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Top 10 Greatest Bowlers of All Time

Top 10 Greatest bowlers of all time in the history of cricket

Cricket is said to be a batsman’s game. Bowling is not an easy task as the rules of the game favour  the batsman more than the bowler and hence is always dominated by batsmen. But there are some bowlers with extraordinary talent who gave a torrid time to the batsmen during their playing days and were able to etch their names with golden letters in the history of cricket by dint of their performances with the ball. Here let’s take a look at the top 10 greatest bowlers of all time in the history of cricket.

Shaun Pollock one of the top greatest 10 bowlers of all time

Shaun Pollock, one of the top 10 greatest bowlers of all time

10. Shaun Pollock, one of the top 10 greatest bowlers of all time

Shaun Pollock is a right arm medium fast bowler who played for South Africa from  1995 to 2008. He also had a good hand in batting and was a good all-rounder during his time. Shaun pollock is considered one of the best ever bowlers playing for South Africa. He was a street smart bowler, Accuracy and sharp swing being his greatest strength. He has claimed more than 800 wickets in international cricket at a very impressive average. Shaun Pollock occupies the number 10 position in our list of top 10 greatest bowlers of all time.

 

Career Highlight of Shaun Pollock

 Matches Innings Wickets Average Strike Rate Economy  BBI 5 Wk
Test 108 202 421 23.11 57.8 2.39 7-87 16
ODI 313 297 393 24.50 39.9 3.67 6-35 5
T20I 12 11 15 20.60 16.2 7.62 3-28 0

Waqar Younis, one of the top ten greatest bowlers of all time

Waqar Younis, one of the top ten greatest bowlers of all time

9. Waqar Younis

Waqar Younis is a right arm fast bowler who played for Pakistan from 1989 to 2003 and is widely regarded as one of the top 10 bowlers of all time. He made his ODI debut against at Sharjah on 14th October 1989 and Test debut against India at Karachi on November 15 1989. Lethal yorker and reverse swing was his chief armour by virtue of which he had troubled the world’s best batsmen of his time. He is widely regarded as the sultan of reverse swing, an art which the Pakistani bowlers have mastered. He pocketed nearly 800 wickets in his international career and occupies the number 9 position in our list of top 10 greatest bowlers of all time.

 

Career Highlight of Waqar Younis

 Matches Innings Wickets Average Strike Rate Economy  BBI 5 Wk
Test 87 154 373 23.56 43.4 3.25 7-76 22
ODI 262 258 416 23.84 30.5 4.68 7-36 13
T20 7 7 5 36.20 31.2 6.96 3-21  0

 

Dennis Lillee, one of the top 10 greatest bowlers of all time

Dennis Lillee, one of the top 10 greatest bowlers of all time

8. Dennis Lillee, one of the top 10 greatest bowlers of all time

Dennis Lillee is a right arm fast bowler who played for Australia during 1971 to 1984. He is regarded as one of the top 1o greatest bowlers of all time for Australia. He started his career as an express fast bowler but injury forced him to cut down his speed eventually. Dennis Lillee made his Test Debut against England at Adelaide on 29th January 1971. He has 355 test wicket and 103 ODI wickets to his name during his 13 year long career. On 17 December 2009, Dennis Lillee was inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame. Dennis Lillee gets the number 8 rank in our list of top 10 greatest bowlers of all time.

 

Career Highlight of Dennis Lillee

 Matches Innings Wickets Average Strike Rate Economy BBI5 Wk
Test 70 132 355 23.92 52.0 2.75 7-83 23
ODI 63 63 103 34.8 3.58 5-34 1
T20 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A

 

Richard Hadlee, one of the top 10 greatest bowlers of all time

Richard Hadlee, one of the top 10 greatest bowlers of all time

7. Richard Hadlee

Sir Richard Hadlee is an all-rounder who  player for New Zealand during 1973 to 1990. He is one the best cricketer New Zealand has ever  produced. He was a very intelligent bowler having great  control and accuracy in his line and length. He was the first to claim 400 test wickets. He is regarded as one of the top ten bowlers of all time and one of the top 4 all rounders of the 1980’s. Sir Richard Hadlee was one of the most feared bowlers of the 1980’s and he occupies the number 7 spot in our list of top 10 greatest bowlers of all time.

