Despite that fact that India has had a very rich legacy in Cricket, the nation has always been regarded as a batsman-centric team, who has hardly given any significant contribution to the world cricket in terms of pace bowling. Keeping a few names like Zaheer Khan, Kapil Dev & Ajit Agarkar aside, till very recently, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) barely had a fast bowler who could compete with the likes of our neighbouring fast bowlers like Wasim Akram & Shoaib Akhtar.
However, pretty recently, the country has managed to break those stereotypes and has produced quite a lot of pacers, including the gun Paceman Jasprit Bumrah. In recent times, India probably fields the best bowling unit in international cricket. Here, we’ll have a look at the 5 fastest seamers of the nation, currently.
“F**k it, Bowl fast” was the caption spotted on Navdeep Saini’s shoes in the recently-concluded IPL game between the Rajasthan Royals & the Royal Challengers Bangalore. The Karnal-born has been making headlines for his brilliant bowling efforts in the past year. Even though he still has a long way to go with his control & accuracy, it’s his speed that has grabbed the attention of pundits & aficionados from all over the globe. In IPL 2020, as of now, Saini holds the record of the fastest ball bowled by an Indian pacer. His delivery that clocked 149.34 KPH is the fastest ball bowled by an Indian seamer & overall the 20th fastest in the tournament hitherto.
Saying that Jasprit Bumrah has been like a blessing for the Indian cricket would be an understatement. In a country whose cricketing legacy hardly features any legendary pacer, the 26-year-old has walked in like an absolute beast & broken most of the stereotypes of an Indian fast bowler. He is one of the most integral parts of the Indian setup in all the three formats and has largely solved the death bowling woes that the team faced after the declination of Zaheer Khan’s prime days. The Ahmedabad-born doesn’t just stick to his plans but also has the skill-set to consistently clock over 90 miles per hour which is the fast bowlers delight. Even in the current edition of the IPL, Bumrah’s delivery that was bowled at 147.82 KPH is the second-fastest ball bowled by an Indian in the league, thus far.
When Shami walked into the scene, he was supposed to be one of the hottest properties of Indian cricket. And the lad didn’t disappoint as he went on to become one of the finest performers for India in the 2015 World Cup. However, in due course of time, his white-ball career went downhill and he was dropped from the team. Nonetheless, the UP-born has finally managed to make a comeback in the team, all thanks to his ability to consistently bowling in the early 140s. Despite the fact that he is probably past his prime, the veteran cricketer can still give a run of money to many Indian fast bowlers in terms of speed.
The earliest memory that everyone has of Nagarkoti is his raw pace. His high-tempo bowling against Pakistan U19 in the 2018 U19 World Cup still remains one of the most precious sights of the Indian cricket. The ace pacer was able to consistently bowl at 150 KPH or more in that tournament. His greatness can be measured by the fact that it made people compare him with Australia’s ex express pacer Shaun Tait. However, right after the WC, Nagarkoti suffered an injury and had to take a 2-year long break. Now, as he made a comeback recently, people expected that he must’ve lost a couple of yards but the 20-year-old still manages to bowl at a decent speed.
Kartik Tyagi’s brilliance can be defined by the fact that his IPL-teammate Ben Stokes has compared him with arguably Australia’s fastest bowler Brett Lee, who is Tyagi’s inspiration too. The bent-action that he possesses also helps him in generating extra speed by tearing the flow of moving air. Other than his high pace, the 19-year-old earned fame for being able to consistently nail yorkers in the recently-concluded U19 World Cup which has also earned him an IPL contract with the Rajasthan Royals fast bowlers brigade.