Cast in the Devil's image himself, this motley crew wreaked havoc on Victorian batsmen and administrators alike as Test matches came and went at the pace of a modern Twenty 20 game.
The names still trip off the tongue and strike fear onto any unsuspecting batsman casting an eye on cricket's history: Charlie 'Terror' Turner, George Lohmann, Tom Richardson and the Demon himself - Frederick Spofforth.
To these Four Horsemen of batting apocalypses can now be added the name of 'Vicious' Vernon Philander who has become the fastest man to 50 Test wickets in over 116 years. Only the Terror (6 Tests) and Richardson (7) in history have beaten or equalled Philander's merciless haul.
In just six and a half Tests, Philander has 51 wickets at a ridiculous average of 13.58 including six five wicket hauls and two ten wicket matches. His strike rate is a wicket every 24.5 balls - the best by a country mile of any bowler with 50 Test wickets. Indeed, his overall stats are 209 overs with 40 maidens and 51 wickets for 693 runs.
Any which way you cut it, Vicious Vernon's stats are staggeringly good, which kind of begs the question as to why the South African selectors waited until he was 26 before handing him his Test debut?
The batting paradises of the sub-continent will doubtless provide Philander's career stats with a more modern hue, but anyone that can put Dale Steyn in the shade must be a pretty remarkable bowler.
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