 

Career Highlight of Richard Hadlee

 Matches Innings Wickets Average Strike Rate Economy BBI 5 Wk
Test 86 150 431 22.29 50.8 2.63 9-52 36
ODI 115 112 158 21.56 39.1 3.30 5-25 5
T20 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A

 

Glenn McGrath, one of the top 10 greatest bowlers of all time

Glenn McGrath, one of the top 10 greatest bowlers of all time

6. Glenn McGrath one of the top 10 greatest bowlers of all time

Glenn McGrath is a medium fast bowler who played for Australia from 1993 to 2007. He made his Test debut against New Zealand at Perth on 12th November 1993 and ODI debut against South Africa at Melbourne on 9th December 1993. His main strength is his consistent off stump line and a perfect length which made him one of the top 10 bowlers of all time. Glenn McGrath gets the number 6 position in our list of top 10 greatest bowlers of all time.

 

Career Highlight of Glenn McGrath

 Matches Innings Wickets Average Strike Rate Economy BBI 5 Wk
Test 124 243 563 21.64 51.9 2.49 8-24 29
ODI 250 248 381 22.02 34.0 3.88 7-15 7
T20I 2 2 5 15.80 9.6 9.87 3-31 0

 

Anil Kumble, one of the top 10 greatest bowlers of all time

Anil Kumble, one of the top 10 greatest bowlers of all time

5. Anil Kumble

Anil Kumble, a wrist spinner, is by far the most successful bowler of India. He made his ODI debut against Sri Lanka at Sharjah on 25th April 1990 and Test debut against England at Manchester on 9th August 1990.   Accuracy, consistency in line and length is his main strength. Although he is not a big turner of the ball yet he stands in the same league of Shane Warne and Muttiah Muralitharan due to his accurate line and length. He has more than 900 international wickets to his name and is so far the highest wicket taker for India and 3rd highest wicket taker in the World in International Cricket. Anil Kumble occupies the 5th position in our list of top 10 greatest bowlers of all time.

 

Career Highlight of Anil Kumble

 Matches Innings Wickets Average Strike Rate Economy BBI 5 Wk
Test 132 236 619 29.65 65.9 2.69 10-74 35
ODI 271 265 337 30.89 43.0 4.30 6-12 2
T20 54 54 57 24.36 21.8 6.69 5-5 1

 

Wasim Akram, one of the top 10 greatest bowlers of all time

Wasim Akram, one of the top 10 greatest bowlers of all time

4. Wasim Akram, on of the top 10 best bowlers of all time

Wasim Akram is a left arm fast bowler who played for Pakistan during 1984 – 2003. He made his ODI debut against New Zealand at Faisalabad on 23rd November 1984 and also made his Test debut against the same opponent at Auckland on 25th January 1985. He is considered the best left arm fast bowlers of all time in the world. Having mastery over swing and reverse swing, he is known as the Sultan of Swing. He has scalped over 900 wickets in his 19 years long international career. Wasim Akram occupies the number 4 position in our list of top 10 best bowlers of all time.

 

Career Highlight of Wasim Akram

 Matches Innings Wickets Average Strike Rate Economy BBI 5 Wk
Test 104 181 414 23.62 54.6 2.59 7-119 25
ODI 356 351 502 23.52 36.2 3.89 5-15 6
T20 5 5 8 15.12 14.2 6.36 2-19 0

 

Shane Warne, one of the top 10 greatest bowlers of all time

Shane Warne, one of the top 10 greatest bowlers of all time

3. Shane Warne

Shane Warne is one of the top 10 greatest bowlers of all time.

