Team India was often blamed for not having bowlers with raw pace and agility. Indian team hugely relied on medium pace bowlers with swing and the magicians who can spin. When bowlers like Courtney Walsh, Curtly Ambrose, Waqar Younis, Shoaib Akhtar, Muhammad Sami, Brett Lee, Shown Tait, etc. rose to fame with their quickness in speed and threatening bowls there wasn’t any name from India to stand along in that list.
Some bowlers used to bowl above the 140km range. Earlier, there were unofficial reports that Javagal Srinath crossed the 157 mark in a game against South Africa in 1996.
Let’s take a look at the few bowlers who had turned out to be the fastest Indian Bowlers.
Zaheer Khan entered the Indian team as a pace bowler but then got transitioned into the medium pace group. He was consistently bowling 140 plus during the initial days. It was due to the recurring injuries and fitness drop made him change his focus to swing than speed.
Ashish Nehra rose to fame with his quickness and length. His speed really tricked the batters during the World Cup 2003, especially in his memorable innings against South Africa
153.7km was the fastest bowl that Irfan Pathan bowled, that too was against Pakistan when their deadly bowling attack comprised Shoaib Akhtar & Muhammed Sami. Like his predecessors, he too got transitioned to the medium pace category.
Munaf Patel rose to prominence with his unmatchable speed. He was labeled as the fastest bowler in the country. It was a sight to see an Indian bowler speeding like this. But lack of fitness and back-to-back injuries made him and his bowls slow.
The Delhi speedster was picked into the Indian team as a replacement for Munaf Pates. 152km was the fastest bowl he bowled but his speed dropped to 130 soon after that. Under the tutelage of the then Indian bowling coach Eric Simons, he started picking up speed and began to bowl above 140km consistently.
Sreesanth was one of the deadliest bowlers to have ever graced the Indian jersey. His rose to fame was due to his aggressive nature & quick temper. He was a huge hit among the fans and the team from his debut. He was an active member of the Indian team until the IPL match-fixing scandal. He was banned from the game but came back with a court appeal. But since then, the Malayali pacer was unable to play for team India and IPL despite the age factor.
Despite tearing up in the Ranji’s and domestic leagues Varun Aaron failed to make it big in the Internationals. He was the quickest bowler during that time. Injuries stalled his run and were the main reasons behind his lack of success on the international stages. He was able to bowl above the 145k mark consistently and his fastest bowl was speeded at 152km/h against Sri Lanka. Once a force to be reckoned with soon faded into the list of players who couldn’t shine up to their mark.
Umesh Yadav and Varun Aaron’s names began headlining around the same time. While Aaron focused on his agile speed, Umesh Yadav was focusing on bowling quickly along with length. The right-arm pacer used to clock 140- 145 consistently with his fastest bowl clocked 152.5km/h.
Shami was a total revelation to the Indian Team. He was the one team India missed for a long time. A bowler who could bowl 150 plus and swing at the same time without conceding runs, that was his capability. His successful career is what his predecessors like Varun Aaron, Ishant Sharma, Munaf Patel, etc. need to study. He is still a focal part of team India and IPL.
His rose to fame was phenomenal. Just came on as a net bowler to Mumbai Indian’s team, once received a chance and he totally slayed it. He began terrorizing the batters throughout the IPL for Mumbaikars. Indian selectors didn’t wait much longer as his call to team India came soon and the rest is history. He is the strongest weapon in the Indian bowling unit going to the upcoming T20 World Cup. His quickest bowl came up to a speed of 153.26km/h against Australia.
Known as the Kashmiri Express, is the fastest Indian bowler at the moment. He was one of the precious found outs of the last IPL season. This young Indian pacer is making the headlines all around the world for his speed & agility. Despite the fact, that the coming World Cup is played in Australia (famed for the quick pitches & better bowling conditions) he is a strong contender for a place in the national squad. His fastest bowl clocked at 157kph which was once a dream for Indian bowlers and fans. He is a gem and if polished rightly he could be the Indian Shoaib Akhtar or Brett Lee. The only thing he needs to be careful of is his line and length. He is still at the beginning of his 20s and there is a lot of time for him to mold himself.
Well, these are the list of a few Indian pacers who are & who were known to ball above the benchmark of 140kmp speed limit. Indian bowling conditions are not favorable for pace bowlers but these were the ones who had emerged despite these conditions.
Let’s hope many more to come and don the Indian team. We need more bowlers like Brett Lee, Akhtar, Bond, Steyn, etc. for our team to demolish the opponents.
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