Missing the cricket for entirely two decades 1970-1991, South Africa remains the one of the toughest sides to reckon with in any format of a game. South Africa cricket history can be defined into two phases – the pre Apartheid era and the post Apartheid era. Many greatest players have produced for South Africa who have gone onto leave an impact on world cricket.
South Africa played their first international game in 1970 while played their first test match against India in 1991 – the same year in which South Africa got the Test Status from ICC. A blend of talents who have grabbed the attention of the crowd with their aggressive bowling in the last three decades. Apart from the ICC Tournaments South Africa has been quite successful over the years in Tests or ODIs.
South Africa remains the only test side after Australia to hold the record of ICC Test Championship Title for the period of 42 months. In the long history of South Africa, the pace attack seems too dangerous over the batting talents.
Having said, let us take a look at the top 5 greatest fast bowlers in south Africa cricket history:
Wisden cricketer of the year 1961. Born in Cape Town, Neil Adcock was the first South African bowler to reach the 100 wickets mark in test cricket.
A very few bowlers in the world who could intimidate the batsman with raw pace, Neil Adcock was one of those aggressive fast bowlers who could generate bounce against its pace which makes it very difficult to handle. Since his debut against New Zealand in 1953, where he took 24 wickets in 5 match series and helped South Africa to clinch the series by 4-1 in the end and a quite effective bowler over the course of his career.
Neil Adcock featured in 26 tests took 104 wickets at an average of 21.10 just before his retirement, a series against England in 1960 where he took 26 wickets and was the same series when he arrive at 100 wickets in a test cricket.
Nickname “White Lighting”. Missing the cricket for entirely two decades when South Africa in 1991 got readmission to the cricket. A year after Allan Donald was the frontline pacer of South Africa.
The 90s was the era of fast bowlers and Allan Donald was one of the fearsome bowlers from South Africa. He was quick, aggressive and clocked at speeds which was sometimes very difficult to handle.
Allan Donald featured in 72 tests took 330 wickets at an average of 22.95 and the first South African bowler to arrive at 300 wicket mark in test cricket. In ODIs, Donald featured in 164 ODIs took 272 wickets at an average of 21.78 ended as the highest wicket taker in South Africa cricket history which was later overtaken by Shaun Pollock.
Wisden cricketer of the year 2013. If there will be the list of greatest cricketers produced by South Africa then without a doubt the name of Dale Steyn will be there. The impact that Dale Steyn has left in the cricketing world over the course of his career is just “Unmatchable” which is impossible to see even in the coming decades or Centuries.
One of the most consistent bowlers in test cricket for South Africa during the last two decades. 2006 to 2014 Steyn remains at the number one spot 263 weeks of the ICC Test ranking the most by any bowler since the world War ll. Steyn had the ability to bowl at a consistent pace on any track in the world which separated him from the others.
Dale Steyn featured in 93 tests, took 439 wickets at an average of 22.95 and ended his career as the highest wicket taker in South Africa cricket history. Dale Steyn remains the only fast five wicket-hauls against the all test playing nations. While in ODIs, Steyn took 196 wickets in 125 ODIs at an average of 25.95 and career around injuries Steyn hung up his boots on 5th August, 2019 at the age of 36 otherwise he could have ended his career as the first fast bowler to take 600 wickets in a test cricket.
Suggested Read | Top 5 Greatest Spells of Dale Steyn in Test Cricket
One of the greatest bowlers ever produced by South Africa in their long history. Pollock was successful in both the formats of the game. Shaun Pollock was the frontline pacer along with Allan Donald for South Africa during the mid 90s to early 2000s. Pollock was appointed as a captain of South Africa after the shocking incident of Hansie Cronje.
A complete cricketer Shaun Pollock was in every sense. He was equally good with bat as well as bowl too which makes him the one of finest all-rounder also of a game.
Shaun Pollock featured in 108 tests took 421 wickets at an average of 23.11 while in ODIs Pollock took 393 wickets in 303 ODIs at an average of 24.50
Makaya Nitini was the first black cricketer to have played for South Africa since his debut against Sri Lanka in 1998. After Shaun Pollock and Allan Donald, Nitini was the third bowler to take 300 wickets in test cricket.
Nitni featured in 101 tests took 390 wickets at an average of 28.82 while in the ODIs he took 266 wickets in 173 ODIs at an average of 24.65