Shane Warne is a right arm wrist spinner playing for Australia during 1992 – 2007. One can say Shane Warne and Controversy are synonymous as controversies followed him one after the other both on and off the field. Nevertheless, he is one the greatest bowler of in the history of cricket. The fact that he has scalped 1001 wickets in international is itself a wonder of cricket. Considering the fact that he had taken most of his wickets in no so helpful conditions for spinners makes him one of the top 10 greatest bowlers of all time in the world. He is given the number 3 position in our list of top 10 greatest bowlers of all time.

 

Career Highlight of Shane Warne

 Matches Innings Wickets Average Strike Rate Economy BBI 5 Wk
Test 145 273 708 25.41 57.4 2.65 8-71 37
ODI 194 191 293 25.73 36.3 4.25 5-33 1
T20 73 71 70 26.61 22.1 7.22 4-21 0

 

Muttiah Muralitharan one of the top 10 greatest bowlers of all time

Top 10 greatest bowlers of all time

2. Muttiah Muralitharan

Muttiah Muralitharan is the greatest spinner the world has ever seen. He played for Sri Lanka during 1992 – 2011. Murali made his Test debut against Australia at Colombo on 28th August 1992 and ODI debut against India at Colombo on 12th August. Controversies always followed him but that could not dent his performance on the field and he kept tumbling the records one after the other. He is the highest wicket taker in both Tests and ODIs. With over 1300 wickets to his name, Muralitharan occupies the number 2 position in our list of top 10 greatest bowlers of all time.

 

Career Highlight of Muttiah Muralitharan

 Matches Innings Wickets Average Strike Rate Economy BBI 5 Wk
Test 133 230 800 22.72 55.0 2.47 9-51 67
ODI 350 241 534 23.08 35.2 3.93 7-30 10
T20I 12 12 13 22.84 21.6 6.31 3-29 0

 

Sydney Barnes, one of the top 10 greatest bowlers of all time

Sydney Barnes, one of the top 10 greatest bowlers of all time

1. Sydney Barnes

Sydney Barnes is the number 1 among top 10 greatest bowlers of all time.

Sydney Barnes is an English fast bowler and is regarded as the best bowler of all time in the history of the game. He had a wide variation in his pace bowling from Slow medium to Medium Fast. He made his Test debut against England at Sydney on 13th December 1901. He is ranked number 1 in the ICC Best-Ever Test Championship Rating for bowlers. He took 1,432 wickets playing for Staffordshire at an awe-inspiring average of  9 runs per wicket and played for the county until the age of 61. In Test cricket, Barnes played for England on 27 occasions from 1901 to 1914, scalping 189 wickets at an healthy average of 16.43 runs each.

Career Highlight of Sydney Barnes

 Matches Innings Wickets Average Strike Rate Economy BBI 5 Wk
Test 27 50 189 16.43 41.6 2.36 9-103 24
First Class 133 719 17.09 43.8 2.33 9-103 68
ODI N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A  N/A N/A N/A

 

He was inducted into the ICC Hall of Fame  in 2009. With a Test career average of 16.43, he is undoubtedly the number 1 among the top 10  greatest bowlers of all time. With a Test career average of 16.43, he is undoubtedly the number 1 among the top 10 greatest bowlers of all time.

About Nekib

Nekib Ahmed is a medical student by profession and a cricket addict by birth . During his free time, he loves to watch cricket, play computer games and blogs about cricket and medicine.

44 comments

  1. No West Indian bowlers in the top 10 list?

  2. Where is Dale Steyn?

  3. Very well compiled list

  4. no westindians????

  5. wre is donald????

  6. where is donald, malcum marshal, and other west indians1 kapil paaji.

  7. Courtney Walsh, Curtly Ambrose, Dale Steyn deserve a place in top 10 greatest bowlers of all time

  8. Shaun Pollock is not as great a bowler to get a rank among top ten bowlers of all time

  9. Kapil Dev is one of the top 10 bowlers of all time

  10. Javagal Srinath, Makhaya Ntini, Brett Lee are also among top 10 best bowlers of all time

  11. I don’t agree with this list. Courtney Walsh, Curtly Ambrose deserve to be among top 10 greatest bowlers of all time.

