The benchmark for fast bowling
Fast bowlers are often judged by how they perform in Asia. This is because the pitches in Asia are generally flat and do not encourage quick bowling. As a result, only the most skilled bowlers are likely to have sustained success on the subcontinent. In the past, we have seen bowlers such as James Anderson and Morne Morkel prosper in such conditions. But, which fast bowlers from abroad have taken the most test wickets in Asia?
Dale Steyn enjoyed the subcontinent more than any other foreign pacer. He took 92 wickets at an average of 24.11. His 7-51 at Nagpur in 2010 was a masterclass in reverse swing bowling. He also spearheaded test series wins in both Pakistan in 2007 and Sri Lanka in 2014 respectively. Plus, his strike rate of 37.1 in India remains the best for any fast bowler who has taken over 20 test wickets in the country.
Courtney Walsh picked up 77 wickets in just 17 matches in the subcontinent. He took three five-wicket hauls in India and two in Pakistan respectively. His accurate bowling was one of the key reasons as to why the West Indies were able to compete in Asian conditions – despite a declining side in the 1990s.
Glenn Mcgrath played 19 test matches in Asia and took 72 wickets. His 14 wickets in India in 2004 helped Australia completed a famous 2-1 series victory. His economy of 2.51 is the best of any fast bowler on this list. He often bowled immaculate line and lengths and frustrated batsmen. This is a crucial reason as to why he has the third most wickets in Asia by a foreign pacer.
Malcolm Marshall took 71 wickets in 19 matches on the subcontinent. He was part of the famed “West Indian Quartet” that did not lose a single Test series between 1980 and 1995. In his 19 matches, he also achieved three five-wicket hauls.
Sir Richard Hadlee
Sir Richard Hadlee is widely regarded as New Zealand’s greatest-ever bowler. He took 68 wickets on the subcontinent in just 13 games – averaging over 5 wickets per game. His 10 wicket-haul at Mumbai helped New Zealand to a famous win over India in 1988. He was also player of the series when New Zealand won 2-0 in Sri Lanka in 1984. He took 23 wickets in that series.
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