South Africa have always been a nation that has produced promising cricketers in their history. Apart from producing world-class batters, Cricket South Africa (CSA) have been quite exceptional in producing high-quality fast bowlers. Several fast bowlers made a name for themselves by letting their bowling performances do the talking.
South Africa have produced many exceptional fast bowlers who have irked the batsmen around the world with their pace, accuracy and bounce. It is worth mentioning that the greatest fast bowlers gave their blood, sweat and tears during their playing days of their cricketing career. Now, in this article, let’s take a glimpse at the top 10 greatest South African fast bowlers of all time.
10. Andrew Nel
Andre Nel was one of the best performing bowlers for the South African cricket team during the playing days of his cricketing career. With a quirky bowling style, he used to trouble the batsman with pace and bounce. He was also known to be verbally aggressive towards batsmen, which charged up the game, at times. He took 123 wickets in 36 Tests. On the other hand, he took 106 wickets in 79 ODIs.
9. Lance Klusener
Lance Klusener was one of the greatest players South African cricket has ever produced. The Durban-born operated as a destructive batsman and a fast-medium swing bowler during the playing days of his career. Notably, he was one of the top all-rounders in the world during 1990s and early 2000s and was best know for his finishing abilities. He took 192 wickets in ODIs and 80 wickets in Tests.
8. Vernon Philander
Vernon Philander succeeded as a bowling all-rounder for South African cricket. He found instant success in Test, becoming only the second quickest to reach 50 wickets in just 7 Tests. Philander had the potential to move the ball both ways at a sharp speed. He mixed up his strategy by attacking the stumps over long spells. He took 224 wickets in Tests, 41 wickets in ODIs and 4 wickets in T20Is.
7. Kagiso Rabada
Kagiso Rabada is currently one of the best fast bowlers in the world. He is one of those rare breeds of pace-bowling sensations who has perfected the art of taking wickets across formats. The all-format bowler is 27 years old and he still has plenty of years of cricket left in him. The Johannesburg-born has taken 280 wickets in 60 Tests, 137 wickets in 89 ODIs and 58 wickets in 56 T20Is.
6. Jacques Kallis
Jacques Kallis is widely acknowledged as one of the greatest all-rounders of all time. With the ball, he stunned the opposition batters with the components of pace, swing and awkward bounce. With these weapons under his repertoire, he was able to take important wickets for the team. He took 292 wickets in the purest format of the game, 273 wickets in One Day Internationals and 12 wickets in T20Is.
5. Morne Morkel
Morne Morkel was one of the greatest fast bowlers of South African cricket during the heydays of his cricketing career. He was always a threat to the opposition batters, especially with the red-ball. Morne was one of those lanky fast bowlers who frightened the batsmen with unexpected pace and bounce. He has taken 309 wickets in 86 Tests, 188 wickets in 11 ODIs and 47 wickets in 44 T20Is.
4. Allan Donald
Allan Donald was one of the most feared bowlers in the history of cricket. He was indeed a big asset to the South African cricket team during his cricketing journey. Notably, he is widely considered one of the Proteas’ most successful pace bowlers in his time. He was equally effective both in Tests and ODIs. The Bloemfontein-born took 330 wickets in 72 Tests. On the other hand, he took 272 wickets in 164 ODIs.
3. Makhaya Ntini
Makhaya Ntini is widely recognized as one of the greatest fast bowlers of all time. He played across all three formats of the game. The Mdingi-born had the intimidating bowling action and he terrorized the opposition batters with frightening pace. He was one of the most successful fast bowlers of South Africa in Tests. Ntini took 390 wickets in Tests, 266 wickets in ODIs and 6 wickets in T20Is.
2. Dale Steyn
Dale Steyn is widely acknowledged as one of the greatest fast bowlers of all time. Regarded as one of the greatest Test bowlers of the generation, he etched his name into record books after he surpassed Shaun Pollock’s Test wickets tally. He was known for his sheer pace and his ability to swing the ball both ways. He took 439 wickets in 93 Tests, 196 wickets in 125 ODIs and 64 wickets in 47 T20Is.
1. Shaun Pollock
Shaun Pollock was one of the pillars of the South African national cricket team. He is widely acknowledged as one of the best bowling all-rounders at that time. Pollock thrived as a bowler with subtle bowling variations of line and length. He quickly accustomed to the conditions and took crucial wickets for the team. Overall, he took 421 wickets in 108 Tests, 393 wickets in 303 ODIs and 15 wickets in 12 T20Is.