  12. Instead of Shaun Pollock, Courtney Walsh or Curtly Ambrose should have been included in the top 10 best bowlers of all time

  13. list's good. but some major bowlers have been missed out. WI bowlers are notable.

  14. Jithu Jose Parackal

    Marshall and Holding had to feature in this list.And even Amrose.

  15. Jithu Jose Parackal

    Marshall and Holding had to feature in this list.And even Amrose.

  16. Where is kapil pajji,dale steyn and brett lee

  17. shaun polluk and waqar onus are not able to come in this list

  18. I would rate Murali ahead of Sydney Barnes, And probably the best ever bowler too…

  19. Why no West Indians and we were world champions for so long..Impossible..

  20. Why no West Indians and we were world champions for so long..Impossible..

  21. I Am Shocked, Without Ambrose, Marshal and Steyn How You Can Complete Your List ?

  22. Where is Marshal

  23. Where is Curtly Ambrose?

  24. hello fokes,

    I also dont agree with the list. There are others fast bowlers who were furious in their own time.
    Courtney Walsh, Courtley Ambrose, Kapil Dev, Malcom Marshall, Micheal Holding,

  25. Where is ambrose

  26. superb bowler of all time.
    ANIL KUMBLE…………………… anil zindabad…….kumble zindabad.,,,,,,,,,.

  27. Muttiah Muralitharan ? His action would have been outlawed in any other era and certain test players openly say that his action was somewhat unlawful. First time I ever saw him on tv I noticed the odd jerky action when the odd ball did something unusual. Many other strange choices here and great bowlers not included whilst those of lesser skill are in the list. The case for Sydney Barnes to be voted top bowler is rather silly as he comes from an era when cricket was played at nowhere near the level is is today.

    • Do you have super power to see if a bowler exceeds 15 degrees or not. He was cleared by ICC experts who are more qualified than you. You people are jealous because he easily outperform Warne in every aspect including discipline.

  28. Malcolm Glennie

    Umm…Malcolm Marshall…where is he? Michael Holding too though he had injuries unfortunately. While Sydney Barnes was one of the best; bowlers of that era had very low averages because of the crappy wickets, plus it's hard to know how good he was because there's no video footage of him (not his fault of course). He wouldn't be No.1 for me, though he probably should be in the top 10.

  29. paeng nepomuceno not included? how pity the writer is….

  30. i think wasim akram should be at 1st

  31. Look at the stats, Shaun Pollock’s stats are way better than most so called legends, think of the Laras, Tendulkars, Pontings, etc, he bowled to all the greats (all in the nest ever top ten) his economy accross both formats is the meanest, and yes he is/was better than Donald!

    lastly, which legendary batsmen was Sydney Barnes bowling to?

  32. how on earth Kumble is in this list of top 10 bowlers having an odd average of 30 in both tests and odis

  33. “Sydney Barnes is an English fast bowler” “He made his Test debut against England at Sydney on 13th December 1901″ lolx

  34. where are the windies greats marshall, ambrose, walsh and there is also strong case for imran khan, allan donald and steyn. Though i'm Indian but i wont have kumble in top 10. just being unbiased.

  35. Muhammad Owais Sarwer

    i like your comments atleast found a guy who has gut to face reality rather every indian i have seen, they always try to be in upper hand but u are a true guy i really appreciate u……………

  36. Anil Kumble and Muttiah Muralitharan are the Best

  37. another non sense shitty list …
    I wana ask you what the hell 'anil kumble' is doing in this list????
    where are greatest west indian bowlers???

    okay .. tell me one thing ….
    the makers of this list are indians???? :P

  38. they have done the same in the case of batsmen …..
    this website SUCKS big time …..
    some losers are running it … may be :/

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