Top 10 Australian Fast Bowlers

Known for producing some of the best fast bowlers in cricket history, here we list down the top 10 Australian players who carried unparalleled pace and precision.

Subhayan Dutta
Subhayan Dutta

Last Updated: 2024-05-10

Louis Hobbs

8 minutes read

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Australian cricket has long boasted a rich tradition of formidable fast bowlers, from Lindwall to Lillee, Thompson to McGrath. Today, Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood, and Mitchell Starc lead a talented pool of speedsters, emblematic of Australia's depth in pace bowling. This strength trickles down from a robust first-class system, nurturing elite talents who excel on the global stage.

Delving into the current crop, we've curated a list of the top 10 Australian fast bowlers.

Best Australian Fast Bowlers: List of Top 10

Glenn McGrath

Glenn McGrath, known for his precision and longevity, anchored Australia's bowling attack for over a decade, retiring in 2007 with 563 Test and 381 ODI wickets. Born on February 8, 1970, in New South Wales, McGrath is a highly acclaimed former professional international cricketer. 

Image Credits: Cricbuzz twitter/ X account

Image Credits: Cricbuzz twitter/ X account

Renowned as one of the greatest bowlers in cricket history, his success was attributed to his exceptional wrist position, which consistently produced seaming deliveries that troubled opposing batsmen. McGrath's illustrious 14-year international career commenced in 1993 against New Zealand, during which he participated in 124 Test matches and a total of 376 international matches.

2.  Brett Lee

Renowned for his blistering pace and aggressive bowling style, Brett Lee stood out as one of Australia's fastest-ever bowlers. His Test cricket career saw him claim 310 wickets in 76 matches, averaging 30.82, while in ODIs, he proved equally lethal with 380 wickets in 221 matches. Lee's ability to consistently bowl above 90 mph, coupled with his intimidating presence left a lasting impact on batsmen worldwide.

His partnership with Glenn McGrath showcased a formidable seam and speed combination for Australia, particularly evident in Lee's impressive Test debut against India in 1999, where he secured five wickets in the first innings and seven in the match.

3. Dennis Lille

Dennis Lillee was a fierce and skilful fast bowler, contrasting Glenn McGrath's methodical approach. He formed a formidable partnership with Jeff Thomson during the 1974/75 Ashes series, showcasing his blend of speed and aggression. Lillee's debut against England in 1971 marked the beginning of a stellar career, especially highlighted by his dominance in the Ashes contests.

From 1971 to 1979, he played 70 tests, claiming 355 wickets with a best of 7/83, alongside 103 ODI wickets. Lillee's raw pace, precise control, and ability to generate swing made him a feared opponent for batsmen worldwide, solidifying his status as a fast-bowling legend.

4. Mitchell Starc

Mitchell Starc stands out as one of the premier left-arm fast bowlers globally, playing a pivotal role in the Australian team. His aggressive bowling style, featuring express pace, swing variations, and lethal yorkers, consistently troubles batsmen. In Test cricket, Starc has amassed 306 wickets in 77 matches at an impressive average of 27.52. Similarly, in ODIs, he has been equally formidable with 219 wickets in 110 games. 

Image Credits: @rafi4999 (

Image Credits: @rafi4999 (

Starc's ability to generate both conventional and reverse swing adds to his effectiveness. Notably, in 2022, he showcased his skill by dismissing Fawad Alam with a reverse swinging yorker. When Starc finds his rhythm and accuracy, he becomes an extremely challenging bowler to face, making his fitness a crucial aspect of Australia's success.

5. Mitchell Johnson

Mitchell Johnson was a formidable force in cricket, known for his menacing pace and impressive swing bowling skills. In Test cricket, Johnson secured 313 wickets in 73 matches at an average of 28.41, while in ODIs, he took 239 wickets in 153 matches. His devastating performances, notably during the 2013-2014 Ashes series, left a lasting impact and cemented his reputation as a top-class fast bowler.

6. Craig McDermott

Craig McDermott was a standout figure in Australian cricket during the late 1980s and early 1990s, showcasing his prowess as a formidable fast bowler. Throughout his career from 1984 to 1996, McDermott left a significant impact on the sport. In Test matches, he impressively claimed 291 wickets in 71 matches with an average of 28.63.

