Test cricket's top road warriors: bowlers

From Barnes to Steyn, we take a look at the finest bowlers away from home in Test history

Yesterday we presented the best batsmen away from home in Test history, so today it's the turn of the bowlers.

Quick Single: Test cricket's top road warriors: batsmen 

They say it's the leather-flingers who win matches, and this group certainly lived up to that suggestion.

Since the first Test match was played back in 1877, just 16 bowlers have averaged under 25 away from home (min 100 wickets).

Twelve of those are fast bowlers, with three spinners, and one – the man at the top of the tree – was a little of both.

Averaging 17.96 in 17 Tests away from home from 1901-14, in which he collected an astonishing 126 wickets, striking every 44.5 balls, England legend Sid Barnes is comfortably ahead of his peers.

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In those 17 matches, Barnes took 15 five-wicket and four 10-wicket hauls, though it could be argued his overall away record was inflated somewhat by four matches in South Africa – then newcomers to Test cricket at the time – in which he snared 49 wickets at 10.93

The only other cricketer in history to average under 20 on foreign soil is West Indies great Joel 'Big Bird' Garner, whose mark of 19.74 from 29 matches places him ahead of no fewer than four of his countrymen from the same era who collectively fill almost a third of this list.

Australia are represented in third place through allrounder Alan Davidson, whose 27 Tests outside his home country made up more than half his career, and produced 102 wickets at 20.10.

Two men who played plenty of cricket against one another follow next, with fearsome West Indian Curtly Ambrose in fourth place and metronomic Aussie Glenn McGrath in fifth.

Ambrose, a key plank in the West Indies' dominance of the late 1980s and early 1990s, and a man universally regarded as one of the finest quicks of them all, took 202 wickets abroad at 20.78 in 46 matches.

He particularly enjoyed the bouncy pitches of Australia, where he averaged 19.79 and took six of his 11 five-wicket hauls on foreign turf.

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McGrath captured 260 wickets in 55 away Tests, averaging 21.35 with 18 five-wicket and one 10-wicket haul.

The man they call 'Pigeon' saved his best for the Ashes, taking 87 wickets in England at 19.34.

Sixth position on the list is owned by another West Indian great – the late Malcolm Marshall, whose 219 wickets in 50 Tests came at 21.57 and included a terrifying 7-22 against England in Manchester, 1988.

The who's who of great fast bowlers continues in slot No.7, with the finest cricketer New Zealand has ever produced in Sir Richard Hadlee.

Hadlee played 43 Tests away and managed to snare 230 wickets at 21.72 in the process, taking 21 five-wicket and six 10-wicket hauls.

The Black Caps legend struck at a rate of one wicket every 48.9 deliveries – a figure bettered only by Barnes (44.5) and South Africa's Dale Steyn (42.2).

We'll target Smith, Warner: Steyn

Proteas pair Allan Donald and Steyn come in at eighth and ninth on the list respectively.

Donald, known still as 'White Lightning' due to his extreme pace and fire as a fast bowler throughout the 1990s, claimed 153 wickets at 22.96 in 34 Tests away from home, while Steyn – who will spearhead SA this summer Down Under, beginning with the first Test in Perth from Thursday – has captured 161 wickets at 23.26.

Another West Indian, Michael Holding, rounds out the top 10.

As well as being another to boast a very cool moniker (he goes by 'Whispering Death' due to the quiet nature of his approach to the crease), Holding was every bit as lethal as his compatriots from the same era, snaring 163 wickets at 23.65 in 37 Tests.

Australians dominate the remainder of the list, with leg-spin legends Clarrie Grimmett (11th) and Richie Benaud (15th) the best-performed slow bowlers, bracketing pace greats Ray Lindwall (13th) and Dennis Lillee (14th).

Bowlers to average below 25 in away Tests (min 100 wkts)

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