Top 10 Best Fast Bowlers in Cricket History

The Top Ten
1 Wasim Akram Wasim Akram is a Pakistani cricket commentator, coach and former cricketer, captain of Pakistan national cricket team.

Wasim Akram is, without a doubt, the best pacer of all time. He had full control over his ball and variations and could easily take wickets and stop the score whenever needed in any situation. He is the greatest I have ever seen, who could swing the ball in both directions at will.

When people ask me who I think is the best bowler in the history of cricket, the name Wasim Akram comes to mind without any further thinking. He is a magician of the cricket ball who used to perform at the center of the cricket ground, surrounded by hundreds of thousands of people, showing his ability to swing the ball both ways, deliver in-out swinging deadly yorkers, off-leg cutters, bouncers, and the deadly reverse swing.

Every time there is a very competitive match, Wasim ends up striking at the perfect moment! His fast arm bowling action and the way he shapes the swinging delivery certainly give people pleasure.

2 Dale Steyn

The Steyn gun is something no one would ever want to mess with. With that outrageous speed he generates, coupled with the swing he gets, even Tendulkar would find the going hard.

Born in the era when heavy bats and muscular batsmen make a mockery of a bowler, this destruction machine has made even the greatest of batsmen dance to his sheer pace. There was never a Dale Steyn, and there will never be in the future! The best is his synonym!

He is the idol for many to follow. With his fitness, aggression, and determination, he has achieved a strike rate better than anyone else who has played the game. His late-swinging deliveries at such a pace are no less than the work of a magician.

3 Brett Lee Brett Lee is a former Australian international cricketer and film actor. He is a former Channel Nine Commentator.

I love him very much. He has been my idol bowler since I started playing cricket. I love his aggression, consistent pace, and ability to bowl above 150 km/h continuously, which makes him different from others.

Just because he's been clocked at around 100 mph doesn't mean he's the "best fast bowler in cricket history." Vote for who's the best, not because of his "million-dollar cute smile."

Brett Lee is the world's best fast bowler. I don't know why he only has 15% of the vote. I love Brett Lee very much. His million-dollar cute smile.

4 Glenn McGrath

McGrath is a far better bowler than Akram in Test matches. His record, average, strike rate, and economy are all better than Akram in both forms of the game. In Test cricket, which is the real cricket, he has 149 more wickets than Akram. His home and away records are both excellent. His percentage of wickets of top-order batsmen is much higher than Akram's. McGrath is the most successful fast bowler in the history of the game.

In terms of performance, consistency, accuracy, mental strength, attitude, and work ethic, Glenn would come first on my list. The guy went way ahead of his contemporaries despite limited speed and swing. Amazingly, it was bounce and seam movement that got him wickets - normally, this is not the case. Credit to his strategizing, patience, and mental toughness.

My top few would be:
1 - Glenn McGrath
2 - Wasim Akram - Malcolm Marshall - Dennis Lillee
3 - Michael Holding - Shoaib Akhtar - Brett Lee - Imran Khan
4 - Dale Steyn - Kapil Dev - Waqar Younis - Richard Hadlee
5 - Zaheer Khan - Lasith Malinga
6 - Chaminda Vaas

5 Dennis Lillee

Seeing him in full flight at the WACA and his overall career, including the Packer's World Series, was impressive. How many times did he turn a game around?

All the other bowlers I voted for could have been in any order. They were all as great as each other on their day, which was more often than not.

The complete bowler, could and did it all. Still considered the best by his peers, and that counts for more than us cricket tragics reminiscing over our favorite era we grew up in.

Best fast bowler ever! Could bowl with sheer pace, deadly accuracy, swing it both ways, cut it both ways, and could bowl very long spells! Sheer class.

6 Malcolm Marshall

How did he generate so much pace for a relatively short man? Died far too young, and I suspect he would have been a great inspiration and coach to future generations in the WIS and much further afield.

Fast leg cutters either way, vicious bouncers rising at a good length but also could make the ball speed on with little bounce. Unplayable and a very nice person.

