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50 Best Cricket Bowlers of All Time

In the limited-overs formats (ODIs and T20Is), teams win based on how many runs they score. Although picking up wickets can change a game, bowlers who contain batsmen by preventing the run flow also come in handy.



Nowadays, the game favors batsmen since pitches are more batting-friendly and bats have become bigger. Still, the best bowlers find a way. They introduce new deliveries and vary the pace or bowl jaw-dropping yorkers and bouncers.



These are the best match-winners with the ball in cricket history.

50. Darren Gough Experience: 1994-2006 Country: England Other major teams: Essex, Yorkshire Career stats in Tests: 58 matches, 229 wickets, 28.39 average, 51.6 strike rate, 3.30 economy, 6-42 best bowling, 9 5w Career stats in ODIs: 159 matches, 235 wickets, 26.42 average, 36.0 strike rate, 4.39 economy, 5-44 best bowling, 2 5w


49. Abdul Qadir Experience: 1977-93 Country: Pakistan Other major teams: Lahore, Punjab Career stats in Tests: 67 matches, 236 wickets, 32.80 average, 72.5 strike rate, 2.71 economy, 9-56 best bowling, 15 5w Career stats in ODIs: 104 matches, 132 wickets, 26.16 average, 38.6 strike rate, 4.06 economy, 5-44 best bowling, 2 5w


48. Vernon Philander Experience: 2007-present Country: South Africa Other major teams: Cape Cobras, Middlesex Career stats in Tests: 58 matches, 214 wickets, 21.64 average, 48.6 strike rate, 2.66 economy, 6-21 best bowling, 13 5w Career stats in ODIs: 30 matches, 41 wickets, 24.04 average, 31.1 strike rate, 4.62 economy, 4-12 best bowling, 0 5w


47. Lasith Malinga Experience: 2004-present Country: Sri Lanka Other major teams: Galle Cricket Club, Mumbai Indians Career stats in Tests: 30 matches, 101 wickets, 33.15 average, 51.5 strike rate, 3.85 economy, 5-50 best bowling, 3 5w Career stats in ODIs: 226 matches, 338 wickets, 28.87 average, 32.3 strike rate, 5.35 economy, 6-38 best bowling, 8 5w


46. Rangana Herath Experience: 1999-2018 Country: Sri Lanka Other major teams: Wayamba, Surrey Career stats in Tests: 93 matches, 433 wickets, 28.07 average, 60.0 strike rate, 2.80 economy, 9-127 best bowling, 34 5w Career stats in ODIs: 71 matches, 74 wickets, 31.91 average, 43.8 strike rate, 4.37 economy, 4-20 best bowling, 0 5w


45. Harbhajan Singh Experience: 1998-present Country: India Other major teams: Punjab, Mumbai Indians Career stats in Tests: 103 matches, 417 wickets, 32.46 average, 68.5 strike rate, 2.84 economy, 8-84 best bowling, 25 5w Career stats in ODIs: 236 matches, 269 wickets, 33.35 average, 46.3 strike rate, 4.31 economy, 5-31 best bowling, 3 5w


44. Zaheer Khan Experience: 2000-12 Country: India Other major teams: Baroda, Mumbai Career stats in Tests: 92 matches, 311 wickets, 32.94 average, 60.4 strike rate, 3.27 economy, 7-87 best bowling, 11 5w Career stats in ODIs: 200 matches, 282 wickets, 29.43 average, 35.8 strike rate, 4.93 economy, 5-42 best bowling, 1 5w


43. Daniel Vettori Experience: 1997-2015 Country: New Zealand Other major teams: Queensland, Warwickshire Career stats in Tests: 113 matches, 362 wickets, 34.36 average, 79.5 strike rate, 2.59 economy, 7-87 best bowling, 20 5w Career stats in ODIs: 295 matches, 305 wickets, 31.71 average, 46.0 strike rate, 4.12 economy, 5-7 best bowling, 2 5w


42. Javagal Srinath Experience: 1991-2003 Country: India Other major teams: Karnataka, Gloucestershire Career stats in Tests: 67 matches, 236 wickets, 30.49 average, 64.0 strike rate, 2.85 economy, 8-86 best bowling, 10 5w Career stats in ODIs: 229 matches, 315 wickets, 28.08 average, 37.8 strike rate, 4.44 economy, 5-23 best bowling, 3 5w