Image Credits: @DJTayo (

Image Credits: @DJTayo (

Known for his ability to swing the ball and generate pace, McDermott posed a constant threat to opposing batsmen. In ODIs, he was equally effective, securing 203 wickets in 138 matches at an average of 24.71, further solidifying his status as a key asset for Australian cricket.

7. Jason Gillespie

Jason Gillespie, a tall and imposing fast bowler, was part of a formidable partnership with Glenn McGrath, creating nightmares for batsmen with their pace bowling. Gillespie's Test career saw him claim 259 wickets in 71 matches at an average of 26.14, showcasing his skill and effectiveness. In ODIs, he secured 142 wickets in 97 games, highlighting his versatility across formats. Gillespie gained renown for his devastating performances on the bouncy tracks of Australia, contributing significantly to the team's success during his career.

8. Pat Cummins

Pat Cummins has established himself as one of the premier fast bowlers in world cricket since his international debut in 2011. Currently ranked World No. 3 in Test cricket, Cummins has impressively taken 217 wickets in 49 matches at an average of 21.51. His effectiveness extends to limited-overs cricket, where he has claimed 124 wickets in 75 ODIs and 55 wickets in 50 T20Is.

Cummins made history as the first fast bowler to captain Australia, showcasing his respected leadership and leading by example after replacing Tim Paine. Despite early career injuries, Cummins remains Australia’s fastest bowler, capable of exceeding 90mph when fully fit. His impactful debut in 2011 against South Africa, where he took 6/79 in Johannesburg’s second innings, underlines his immediate influence on the game.

9. Josh Hazlewood

Josh Hazlewood has been a crucial component of the Australian bowling unit since his debut in 2010, enjoying a successful career. Renowned for his exceptional line and length, Hazlewood has consistently taken wickets for Australia. In Test cricket, he has amassed 222 wickets in 59 matches at an average of 25.45, showcasing his effectiveness in the longest format of the game. Additionally, in ODIs and T20Is, Hazlewood has also been impressive with 108 and 58 wickets, respectively, further highlighting his value across different formats of the sport.

10. Ray Lindwall

Ray Lindwall was a dominant force in Australian cricket during the 1940s and 1950s, playing a pivotal role in the team's success alongside Don Bradman. Known for his sheer pace and ability to move the ball, Lindwall posed a formidable challenge for batsmen worldwide. His Test career was illustrious, with 228 wickets in 61 matches at an outstanding average of 23.03, highlighting his exceptional skill and impact on the game during his era.

Image Credits: @danredford70

Image Credits: @danredford70

Special Mention: Merv Hughes

Merv Hughes, renowned as one of Australia's finest fast bowlers, left an indelible mark on cricket with his exceptional talent and iconic handlebar moustache. Hailing from Victoria, Hughes began his cricket journey at a young age, making his district cricket debut in 1978-79 and later progressing to his first-class debut for Victoria in 1981-82. His impressive performances earned him a spot in the national team, making his Test debut in 1985-86 against India at Adelaide.

Hughes' aggressive pace and skillful bowling led to 212 wickets in 53 Test matches, showcasing his prowess with seven fifers, a testament to his consistent excellence in the longest format of the game. He remains among the elite Australian fast bowlers to have achieved the milestone of surpassing 200 Test wickets, solidifying his legacy as a cricketing legend.


Who is the Australian left-arm fast bowler?

Mitchell Starc is one of the most entertaining players of the current age thanks to his traditional left-arm action and quick swing. He is expected to conclude his career as one of Australia's all-time greatest fast bowlers.

Who are Australia's future fast bowlers?

Ian Bishop had mentioned Australia's future prospects for fast/seam bowling to be encouraging with the seam bowling stocks like Callum Vidler and Mahli Beardman expected to break the ranks in the upcoming years.

Subhayan Dutta
Subhayan DuttaSports Writer

An M.A. in English Literature, Subhayan is an experienced journalist and sports writer. Having worked as a journalist at Hindustan Times, Subhayan covered diverse beats including sports, education, and health, showcasing his versatility and in-depth understanding of various subjects.