Best fast bowlers I have ever watched

Okay! Time to pick the top ten fast bowlers ever based on their test cricket bowling quality. I must confess that, thought I started watching cricket on television probably somewhere during 1982, I have not really seen much of Dennis Lillee or Michael Holding. Both these legends were almost in the fag ends of their careers by then. However, to make my list complete, I ran through their videos and really loved the strong but smooth bowling actions.

Another disclaimer – my list doesn’t contain some of the medium pacers and all-rounder legends as we are talking about genuine quick bowlers alone.

Without much talking, here’s my list of all time great fast bowlers that I got to watch in the last 25 years. The list is in the order of my liking them and obviously may not be your order 🙂

1. Dennis Lillee

2. Curtley Ambrose

3. Michael Holding

4. Glen McGrawth

5. Wasim Akram

6. Malcom Marshall

7. Imran Khan

8. Richard Hadlee

9. Allan Donald

10. Waqar Younis

What do you think of this list? Please post your comments without getting carried away. Notable omissions here are Courtney Walsh, Kapil Dev, Ian Botham etc and also anybody who played and retired before 1980. As I mentioned, I have picked only genuine quick bowlers but when you talk about an all-rounder package many such greats may get counted. Imran Khan, I thought, can be in the list only for his bowling. He will be definitely one of the top 5 all rounders of all times along with Kapil Dev etc.

Did I miss anyone?

10 Replies to “Best fast bowlers I have ever watched”

  1. And my list would be as follows

    andy roberts
    dennis lillee
    imran khan
    michael holding
    wasim akram
    malcolm marshall

    I do feel inclined to share my thoughts at length but life , you see, is slipping by and…

    Shakir Hasnain

    1. Shakir,
      Thank you for stopping in to comment. As the article says, these are the bowlers that I have watched in my lifetime in live matches. I know, there have been a few better bowlers before that unfortunately, I wasn’t lucky enough to watch them. Your list look good.

  2. And how could i possibly forget Thommo !
    I think thommo ca 74 75 may very well be the greatest of them all …

  3. A great list.Arguably in order of merit the 10 top fast bowlers of my time are
    1.Malcolm Marshall
    2.Dennis Lillee
    3.Glen Mcgrath
    4.Wasim Akram
    5.Richard Hadlee
    6.Michael Holding
    7.Imran Khan
    8.Curtly Ambrose
    9.Andy Roberts
    10.Waqar Younus.

    Marshall had an armoury of deliveries that no paceman ever posessed ,Lillee was the most complete,Hadlee and Mcgrath posessed the greatest control of all,Ambrose was the most accurate of all and the best match-winner,Wasim Akram more versatile than any great bowler,Holding consistently the quickets of all with the most perfect of bowling actions,while Imran was the ultimate man to turn a match against the greateset of opponents.Andy Roberts in versatality was the closest to Lillee.

    Mcgrath and Hadlee were statistically the best paceman but lacked the agression,pace and versatality of Marshall and Lillee or even Imran or Akram.

    My list in order of merit amongst the fast bolwers I have seen is

    10.Waqar Younus

    Marshall and Lillee were the most complete of all.They could do everything with the ball. They had great pace combined with control
    and versatality.They could swing and cut the ball both ways ,and
    could make subtle changes of pace in addition to lethal
    agression.They also had remarkable strike -rates .Hadlee and Mcgrath
    posessed more control than any great fast bowlers and were statistically arguably the greatest.However they were not as versatile and quick as Marshall and Lillee.Wasim Akram was the most versatile of them all and the greatest combining test matches and one day Internationals.Ambrose was the best of match-winners and the most

    accurate .Imran Khan bowled pakistan to many a historic victory andagainst great teams and in terms of performance was the best ever.
    Pakistani bowler.He pioneered the art of reverse swing.Michael Holding was consistently the quickest of them all with the most perfect of bowling action’s .Andy Roberts was closest to Lillee in the techical sense,being the most versatile of all Carribaen quickies.

    1. andy roberts, dennis lilee, m holding, john snow, J. thomson, wasim akram, mcgrawth, ambros, bret lee, Joel garner. I rate roberts and holding for constant pace around 90 to 95 kms and D. Lilee for aggression. McGrawth for accuracy around off stump direction.

      1. my list would have andy roberts at no. 2 and Walsh at end. I would not include Imran khan and R. Hadlee here because they are all rounders. Only Wasim Akram among them would also stand out as John Snow must line up here.andy roberts
        dennis lillee
        Andy roberts
        michael holding
        John Snow
        Alan Donald
        C. Walsh
        Mike Proctor

    1. from cricinfo live cormentamyAvanti has a fact-trivia for us: The first testicular guard was used in cricket in 1874 and the first helmet was used in 1974. It took 100 years for men to realize that the brain is also important! The species has to continue even if produces mad people. I think the priority is perfectly fine!

  4. A Roberts
    Denis Lillee
    Mike Holding
    John Snow
    C Walsh
    Mike Proctor
    Malcom Marshal
    Waquar Unus
    Big Bird- Joel Garner

    Thre are so others like Meckenzi , Thomson of australia, Nissar mohd and Sarfraz Nawaz of pakisthan, cortney Ambrose of West Indies who are extremely good but all cannot fit in the list.

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