41. Bishan Singh Bedi Experience: 1967-79 Country: India Other major teams: Delhi, Punjab Career stats in Tests: 67 matches, 266 wickets, 28.71 average, 80.3 strike rate, 2.14 economy, 7-98 best bowling, 14 5w Career stats in ODIs: 10 matches, 7 wickets, 48.57 average, 84.2 strike rate, 3.45 economy, 2-44 best bowling, 0 5w


40. Jason Gillespie Experience: 1996-2006 Country: Australia Other major teams: South Australia, Yorkshire Career stats in Tests: 71 matches, 259 wickets, 26.13 average, 54.9 strike rate, 2.85 economy, 7-37 best bowling, 8 5w Career stats in ODIs: 97 matches, 142 wickets, 25.42 average, 36.2 strike rate, 4.21 economy, 5-22 best bowling, 3 5w


39. Lance Gibbs Experience: 1958-1976 Country: West Indies Other major teams: Guyana, Warwickshire Career stats in Tests: 79 matches, 309 wickets, 29.09 average, 87.7 strike rate, 1.98 economy, 8-38 best bowling, 18 5w Career stats in ODIs: 3 matches, 2 wickets, 29.50 average, 78.0 strike rate, 2.26 economy, 1-12 best bowling, 0 5w


38. Ravichandran Ashwin Experience: 2010-present Country: India Other major teams: Tamil Nadu, Chennai Super Kings Career stats in Tests: 65 matches, 342 wickets, 25.43 average, 53.7 strike rate, 2.84 economy, 7-59 best bowling, 26 5w Career stats in ODIs: 111 matches, 150 wickets, 32.91 average, 40.1 strike rate, 4.91 economy, 4-25 best bowling, 0 5w


37. Mitchell Johnson Experience: 2005-15 Country: Australia Other major teams: Queensland, Western Australia Career stats in Tests: 73 matches, 313 wickets, 28.40 average, 51.1 strike rate, 3.33 economy, 8-61 best bowling, 12 5w Career stats in ODIs: 153 matches, 239 wickets, 25.26 average, 31.3 strike rate, 4.83 economy, 6-31 best bowling, 3 5w


36. Morne Morkel Experience: 2006-18 Country: South Africa Other major teams: Titans, Kent Career stats in Tests: 86 matches, 309 wickets, 27.66 average, 53.3 strike rate, 3.10 economy, 6-23 best bowling, 8 5w Career stats in ODIs: 117 matches, 188 wickets, 25.32 average, 30.6 strike rate, 4.95 economy, 5-21 best bowling, 2 5w


35. Craig McDermott Experience: 1984-96 Country: Australia Other major teams: Queensland Career stats in Tests: 71 matches, 291 wickets, 28.63 average, 56.9 strike rate, 3.01 economy, 8-97 best bowling, 14 5w Career stats in ODIs: 138 matches, 203 wickets, 24.71 average, 36.7 strike rate, 4.03 economy, 5-44 best bowling, 1 5w


34. Ian Botham Experience: 1977-92 Country: England Other major teams: Durham, Somerset Career stats in Tests: 102 matches, 383 wickets, 28.40 average, 56.9 strike rate, 2.99 economy, 8-34 best bowling, 27 5w Career stats in ODIs: 116 matches, 145 wickets, 28.54 average, 43.2 strike rate, 3.96 economy, 4-31 best bowling, 0 5w


33. Makhaya Ntini Experience: 1998-2011 Country: South Africa Other major teams: Kent, Warriors Career stats in Tests: 101 matches, 390 wickets, 28.82 average, 53.4 strike rate, 3.23 Economy, 7-37 Best Bowling, 18 5w Career stats in ODIs: 173 matches, 266 wickets, 24.65 average, 32.6 strike rate, 4.53 economy, 6-22 best bowling, 4 5w


32. Brian Statham Experience: 1951-65 Country: England Other major teams: Lancashire Career stats in Tests: 70 matches, 252 wickets, 24.84 average, 63.7 strike rate, 2.33 economy, 7-39 best bowling, 9 5w


