Who are the top five fast bowlers in the history of cricket?

In this article we will take a look at the top five fast bowlers in the world who have assisted their teams to phenomenal victories.

With intimidating bouncers and blistering speed skills, fast bowlers have been dominating the game of cricket since its inception. Prominent bowlers including Jasprit Bumrah, Mitchell Starc, Glenn McGrath, Wasim Akram, Dennis Lillee, Malcolm Marshall, Curtly Ambrose, Waqar Younis, Dale Steyn and many more dominating the leading batsmen of the opposition teams with their lethal deliveries, concept of fast bowling evolved as one of the most revered and widely recognized styles of bowling. While all forms of bowlers, including spinners, play a major role in assisting their teams to victories, fast bowlers are still considered as the most reliable resources for a captain to restrict the opposition team to smashing massive numbers on the scoreboard. With a raw pace and blistering speed, the fast bowlers have proved to be a nightmare for even the greatest of batsmen to deal with at the crease. 

James Anderson 

James Michael Anderson, an English cricketer, is widely regarded as one of the greatest fast bowlers of the world across all formats of cricket at an international level. The fast bowler holds the record for picking up a record-breaking 700 wickets in the test format. Additionally, James Anderson also holds the record for being the highest English wicket-taker in the ODI format with a total of 269 wickets. Moreover, Anderson established himself to be the second bowler alongside legendary cricketer Joe Root to hold the record for the tenth-highest wicket stand (198) in the Test format. James Anderson started representing the England side on the international stage in 2002 and, as of 2024, his stellar bowling records include 700 test wickets, 269 ODI wickets and 18 T20I wickets.and,

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Glenn McGrath 

Former Australian cricketer, Glenn Donald McGrath has represented the Australian cricket team for fourteen long years and mastered the skill of fast bowling. With numerous records under his name, Glenn Donald McGrath is widely regarded to be one of the greatest and most accurate pace bowlers in the world. Most notably, Glenn Donald McGrath was a crucial member of the Australian winning team during the 1999 Cricket World Cup, the 2003 Cricket World Cup, and the 2007 Cricket World Cup. Additionally, Glenn Donald McGrath also played a pivotal role in assisting the Australian national cricket team to a glorious triumph at the 2006 ICC Champions Trophy. In his illustrious cricketing career that lasted for fourteen years, McGrath picked up a total of 563 test wickets, 381 ODI wickets and 5 T20I wickets.

Courtney Walsh 

Courtney Andrew Walsh, former Jamaican cricketer and captain of the West Indies cricket team for a total of twenty-two test matches, represented the West Indies team from 1984 to 2001. Walsh received numerous awards and recognition for his contribution to West Indian cricket. Walsh was named as the Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 1987 and was inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame in 2010. In his distinguished cricketing career, Courtney Walsh appeared in a total of 132 Test matches, picking up a phenomenal 519 wickets, and 205 ODIs, picking up a total of 227 wickets. Most notably, Courtney Walsh surpassed Kapil Dev’s record for the highest number of wickets.

Stuart Broad 

Former English cricketer, Stuart Christopher John Broad is widely regarded as one of the most influential fast bowlers of his era who also served as the captain of England’s cricket team in the ODI and T20 formats. The 2013-14 Ashes Series proved to be an apex of Broad’s illustrious career as he was acknowledged as the highest wicket-taker of the series. Stuart Broad also referred to as “the Malfoy” of England cricket, appeared in a total of 167 matches and picked up a stellar count of 604 wickets, 121 ODIs and picked up 178 wickets and 56 ODIs, picking up a total of 65 wickets. Stuart Broad recently announced his retirement from all forms of cricket in July 2023.  

Dale Steyn 

Dale Willem Steyn is often revered as a revolutionary force who transformed the bowling culture in the modern era. Dale Steyn witnessed the peak of his cricketing career during the 2008 – 2014 period, as he was ranked at the number one position by the ICC for a record-breaking period of 236 weeks. Although Steyn had a flourishing career in test cricket ahead of him, he chose to announce an early retirement from the test format in 2019 to concentrate more efficiently on the ODI and test format. Later in August 2021, Steyn officially announced his retirement from all forms of cricket. During his widely commemorated cricketing career, Dale Steyn picked up a total of 429 test wickets, 196 ODI wickets and 64 T20 wickets, making him one of the most influential fast bowlers in the collective historical past of cricket.