When it comes to cricket and specifically to bowling, there is nothing more beautiful to the eyes of the pace bowlers watching the stumps being rattled on their deliveries. Every generation has been blessed by great pace bowlers
who were feared by the batsmen around the world. If there were Sachin Tendulkar, Ricky Ponting and Brian Lara, then there were also Shoaib Akhtar, Brett Lee and Shane Bond that stood as a threat to their hegemony. Here, we take a look at the 10 fastest bowls in cricket. Blink and you miss the delivery!
10Shane Bond – New Zealand
The 2003 Cricket World Cup was a time to be alive for genuine pace lovers. Shane Bond along with Brett Lee and Shoaib Akhtar produced top-class fast bowling throughout the tournament. The New Zealand’s fastest-ever bowler produced a ripper against India in a match at Centurion in 2003. The ball was a mighty 156.4kmph fast!
9Mohammad Sami – Pakistan
Pakistan has always been the repository of fast bowlers. Mohammad Sami happens to be another name in the legendary list of Pakistan’s pace bowlers. Sami, in the match against Zimbabwe in Sharjah in 2003 bowled a fiery 156.4kmph delivery.
8Mitchell Johnson – Australia
Every cricket fan you would have come across would never deny his love for Mitchell Johnson’s action. There is a class and a grace right from his run-up to the moment he releases the ball. With an incredible physique, Johnson has won many matches for Australia.
His magical moment or say the fastest bowl came in the highly coveted Ashes series’ fourth test match in 2013. Johnson was on fire the entire match and ended up bowling his fastest ball with a speed of 156.8 kmph. For those who have watched ashes over time, they will somewhere, at the back of their mind, remember the 2013 Ashes as the one in which Johnson was at his supreme best.
7Fidel Edwards – West Indies
Another name in the list of pace bowlers with an action similar to a slingshot. Fidel Edwards, in a game against South Africa at the Wanderers in 2003, produced a fiery 157.7 kmph paced delivery. West Indian wicket-keepers had a tough time keeping the wickets when Edwards was bowling owing to the fact that every other bouncer had to be collected with a jump and with gloves pointing towards the sky.
6Andy Roberts – West Indies
Sir Andy Roberts! The name is enough. The West Indies dominated world cricket in the 70s and early 80s in an unprecedented way. What a mighty bowling attack they possessed those days!
Michael Holding, Sir Andy Roberts, Colin Croft and Joel Garner, the names were enough to send shivers down the spine of the batsmen. In a match against Australia at WACA in 1975, Roberts produced a 159.5 kmph delivery in his spell. Cricket has never such an intimidating bowling attack ever which the Windies possessed those days.
5Mitchell Starc – Australia
His action and the crispiness involved in it is loved by people across different cricketing nations. Mitchell Starc is amongst the fastest bowlers of this generation. While all those mentioned above are no more playing the game, Starc happens to be in his peak form at this moment. In the second test match against New Zealand at the WACA in 2015, Starc produced a 160.4 kmph delivery yorker to Ross Taylor. He missed the Holy Grail mark of 100mph by a whisker. Starc consistently bowls deliveries over 150 kmph but the benchmark is yet to be set as the world’s fastest bowler.
4Jeffrey Thompson – Australia
In 1975, the Australian fast bowler Jeffrey Thompson in a test match against West Indies, bowled a 160.6 kmph. Jeffry held the record for a long time until in 2003 when Shoaib broke the record of fastest delivery.
3Shaun Tait – Australia
The incredibly built Australian pace bowler, Shaun Tait stands second in the prestigious list of fastest bowlers. He actually shares the second position with Brett Lee, who has bowled a delivery with the same pace.
The pacer produced a fiery opening spell in an ODI against the English batsman at Lord’s in 2010.
While England were chasing 278 from 50 overs, Shaun Tait was given the new ball. Shaun produced a ripper of a delivery in his final bowl of the first over which measured 161.1 kmph. His very first over of the match looked like this
|1st ball||2nd ball||3rd ball||4th ball||5th ball||6th ball|
|99 mph||97 mph||96 mph||96 mph||97 mph||100.1 mph|
2Brett Lee – Australia
Binga! Well, that’s not a statement or an exclamation but it is the nickname of the Australian pace Brett Lee. Over the years, Brett Lee has been the backbone of the Australian bowling attack. The build-up to his bowl being delivered happens to be one of the most beautiful stories anyone can live to see. His run-up and the gritty action before releasing the delivery was one of the best.
Lee jointly holds the record with Shaun Tait for the second fastest delivery with a speed of 161.1 kmph. In an ODI against New Zealand at Napier in 2005, Brett Lee produced one of the most memorable opening spells, a dream for many bowlers. Lee broke the 160 kmph barrier twice in the same series. Here is the analysis of one of the overs he bowled in that series.
|1st ball||2nd ball||3rd ball||4th ball||5th ball||5th ball||6th ball|
|143 kmph||151 kmph||158 kmph||158kmph||160kmph (wide)||160.8 kmph||158 kmph|
1Shoaib Akhtar – Pakistan
There isn’t a single person in the cricket ecosystem who doesn’t know about the ‘Rawalpindi Express’. Pakistan’s pride, Shoaib Akhtar, was a nightmare to many batsmen with his lethal fast deliveries. Even more intimidating than his delivery was his big run-up. It is said that the 2003 World Cup turned out to be a battleground for three extraordinarily quick bowlers, Shoaib Akhtar, Shane Bond and Brett Lee, to reach 100 miles per hour mark.
The contest was won by Shoaib Akhtar in Pakistan’s match against England when Akhtar cranked up a 161.3 kmph delivery to England’s Nick Knight on the final ball of the 4th over.