31. Stuart Broad Experience: 2006-present Country: England Other major teams: Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire Career stats in Tests: 132 matches, 467 wickets, 28.67 average, 57.7 strike rate, 2.98 economy, 8-15 best bowling, 17 5w Career stats in ODIs: 121 matches, 178 wickets, 30.13 average, 34.3 strike rate, 5.26 economy, 5-23 best bowling, 1 5w


30. Derek Underwood Experience: 1966-82 Country: England Other major teams: Kent Career stats in Tests: 86 matches, 297 wickets, 25.83 average, 73.6 strike rate, 2.10 economy, 8-51 best bowling, 17 5w Career stats in ODIs: 26 matches, 32 wickets, 22.93 average, 39.9 strike rate, 3.44 economy, 4-44 best bowling, 0 5w


29. Bret Lee Experience: 1999-2012 Country: Australia Other major teams: New South Wales, Sydney Sixers Career stats in Tests: 76 matches, 310 wickets, 30.81 average, 53.3 strike rate, 3.46 economy, 5-30 best bowling, 10 5w Career stats in ODIs: 221 matches, 380 wickets, 23.36 average, 29.4 strike rate, 4.76 economy, 5-22 best bowling, 9 5w


28. Bob Willis Experience: 1971-84 Country: England Other major teams: Surrey, Warwickshire Career stats in Tests: 90 matches, 325 wickets, 25.20 average, 53.4 strike rate, 2.83 economy, 8-43 best bowling, 16 5w Career stats in ODIs: 64 matches, 80 wickets, 24.60 average, 44.9 strike rate, 3.28 economy, 4-11 best bowling, 0 5w


27. Andy Roberts Experience: 1974-83 Country: West Indies Other major teams: Hampshire, Combined Islands Career stats in Tests: 47 matches, 202 wickets, 25.61 average, 55.1 strike rate, 2.78 economy, 7-54 best bowling, 11 5w Career stats in ODIs: 56 matches, 87 wickets, 20.35 average, 35.8 strike rate, 3.40 economy, 5-22 best bowling, 1 5w


26. George Lohman Experience: 1886-96 Country: England Other major teams: Surrey Career stats in Tests: 18 matches, 112 wickets, 10.75 average, 34.1 strike rate, 1.88 economy, 9-22 best bowling, 9 5w


25. Saqlain Mushtaq Experience: 1995-2004 Country: Pakistan Other major teams: Surrey, Sussex Career stats in Tests: 49 matches, 208 wickets, 29.83 average, 67.6 strike rate, 2.64 economy, 8-164 best bowling, 13 5w Career stats in ODIs: 169 matches, 288 wickets, 21.78 average, 30.4 strike rate, 4.29 economy, 5-20 best bowling, 6 5w


24. Shoaib Akhtar Experience: 1997-2011 Country: Pakistan Other major teams: Rawalpindi, Somerset Career stats in Tests: 46 matches, 178 wickets, 25.69 average, 45.7 strike rate, 3.37 economy, 6-11 best bowling, 12 5w Career stats in ODIs: 163 matches, 247 wickets, 24.97 average, 31.4 strike rate, 4.76 economy, 6-16 best bowling, 4 5w


23. Chaminda Vaas Experience: 1994-2009 Country: Sri Lanka Other major teams: Middlesex, Hampshire Career stats in Tests: 111 matches, 355 wickets, 29.58 average, 66.0 strike rate, 2.68 economy, 7-71 best bowling, 12 5w Career stats in ODIs: 322 matches, 400 wickets, 27.53 average, 39.4 strike rate, 4.18 economy, 8-19 best bowling, 4 5w


22. Kapil Dev Experience: 1978-94 Country: India Other major teams: Haryana, Northamptonshire Career stats in Tests: 131 matches, 434 wickets, 29.64 average, 63.9 strike rate, 2.78 economy, 9-83 best bowling, 23 5w Career stats in ODIs: 225 matches, 253 wickets, 27.45 average, 44.2 strike rate, 3.71 economy, 5-43 best bowling, 1 5w


