen to the pitch preventing them from making runs.

4. Dennis Lillee (Australia)

Born: 18 July 1949, Subiaco, Western Australia

Batting: Right-handed

Bowling: Right-arm fast

Tests Played/Wickets: 70/355

ODI Played/Wickets: 63/103

5 Wickets Tests/ODI: 23/1

10 Wickets Test/ODI: 7/0

Best Test/ODI: 7/83 and 5/34

Dennis Lillee was rightly called the “outstanding fast bowler of his generation” because he was able to dodge batsmen with his bowling style. He suffered multiple stress fractures because of his speed but he never let the injuries compromise his speed or bowling style.

5. Sir Richard Hadlee (New Zealand) 

Born: 3 July 1951, St Albans, New Zealand

Batting: Left-handed

Bowling: Right-arm fast

Tests Played/Wickets: 86/431

ODI Played/Wickets: 115/158

5 Wickets Tests/ODI: 36/5

10 Wickets Test/ODI: 9/0

Best Test/ODI: 9/52 and 5/25

He was the greatest all-rounder of his time because he scored runs as well. He not only dismissed batsmen but hit balls to boundaries as well. He scored 3,124 runs in Tests and 1,751 runs in ODI. At the height of his career, he was an important player in the New Zealand cricket team.

6. Glenn McGrath (Australia)

Born: 9 February 1970, Dubbo, New South Wales, Australia

Batting: Right-handed

Bowling: Right-arm fast-medium

Tests Played/Wickets: 124/563

ODI Played/Wickets: 250/381

5 Wickets Tests/ODI: 29/7

10 Wickets Test/ODI: 3/0

Best Test/ODI: 8/24 and 7/15

Glenn McGrath is one of the few bowlers that have left an indelible mark on the world of cricket. Also, he was the force behind the dominance of Australia in cricket. During his time, Australia became world champion three times in a row – 1999, 2003, 2007.

7. Malcolm Marshall (West Indies)  

Born: 18 April 1958, Bridgetown, Barbados

Died: 4 November 1999, Bridgetown, Barbados

Batting: Right-handed

Bowling: Right-arm fast

Tests Played/Wickets: 81/376

ODI Played/Wickets: 136/157

5 Wickets Tests/ODI: 22/0

10 Wickets Test/ODI: 4/0

Best Test/ODI: 7/22 and 4/18

This greatest West Indian fast bowler died young at the age of 44 but his achievements in fantasy cricket apps cricket will keep him alive in the memories of cricket fans. He was a fast bowler of remarkable strength who could generate dangerous bounces to scare batsmen.

8. Sydney Barnes (England)

Born: 19 April 1873, Smethwick, Staffordshire, England

Died: 26 December 1967, Chadsmoor, Staffordshire, England

Batting: Right-handed

Bowling: Right-arm fast/Right-arm leg spin

Tests Played/Wickets: 27/189

First Class Played/Wickets: 133/719

5 Wickets Tests/FC: 24/68

10 Wickets Test/FC: 7/18

Best Test/FC: 9/103 and 9/103

Sydney Barnes had an amazing ability to bowl at a pace from medium to fast-medium. Also, he could easily produce both swings and break from both sides of the pitch. He also took wickets with amazing speed. Fewer batsmen could face his bowling attack.

9. Shane Warne (Australia)

Born: 13 September 1969, Upper Ferntree Gully, Victoria, Australia

Died: 4 March 2022, Ko Samui, Thailand

Batting: Right-handed

Bowling: Right-arm leg break

Tests Played/Wickets: 145/708

ODI Played/Wickets: 194/293

5 Wickets Tests/ODI: 37/1

10 Wickets Test/ODI: 10/0

Best Test/ODI: 8/71 and 5/33

The surprise death of this legendary cricket produced a void that is hard to be filled by any bowler in the world. In addition to taking wickets, he scored runs as well. He made 3,000 runs in Test and 1,018 runs in ODI. He even played IPL post-retirement but only for some time. 

10. Muttiah Muralitharan (Sri Lanka)

Born: 17 April 1972, Kandy, Ceylon

Batting: Right-handed

Bowling: Right-arm off break

Tests Played/Wickets: 133/800

ODI Played/Wickets: 350/534

5 Wickets Tests/ODI: 37/10

10 Wickets Test/ODI: 22/0

Best Test/ODI: 7/51 and 7/30

Who can forget the off-break spin bowling of Muttiah Mralitharan who has scared batsmen out of the field? One of the greatest bowlers in the world, Muralitharan deserves to be called a born spinner. His wicket-taking average in Test cricket is 6 wickets per match. Also, he has dismissed entire teams 22 times in Test cricket.