Very clever and pitches his ball with excellent length and bounce from that spot, making him a dangerous pace bowler at all times.

7 Shoaib Akhtar

He is the fastest and the fiercest! When he runs to bowl, it seems that a leopard is chasing its prey with the fastest speed and powerful zeal. He is the man who can alone fetch huge crowds to the ground. Really the best and the fastest!

He is an amazing bowler and deserves to be number 1. He is the most aggressive and the fastest bowler Pakistan has ever produced and the world has ever seen.

Amazing bowler. His action and the way he bowls are awesome. Best cricket entertainer. Everyone loves to see his bowling.

8 Waqar Younis

He was the best fast bowler in history compared to all the other fast bowlers. If he played 100 Test matches, he would have almost 420 wickets. He is a better bowler than Wasim Akram. Wasim played 104 Test matches and got 414 wickets, almost 4 wickets per Test match. Waqar played 87 matches and got 373 wickets, almost 4.2 wickets per match. If he played 104 Test matches, then he would have almost 430 wickets.

When Waqar was in full swing, Wasim Akram was just a sideshow in front of him. The way Waqar terrorized batsmen's toes and how the stumps used to fly was a sight to behold forever.

9 Allan Donald

Sheer pleasure to watch. Effortless and smooth with a vicious bouncer and the ability to get the ball to swing at pace.

The smoothest bowling action ever. Poetry in motion.

A pleasure to watch this man bowl... Sheer class

10 Zaheer Khan Zaheer Khan is an Indian former cricketer who played all forms of the game for the Indian national team from 2000 till 2014.

Even with inefficient partners, he has won tests for India in overseas conditions. He has also bowled well in batting conditions in ODIs in a country like India.

He is a bowler who has a wonderful arm action and is the only spearhead in the Indian team. He is an excellent bowler and must keep it up.

Best left-arm fast bowler after Wasim. His record doesn't suggest that, but during the latter part of his career, he could make the ball talk.

The Contenders
11 Curtly Ambrose

13! Seriously? How on earth did you find 12 bowlers to put higher on the list? I suspect nepotism plays a big role, and that's just plain stupid.

I'm from South Africa and a big fan of Donald. He probably had the best bowling action, but he was never better than Ambrose. Ambrose was terrifyingly good when he was fired up, but he would not rate himself above the greatest of the great Windies bowlers.

The same with Steyn. I think Steyn is the last of the great fast bowlers, but he was never better than Ambrose and Marshall. The presence of Zaheer is just due to a pure number of dumb votes. The real Indian fans know who the greatest fast bowlers were, and they adored and respected them even though they didn't have greats themselves (with the possible exception of Kapil Dev, but still not top 10). Anyone thinking Malinga belongs in the top ten smokes their socks.

The rest I'm okay with, except the order. Brett Lee was truly awesome, but not number 3. My top 3, in no particular order, are Akram, Ambrose, and Marshall. They were a cut above the rest.

Bowlers had different strengths, which makes choosing hard. Shoaib, Lee, Lillee, Thompson, and Holding were known for pure pace and fear. Walsh and Big Bird (why the hell are they nowhere to be found?) were known for relentless, unplayable bowling. McGrath, Imran, and Hadlee were clever and accurate. Then there's the king of swing, Waqar, the toe crusher, so beautiful to watch, even when it was our stumps he sent flying.

12 Fred Trueman

The fastest and most accurate fast bowler, with a memory for all batsmen's weaknesses. Like all quickies, his speed died down with age, but he became a cleverer and better bowler. Even the great West Indies sides of the '60s were afraid of Fred.

A great, genuinely fast bowler whose test wicket haul was achieved in an era of five home tests and an overseas tour per year, not as today with 365 days a year cricket.

Because he held the MCC together, never got injured, and got dropped when he shouldn't have. Great outswing. High over rate. Gave it all he had. Great figures. Beat Richie Benaud's record. Should have got even more wickets.

13 Shane Watson
14 Lasith Malinga

Malinga can bowl super-fast reverse-swinging yorkers into your toe. He is a bowler with a slinging action and regularly changes the speed and length. I think when he is in the mood, even the greatest players are in big trouble. Beware of the lion of Asia.