21. Imran Khan Experience: 1971-92 Country: Pakistan Other major teams: Lahore, Sussex Career stats in Tests: 88 matches, 362 wickets, 22.81 average, 53.7 strike rate, 2.54 economy, 8-58 best bowling, 23 5w Career stats in ODIs: 175 matches, 182 wickets, 26.61 average, 40.9 strike rate, 3.89 economy, 6-14 best bowling, 1 5w


20. Michael Holding Experience: 1975-87 Country: West Indies Other major teams: Jamaica, Derbyshire Career stats in Tests: 60 matches, 249 wickets, 23.68 average, 50.9 strike rate, 2.79 economy, 8-92 best bowling, 13 5w Career stats in ODIs: 102 matches, 142 wickets, 21.36 average, 38.5 strike rate, 3.32 economy, 5-26 best bowling, 1 5w


19. Courtney Walsh Experience: 1984-2001 Country: West Indies Other major teams: Jamaica, Gloucestershire Career stats in Tests: 132 matches, 519 wickets, 24.44 average, 57.8 strike rate, 2.53 economy, 7-37 best bowling, 22 5w Career stats in ODIs: 205 matches, 227 wickets, 30.47 average, 47.6 strike rate, 3.83 economy, 5-1 best bowling, 1 5w


18. Dale Steyn Experience: 2004-present Country: South Africa Other major teams: Cape Cobras, Essex Career stats in Tests: 93 matches, 439 wickets, 22.95 average, 42.3 strike rate, 3.24 economy, 7-51 best bowling, 26 5w Career stats in ODIs: 125 matches, 196 wickets, 25.95 average, 31.9 strike rate, 4.87 economy, 6-39 best bowling, 3 5w


17. James Anderson Experience: 2002-present Country: England Other major teams: Lancashire Career stats in Tests: 148 matches, 575 wickets, 26.93 average, 56.2 strike rate, 2.87 economy, 7-42 best bowling, 27 5w Career stats in ODIs: 194 matches, 269 wickets, 29.22 average, 35.6 strike rate, 4.92 economy, 5-23 best bowling, 2 5w


16. Shaun Pollock Experience: 1995-2008 Country: South Africa Other major teams: Dolphins, Durham Career stats in Tests: 108 matches, 421 wickets, 23.11 average, 57.8 strike rate, 2.39 economy, 7-87 best bowling, 16 5w Career stats in ODIs: 303 matches, 393 wickets, 24.50 average, 39.9 strike rate, 3.67 economy, 6-35 best bowling, 5 5w


15. Jim Laker Experience: 1948-59 Country: England Other major teams: Essex, Surrey Career stats in Tests: 46 matches, 193 wickets, 21.24 average, 62.3 strike rate, 2.04 economy, 10-53 best bowling, 9 5w


14. Anil Kumble Experience: 1990-2008 Country: India Other major teams: Surrey, Royal Challengers Bangalore Career stats in Tests: 132 matches, 619 wickets, 29.65 average, 65.9 strike rate, 2.69 economy, 10-74 best bowling, 35 5w Career stats in ODIs: 271 matches, 337 wickets, 30.89 average, 43.0 strike rate, 4.30 economy, 6-12 best bowling, 2 5w


13. Fred Trueman Experience: 1952-65 Country: England Other major teams: Derbyshire, Yorkshire Career stats in Tests: 67 matches, 307 wickets, 21.57 average, 49.4 strike rate, 2.61 economy, 8-31 best bowling, 17 5w


12. Waqar Younis Experience: 1989-2003 Country: Pakistan Other major teams: Karachi, Lahore, Glamorgan Career stats in Tests: 87 matches, 373 wickets, 23.56 average, 43.4 strike rate, 3.25 economy, 7-76 best bowling, 22 5w Career stats in ODIs: 262 matches, 416 wickets, 23.84 average, 30.5 strike rate, 4.68 economy, 7-36 best bowling, 13 5w


11. Sydney Barnes Experience: 1901-14 Country: England Other major teams: Wales, Warwickshire Career stats in Tests: 27 matches, 189 wickets, 16.43 average, 41.6 strike rate, 2.36 economy, 9-103 best bowling, 24 5w


