10 Most feared fast bowlers in Cricket history
Generally cricket is known as the gentlemen’s game. Being played under strictly drafted rules both for the sport and spirit there is a very little room for the aggression. However when it comes to fast bowling, the flavor of aggressiveness automatically gets added. In fact fast bowling department without a touch of fearsome seems imperfect. Though there are parameters on how to keep even such aggression into the check, modern day cricket has evolved to be much more than a gentlemen’s game. There have been hundreds of pace bowlers in the history of sports representing every country. Some of them even claimed the title of being the fastest bowlers in the world. However a few of them were the most feared fast bowlers.
Bowling with pace is too mainstream but bowling in a way that batsman gets shivers while facing is the real fast bowling. Modern day fast bowlers might be accurate in taking wickets but they will never reach the level of terror their forerunners used to create. Similar case is with the cricket fans of today’s age. For them Wahab Riaz’s spell against Australia in World Cup 2015 would have been the most fearsome of their life. Although it was one of the aggressive spells in cricket history as the whole world applauded it, but never was it the best of all. Similarly Mitchell Johnson has been really aggressive lately especially in Ashes. Still he is not on top of the most feared fast bowlers list.
10 most feared fast bowlers in cricket history can be accumulated as under. Like every other time, one can have the difference of opinions and any remarks will be highly appreciable.
10 Most feared fast bowlers in Cricket history
10. Mitchell Johnson
The Australian pacer might not have a reputation of being the most consistent. However when it comes to the most fearsome fast bowlers he is right there. In fact in modern day game he is the first one to introduce the factor. His performance against the arch rivals England during the 2013 Ashes series specifically made headlines as he showed his merciless facet. Apart from his bowling that series, he was also highly praised for the moustaches he especially grew to look fearsome. One of the fastest to have bowled the quickest delivery in Test matches can easily make batsmen dance on the pitch.
09. Curtly Ambrose
West Indies has a glaring past of aggressive cricket both in terms of bowling and batting. Although they do play the T20 format better than any side even today, the real reason for their dominance has faded. One of the reasons West Indies were the most dominant side in cricket world was its brutal fast bowling attack. The 6.8 feet tall bowler Curtly Ambrose was among the most feared fast bowlers from Caribbean side. His ability to produce abrupt bounce even on flat batting surfaces was his biggest weapon. Ambrose formed a partnership of legendary proportions with the other West Indian greats of his era. Especially he and Courtney Walsh together proved to be a handful for the strongest of oppositions.
08. Shoaib Akhtar
The former Pakistani pacer was undoubtedly one of the most feared fast bowlers in the world. Think of the pace he was capable of bowling at and your legs start trembling. The owner of the fastest delivery ever bowled in cricket history injured many player through his speedy bouncers. In fact the number of batsmen injured by him are the most in number. His performance against the likes of Sachin Tendulkar was exceptionally good getting him out on crucial moments. Akhtar’s career eventually came to an end as keeping the raw pace maintained for a long time is never an easy job.
07. Waqar Younis
The one half of the famous two Ws in cricket history Waqar Younis was considered to be the most feared fast bowlers ahead of Wasim Akram because of his accurate Yorkers. Wasim Akram was one of the greatest fast bowlers ever however a fling of distress to be physically hurt was absent in his bowling. On the other hand Waqar Younis was always on a hunt for batsmen’s toes. At times when bouncers are the greatest weapon of pacers, Waqar Younis went for the Yorkers. At times batsmen considered to let the ball hit stumps rather than breaking their toes.
06. Allan Donald
At his prime the former South African was easily one of the most feared fast bowlers. A complete fast bowling package loaded with pace, aggressiveness and variety Allan Donald was incredibly consistent in all formats of the game. Although injuries did not let him finish his career having the same pace, he was most fearsome during his peak. Not just pace but also stats depict exactly the quality he had in his bowling.
05. Jeff Thomson
The former Australian was one of the fastest bowlers in history with an unusual sling arm action. Although at that times his bowling action was considered to be a little bit of weird, he gained great success with that. At his prime Jeff was the lightening quick casing trouble to the many greatest of the game. Again injuries created barrier in his brutal fast bowling’s way at the decline of his career. Still his name was enough to terrorize the batsmen at times later on.
04. Andy Roberts
The West Indian was most famous for his knock-out bouncers aimed to the face of a batsman. His utmost lethal weapon was the pace however unlike many other pacers he loved to mix things up. Using slower deliveries to get the wickets. The pace was the result of great shoulders he possessed. However at times he successfully fooled batsmen when they got out on a slower one expecting him to bowl fast. Like many other his pace also faded away in his last year in cricket but at his prime he was indeed one of the most feared fast bowlers.
03. Michael Holding
Had there been technology to measure the bowling speed, Michael Holding would have easily claimed the crown of being the fastest of all. The Jamaican towering bowler was widely accepted to be the fastest ever in the history. Known as the ‘whispering death’ Holding was one of the most fearsome bowlers in history capable of producing immense pace on the deadest of pitches. Also unlike today’s pacers he did not believe in sledging and verbal tactics. For him actions clearly spoken louder than words.
02. Dennis Lillee
Alongside Jeffry Thomson, Lillee proved to be an iconic fast bowler in cricket history. His performance especially against England was always more than extraordinary. During each Ashes series of his career Dannis Lillee went on to destroy the English batting line up. He notched up the fear factor further through his famous moustaches and the hairband he often wore. He and Thomson used to push the speed barriers every time they bowl together creating troubles for the batsmen at will. In a 13-year career, Lillee took as many as 355 wickets while having played only 70 Tests and his average was an outstanding 23.92 with 23 five-wicket hauls.
01. Harold Larwood
One of the most notorious characters in cricket history Harold Larwood can be considered as the pioneers of fearsome fast bowling. One of the greatest of all most feared fast bowlers, Larwood ended the careers of at least two Australian batsmen and left some of the others badly battered. Player like legendary Don Bradman would look ordinary in front of him at times. His career ended in a controversial way although he claimed a staggering 33 wickets in 4 Tests of the Bodyline series. And the injuries he caused to Aussie batsmen was a bonus.
So who is your favorite Most feared fast bowlers in Cricket history?
Manoj Kanti Dutta says
Why is Brett Lee not in this list?