He doesn't need a new ball for bowling. He's the only bowler who took three hat-tricks in international cricket and the only bowler who took a double hat-trick in international cricket. He's the best of the best. Remember the name, the sling "Malinga."

Malinga is a legend. He also has the highest wickets in the IPL (170) from just 123 matches. In his prime days, he was the most feared bowler in the world because of his deadly yorkers. Even now, though he doesn't have the pace he had before, he has excellent variations, so he is one of the best bowlers of all time.

15 Michael Holding

Slow runner but delivers heavy pace in his ball, with most of his wickets just outside the off-stump.

Most effective and most graceful silent assassin. Sometimes even umpires wouldn't realize that he has passed them and bowled a ball. Truly the greatest.

Even on slow wickets, his sheer pace would still beat the greatest batsmen.

16 Shane Bond

TEST: Bond only played 18 matches but amazingly got a staggering 87 wickets. The reason was he had lots of unfortunate injuries. He had an amazing average of 22.09 and New Zealand's best strike rate: 38.7.

ODI: He has set 7 New Zealand records:

1. Best bowling in an innings 6/19
2. Best career average 20.88
3. The most 4 wicket-plus hauls 11, all of this in only 82 matches. WOW!

No doubt he would be the best if he didn't have injuries.

17 Alan Davidson

One of the best fast bowlers of all time. He, along with Akram, is the best left-arm quick of all time.

18 Junaid Khan
19 Mitchell Johnson

Fastest bowler ever. He'll soon break Shoaib Akhtar's record. The most lethal bowler when he is consistent. An absolute match-winner. Won Australia the whole Ashes series 5-0.

Fastest bowler. He'll soon break Shoaib Akhtar's record. Most lethal bowler when he gets it right.

The best bowler in history. Absolutely smashes everyone.

20 James Anderson James Michael Anderson,, usually known as Jimmy Anderson, is an English international cricketer who plays for Lancashire County

Jimmy Anderson is the best, as far as I'm concerned. I'm 70 years old and have watched all the bowlers on this list, and none come near our Jimmy. He just bowled 4 more today against the West Indies. His score was 24.12.37 for 4. 50% of overs are maidens.

I will agree that England would be rather at a loss without him in the side. I remember Brett Lee saying, "I wish they too were Aussies," as he pointed out Freddie Flintoff and Jimmy Anderson. Ricky Ponting agreed with him.

Ray Cooke.

He is the best English bowler of his generation. He can swing it both ways, and he is dangerous on any surface, proving it all the time. On his day, he is unplayable. A great team man and a good leader of the pack. Love him.

21 Mitchell Starc Mitchell Aaron Starc, is an Australian cricketer who currently plays first-class cricket for the New South Wales Blues.

The best in the world at present and has done more than what others have done in their entire careers.

He is a very fast bowler and deserves an award. I think there should be an award for the best bowler in 2017.

Seriously! Mitchell Starc at number 26? Are you kidding me?

22 Keith Miller
23 Richard Hadlee

How can he not be the best? Just take a look at the averages. The stats never lie. An absolute perfectionist at swing bowling, he terrorized the best, especially later in his career. Absolutely devastating, he carried a whole country. I'm sure everyone will look to who they like, but by numbers, he'll never get there. But the stats don't lie.

Do people even watch cricket? Why is it that so many average bowlers, like Watson, are ranked higher than the greats? This guy's team was very average, yet he still managed to pull off extraordinary figures. This man is knighted for a reason. He's an actual beast.

24 Shaun Pollock

Greatest when it comes to line and length, next to Glenn McGrath.

25 Imran Khan

He changed his bowling action perfectly without coaches and all the other support. Wasim said that it was all possible because of Imran Khan. He mentored Wasim and Waqar. Despite being injured and not playing cricket at his peak, he is still remembered as the greatest bowler ever.

The greatest all-rounder who was also a fast bowler and team captain!

Best all-rounder and a successful captain from Pakistan!

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