Most test wickets in Asia by overseas fast bowlers

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

South African cricketer Dale Steyn (4R) leads captain Graeme Smith (3R) and the team back to the dressing room as the South African cricketers celebrate their win over India in the first cricket Test match of the two-match series in Nagpur on February 9, 2010. South Africa thumped India by an innings and six runs despite a fighting century by Sachin Tendulkar on the fourth day of the first Test to go 1-0 up in the two-match series. AFP PHOTO/ Pal PILLAI (Photo credit should read PAL PILLAI/AFP via Getty Images)

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

29 APRIL 1995; WEST INDIES PACE BOWLER COURTNEY WALSH CELEBRATES TAKING THE WICKET OF AUSTRALIAS SKIPPER MARK TAYLOR WITH JIMMY ADAMS WHO TOOK THE CATCH DURING THE SECOND DAY OF THE FOURTH TEST HERE IN JAMAICA. Mandatory Credit: Clive Mason/ALLSPORT

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

England captain Mike Atherton is caught behind for 8 runs off the bowling of Glenn McGrath of Australia during the 6th Test match between England and Australia at The Oval, London, 21st August 1997. England won the match by 19 runs. (Photo by Patrick Eagar/Popperfoto via Getty Images)

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
Malcolm Marshall of West Indies bowling with a broken thumb on his left hand during the 3rd Test match between England and West Indies at Headingley, Leeds, 14th July 1984. The umpire is David Evans; the batsman for England is Graeme Fowler. West Indies won the match by 8 wickets. (Photo by Patrick Eagar/Popperfoto via Getty Images)

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
New Zealand bowler Richard Hadlee appeals for and gets the wicket of England batsman Bill Athey during the 3rd Test match between England and New Zealand at The Oval, London, 23rd August 1986. The non-striking batsman for England is Graham Gooch, the umpire is David Shepherd, and the New Zealand wicketkeeper is Tony Blain. (Photo by Patrick Eagar/Popperfoto via Getty Images/Getty Images)

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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