India has generated many great batsmen of all time, but it doesn’t seem true for bowlers. Many world’s greatest bowlers come from other parts of the world, let’s see who they are and why they are worth No.1 bowlers in the world.
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10 World's Greatest Bowlers
Who are the world’s greatest bowlers of all time? Answer Revealed! Here is the latest list of the the top 10 world’s greatest bowlers of all time.
Muttiah Muralitharan (Sri Lanka)
No.1 bowler in the world.
Muttiah Muralitharan is undoubtedly one of the world’s greatest bowlers of all time. Muralitharan possessed an extraordinary ability to spin the ball prodigiously, generating immense spin and subtle variations that left batsmen bewildered. His unique bowling action, characterized by a distinctive spin and a “doosra” delivery that deceived the batsmen with its similar trajectory to his traditional off-break, made him a formidable opponent.
He holds the world record for the most wickets taken in both Test cricket (800 wickets) and One Day International (ODI) cricket (534 wickets), making him the highest wicket-taker in international cricket history.
Shane Warne (Australia)
Best bowler in the world
Another name that must be mentioned first in the list of the world’s greatest bowlers is Shane Warne. Warne possessed an extraordinary ability to spin the ball prodigiously, generating immense spin and subtle variations that left batsmen bewildered. His leg spin, with its sharp dip and bounce, was a nightmare for batsmen, and his mastery of the googly, a delivery that spun in the opposite direction of his normal leg-break, made him an even more formidable opponent.
He holds the world record for the most wickets taken by a bowler in Ashes cricket (195 wickets), and his tally of 708 Test wickets is the second-highest in history. He was also a prolific wicket-taker in One Day International (ODI) cricket, claiming 293 wickets.
Glenn McGrath (Australia)
World’s greatest bowler of all time
Glenn McGrath is widely regarded as one of the greatest fast bowlers in the history of cricket. His fast-medium pace, coupled with his unerring accuracy, made him a formidable opponent for batsmen of all styles. He was known for his calm demeanor and ability to maintain focus under immense pressure.
He holds the record for the most wickets taken by a fast bowler in Test cricket (563 wickets), and his tally of 1,000 wickets across all formats is the second-highest by any bowler. He was a key member of the dominant Australian team of the late 1990s and early 2000s, helping them achieve three consecutive Cricket World Cup victories (1999, 2003, and 2007).
Courtney Walsh (West Indies)
World’s greatest bowler of the 20th centuries.
Courtney Walsh was a towering figure in West Indies cricket, both physically and metaphorically. His imposing 6’7″ frame and long, rhythmic stride were a daunting sight for batsmen, and his left-arm fast bowling was as consistent as it was destructive. He was a key member of the dominant West Indies team of the 1980s and early 1990s, helping them win three consecutive Cricket World Cups (1983, 1987, and 1991) and establish themselves as the most powerful team in the world
He holds the record for the most Test wickets taken by a West Indian bowler, with 519 wickets in 132 matches. He also has the second-most wickets in ODI cricket for the West Indies, with 227 wickets in 205 matches. His career bowling average of 24.44 in Test cricket is a testament to his consistency, and his economy rate of 2.53 is indicative of his ability to control the flow of runs.
Malcolm Marshall (West Indies)
Best fast bowler of all time
Malcolm Marshall was a Barbadian fast bowler who is widely regarded as one of the world’s greatest bowlers of all time. He possessed a unique combination of pace, bounce, and swing that made him a formidable opponent for batsmen of all styles. His fast-medium pace, typically around 90 mph, generated significant bounce and seam movement, making it difficult for batsmen to anticipate his deliveries.
Marshall also had a significant impact in ODI cricket, taking 150 wickets in 78 matches at an average of 25.48. His ODI bowling average is the second-best by a fast bowler with a minimum of 50 wickets, demonstrating his ability to adapt his bowling style to the shorter format.
Sydney Barnes (England)
World’s greatest bowlers in history
English cricketer, Sydney Barnes is usually voted as one of the world’s greatest bowlers. He had an unorthodox bowling action that left batsmen bewildered and struggling to pick up his line and length. His action was characterized by a low-slinging release point, a high arm action, and a distinctive sideways shuffle that made it difficult for batsmen to anticipate his deliveries. T
Barnes’ impact extended beyond Test cricket. He also excelled in first-class cricket, taking 1,364 wickets at an average of 17.21, which stands as the third-best bowling average in first-class cricket history. His ability to adapt his bowling style to different formats made him a truly exceptional bowler.
Wasim Akram (Pakistan)
World’s greatest bowlers
The exceptional talent of the Pakistan cricket team, who helped the team win the 1992 Cricket World Cup, Wasim Akram is also one of the best bowlers in the world. His left-arm fast bowling could generate significant seam movement and bounce, making it difficult for batsmen to anticipate his deliveries.
Akram’s ability to perform under pressure was evident in his numerous match-winning performances. He holds the record for the most five-wicket hauls in Test cricket (31) and ODI cricket (23), highlighting his ability to take wickets in clusters and turn matches on their head.
Ewen Chatfield (New Zealand)
No.1 fast bowler in the world
Ewen John Chatfield is a former New Zealand cricketer who played 43 Test matches and 114 One Day Internationals for his country. He was a right-arm medium-fast bowler who was known for the ‘blockhole’, a delivery that pitched on middle and leg stump and bounced just over the bails, and he was also a very effective bowler of the yorker.
He took 123 wickets in his 43 Tests, including 9 five-wicket hauls. In ODIs, Chatfield’s average was even better at 25.84. He took 140 wickets in his 114 ODIs, including 5 five-wicket hauls.
Mohammed Shami (India)
India’s best bowler of all time
Mohammed Shami is an Indian cricketer who is widely considered one of the best fast bowlers of his generation. He can generate significant pace, typically around 90 mph, and he is able to maintain his line and length over long spells.
He has a remarkable record in both Test and ODI cricket. In Test cricket, he has taken 216 wickets in 53 matches at an average of 24.49. In ODIs, he has taken 159 wickets in 82 matches at an average of 25.50. His economy rate in both formats is excellent, with an average of 2.46 in Tests and 5.42 in ODIs.
Dale Steyn (South Africa)
World’s greatest fast bowlers
He is often regarded as one of the greatest fast bowlers of all time and the world’s greatest bowlers of the Modern era. Steyn’s bowling style was characterized by his high-arm action, which allowed him to generate significant pace and bounce. He was also able to maintain a consistent line and length over long spells, making him a very difficult bowler to play.
He is the leading wicket-taker for South Africa in both Test and ODI cricket, with 439 wickets in 93 Tests and 196 wickets in 96 ODIs. He also has the best bowling average for a fast bowler in Test cricket with a minimum of 50 wickets, with an average of 22.31.
- Being named the ICC ODI Player of the Year in 2013
- Being named to the ICC Test Team of the Decade in 2009 and 2019
- Being named to the ICC ODI Team of the Decade in 2014
Frequently Asked Questions
West Indies pacer Alzarri Joseph holds the record for the exceptional bowling icon in IPL history.
Jasprit Bumrah is a key part of India cricket tem in all formats of the game, be it ODIs, T20s or test matches, one of the best bowlers in the modern-day cricket.
Shoaib Akhtar delivered the fastest ball in cricket history against England in the 2003 Cricket World Cup, reaching 161.3kmph, is the fastest ever in cricket history.