10. Malcolm Marshall Experience: 1978-92 Country: West Indies Other major teams: Barbados, Hampshire Career stats in Tests: 81 matches, 376 wickets, 20.94 average, 46.7 strike rate, 2.68 economy, 7-22 best bowling, 22 5w Career stats in ODIs: 136 matches, 157 wickets, 26.96 average, 45.7 strike rate, 3.53 economy, 4-18 best bowling, 0 5w


9. Dennis Lillee Experience: 1971-84 Country: Australia Other major teams: Tasmania, Northamptonshire Career stats in Tests: 70 matches, 355 wickets, 23.92 average, 52.0 strike rate, 2.75 economy, 7-83 best bowling, 23 5w Career stats in ODIs: 63 matches, 103 wickets, 20.82 average, 34.8 strike rate, 3.58 economy, 5-34 best bowling, 1 5w


8. Curtly Ambrose Experience: 1988-2000 Country: West Indies Other major teams: Leeward Island, Northamptonshire Career stats in Tests: 98 matches, 405 wickets, 20.99 average, 54.5 strike rate, 2.30 economy, 8-45 best bowling, 22 5w Career stats in ODIs: 176 matches, 225 wickets, 24.12 average, 41.5 strike rate, 3.48 economy, 5-17 best bowling, 4 5w


7. Allan Donald Experience: 1991-2003 Country: South Africa Other major teams: Free State, Warwickshire Career stats in Tests: 72 matches, 330 wickets, 22.25 average, 47.0 strike rate, 2.83 economy, 8-71 best bowling, 20 5w Career stats in ODIs: 164 matches, 272 wickets, 21.78 average, 31.4 strike rate, 4.15 economy, 6-23 best bowling, 2 5w


6. Joel Garner Experience: 1977-87 Country: West Indies Other major teams: Barbados, Somerset Career stats in Tests: 58 matches, 259 wickets, 20.97 average, 50.8 strike rate, 2.47 economy, 6-56 best bowling, 7 5w Career stats in ODIs: 98 matches, 146 wickets, 18.84 average, 36.5 strike rate, 3.09 economy, 5-31 best bowling, 3 5w


5. Richard Hadlee Experience: 1973-90 Country: New Zealand Other major teams: Canterbury Career stats in Tests: 86 matches, 431 wickets, 22.29 average, 50.8 strike rate, 2.63 economy, 9-52 best bowling, 36 5w Career stats in ODIs: 115 matches, 158 wickets, 21.56 average, 39.1 strike rate, 3.30 economy, 5-25 best bowling, 5 5w


4. Wasim Akram Experience: 1984-2003 Country: Pakistan Other major teams: Lahore, Hampshire Career stats in Tests: 104 matches, 414 wickets, 23.62 average, 54.6 strike rate, 2.59 economy, 7-119 best bowling, 25 5w Career stats in ODIs: 356 matches, 502 wickets, 23.52 average, 36.2 strike rate, 3.89 economy, 5-15 best bowling, 6 5w


3. Shane Warne Experience: 1992-2005 Country: Australia Other major teams: Hampshire, Melbourne Stars Career stats in Tests: 145 matches, 708 wickets, 25.41 average, 57.4 strike rate, 2.65 economy, 8-71 best bowling, 37 5w Career stats in ODIs: 194 matches, 293 wickets, 25.73 average, 36.3 strike rate, 4.25 economy, 5-33 best bowling, 1 5w


2. Glenn McGrath Experience: 1993-2007 Country: Australia Other major teams: New South Wales, Middlesex Career stats in Tests: 124 matches, 563 wickets, 21.64 average, 51.9 strike rate, 2.49 economy, 8-24 best bowling, 29 5w Career stats in ODIs: 250 matches, 381 wickets, 22.02 average, 34.0 strike rate, 3.88 economy, 7-15 best bowling, 7 5w


1. Muttiah Muralitharan Experience: 1992-2011 Country: Sri Lanka Other major teams: Tamil Union Cricket and Athletic Club, Kent Career stats in Tests: 133 matches, 800 wickets, 22.72 average, 55.0 strike rate, 2.47 economy, 9-51 best bowling, 67 5w Career stats in ODIs: 350 matches, 534 wickets, 23.08 average, 35.2 strike rate, 3.93 economy, 7-30 best bowling, 10 5w