An excellent bowling attack is key for any successful Test team. In Test Cricket, the teams which are capable of picking 20 wickets in a game often emerge the winners. And with no surprise, one of the best teams in the Test history have produced the best bowling attacks ever.
In this article, we’ll take a look at the best bowling attacks in Tests in the last 50 years.
5. India (2015-Present)
Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah
Probably the greatest bowling attack India has ever had in Test history. This attack has been exceptional in Asia, as well as outside Asia.
Despite this, the Indian team has had limited success overseas due to the batsmen not performing up to the mark.
India during 2015-2020 under Virat Kohli had an exceptional record at home conditions, losing just one Test match during this period. The team also defeated Australia 2-1 in Australia in 2018-19, and Sri Lanka in Sri Lanka 2-1 in 2015 and 3-0 in 2017.
4. Pakistan (1985-1992)
Wasim Akram, Imran Khan, Abdul Qadir, Waqar Younis, Tauseef AhmedEmbed from Getty Images
This was the golden era of Pakistan Test Cricket under the leadership of Imran Khan. Eventually, Pakistan also went on to win the World Cup in 1992.
Surely this attack could’ve been placed higher if the fielding of Pakistan would’ve been good in that era. Nevertheless, they were a superb attack, capable of producing breathtaking performances.
During March 1985-December 1992, Pakistan lost just one series across conditions, the only loss coming against Australia in 1990. They won 1-0 in India in 1986-87, 1-0 in England 1987, 2-1 in England 1982, 1-0 in New Zealand 1992-93.
3. South Africa (2006-2015)
Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel, Makhaya Ntini, Vernon Philander, Jacques Kallis, Paul HarrisEmbed from Getty Images
The best bowling attack in the recent times, and with no surprise, they were the number 1 team for a long time, and won the coveted Test Mace in 2013, 2014 and 2015, and the Proteas are the only team to win it multiple times along with India and Australia.
South Africa did not lose a single Test series away from home between 2006 and July 2015. They only lost at home to Australia. In this period, they won a series 1-0 in Pakistan 2007-08, 2-1 in England 2008, 2-1 in Australia 2008-09, and many more. In short, they had won everywhere except in India, where they only managed to draw the series.
2. Australia (1999-2008)
Shane Warne, Glenn McGrath, Brett Lee, Jason Gillespie, Stuart Macgill, Michael KasprowiczEmbed from Getty Images
Probably the greatest bowling attack of this century, they had everything which an attack should have. And great captaincy along with fantastic batting and fielding ensured that the Aussies had unreal domination over the game.
The best fast bowler of the modern era as well as the best spinner of the modern era, what else do you need? They both were excellent wicket-takers and gave minimum runs.
As a result, during October 1999 and May 2008, Australia won all home series and lost only two away from home, 1-2 to India in 1999-2000, 1-2 to England 2005. They won the Test Mace, a record 7 consecutive times(with Ponting alone winning it 5 times), winning it in every year in 2002-2009 (the Test Mace started in 2002).
1.West Indies (1980 -1995)
Malcolm Marshall, Courtney Walsh, Curtly Ambrose, Joel Garner, Michael Holding, Patrick Patterson, Ian BishopEmbed from Getty Images
West Indies at its peak, what was a better sight than this? 7 batsmen and 4 bowlers, the most conventional and simple approach you can ever have, and it made wonders for the West Indies.
During 1980 and April 1995, they lost no series irrespective of whether it was home or away. An exceptional record, if ever there was one.
During this period they won 1-0 in England 1980, 1-0 in Pakistan 1980-81, 3-0 in India 1983-84, 5-0 in England 1984, 3-1 in Australia 1984-85 and many more.
Featured Image: BCCI | Instagram
I’m a die-hard Cricket fan, and I love watching the game and writing about it. I’ve been writing articles on Cricket since September 2020 across various websites.