Fast bowlers form the basic architecture of a cricket team! In the arena of cricket and its history, fast bowlers are considered to be the mainstay of a team’s bowling attack.
A typical fast delivery has the speed range of 137-153 km/h. A batsman can be disparaged only by a decent fast bowler. Generations remember the exotic performance of a fast bowler and applaud it for decades.
To reach the zenith, fast bowlers have to ensue a very hard and laborious curriculum. They have to live on a strict diet with lots of body compulsion. A mature bowler is one who not only uses pace, but also rely on tactics to dodge the opponent. Grip, run up , action, follow-through, line and length are the primary and leading objectives of a fast which they tend to nourish within themselves!
The aim of fast bowling is to bowl the hard cricket bowl at high speed and induce it to bounce off the pitch in an erratic fashion to make it pertinent for the fielding side and difficult for the facing batsman.
A look on some of the fastest bowlers of the history! Here is the list of top 10 bowlers who have established a mark in the cricket history.
10. Lasith Malinga
Separmadu Lasith Malinga is a Sri Lankan cricketer and the vice-captain of their T20 side. He is renowned for his fast bowling and deadly bowling action. He is well known for his unique round arm action and also he is nicknamed as Slinga Malinga. He is known for his ability to bowl Yorkers and slow balls and betray the batsman tactics. His bowling spell is certainly considered hectic and tedious job for every batsman. He bowls around a speed of 140km/h. His fastest ball was clocked at 155.6 km/h in 2011 against India. He is famous for taking wickets. He is the only baller in the history to have two world cup Hat-tricks, three Hat-tricks in ODIs and also he is the only player to have taken four consecutive wickets in any form of international cricket.
9. Dale Steyn
Nicknamed as Steyntjie, he is a South African player who plays for international test as well as one day cricket matches. He is undoubtedly the best bowler in the current scenario and is very well known He is currently the number two ranked bowler in the Test world; prior to this, he was ranked number one. Steyn has a record of being the fastest bowler to score 100 test wickets in the history of South African cricket. His fastest ball was clocked at 155.7 km/h against New Zealand. Steyn has currently the best bowling strike rate in Test Cricket Match. He was named one of Wisden Cricketers of the year in 2013.
8. Shane Bond
Shane Edward Bond, former New Zealand Cricketer and present bowling coach of the New Zealand national team, he is described as the best fast bowler since Sir Richard Hadlee. Bond is a right arm fast bowler and he has represented New Zealand in Test, One day as well as T20 matches. Although Bond’s career was plagued with injuries, still the great James Bond managed to attain his position and he is very well remembered as one of the best fast bowlers in the history. His fastest bowl was clocked with a speed of 156.4 km/h against India in 2003 World Cup. Bond currently has the second best bowling strike rate of all time in Test Match, behind George Lohmann.
7. Mohammad Sami
The player plays for Pakistan and is considered to be one of the best bowlers in the history of Pakistan after Shoaib Akhtar. He is the only bowler in the cricket to notch hat-tricks in all three forms of the game. Sami is known for his good Yorkers and traditional swing good pace. He holds a record for taking maximum wickets by a debutant. Sami stroke eight wickets against New Zealand in his Test match debut. He has unofficially bowled the cricket ball when he clocked at 164 km/h during a One Day International Match. However it was revoked by cricket officials due to faulty measurements. In spite of his vast talent, the baller has faced various ups and downs in his career. He is nicknamed as Salami.
6. Fidel Edwards
Fidel Henderson Edwards is a West Indian Cricketer and the half-brother of Pedro Collins. He is a great pace bowler and his action resembles that of a former fast baller, Jeff Thomson. His fastest delivery came against South Africa in 2003 at a speed of 157.7 km/h. He is currently playing for his team and is also a part of IPL. He was discovered by Brian Lara who was greatly impressed by his talent and till now , he has been playing his best for the betterment of his team.
5. Andy Roberts
Anderson Montgomery Everton “Andy” Roberts is a former Antiguan and West Indies Cricketer. He was a right arm fast bowler who has now retired form Cricket and he is remembered for twice taking seven wickets in an innings in Test Cricket. Andy Roberts formed part of the “quartet” of West Indies fast bowlers and they had such a devastating effect on the facing batsmen. He was a part of the West Indies team when it won the first two World Cups in England, in 1975 and 1979. His fastest ball was clocked at 159.5 km/h against Australia in Perth in 1975.
4. Jeffrey Thomson
Popularly known as Thommo, he is known unofficially as one of the fastest bowlers of all time. His opening pair with Dennis Lillee was considered as one of the most deadly bowling attacks in the history of Test cricket. Most cricketers and experts who have seen cricket from at least the 1970s rate Thompson as the fastest bowler ever in the history. Thomson has received several applauses and comments for his fast and tactical bowling from many famous cricketers. Commenting on the opening pair of Lillee and Thomson, once Wisden wrote “it was easy to believe that they were the fastest pair to have coincided in the history of cricket”. Incidents were reported of Thomson’s deliveries hitting the opposite sight-screen and many more, mostly when he was at his fastest pace. His fastest delivery was 160.4km/h against West Indies in Perth 1975.
3. Shaun Tait
Shaun William Tait is a professional Australian Cricketer. He only plays the current Twenty20 format. He is right arm fast bowler and he announced his retirement from One Day International following Australia’s defeat in World Cup 2011. Tait delivers balls at an average speed of 155km/h or above. He is recognized as a bowler who has sling style delivery action. His fastest ball measured 160.7 km/h which he delivered during Twenty20 International match against Pakistan on 5th February 2010. He is the third fastest bowler in the world.
2. Bret Lee
Bret Lee is a former Australian bowler and currently Channel Nine cricket commentator. He was known as one of the fastest bowlers and a useful low order batsman with batting average exceeding 20 in Test Cricket. He was also an active athlete on the field. He continues to play T20 cricket in IPL and Big Bash League. He is known for his pace in balling and regularly clocks 150km/h above. He is the only bowler after Shoaib Akhtar to have bowled at a speed of 160.8km/h. against New Zealand in 2005. Apart from bowling, Lee was a competent batsman who have contributed highest 7th wicket partnership for Australia with Mike Hussey.
1. Shoaib Akhtar
Most popularly known as Rawalpindi Express, this dangerous bowler is the former Pakistani fast bowler who can decant onto batsman! He is regarded as the fastest bowler in the history of Cricket. Although the bowler was involved in many controversies throughout his bowling career, yet Pakistanis consider him a legend in the history of Cricket. He retired from International Cricket after the World Cup of 2011. His bowling speed was urbane and he has bowled at a speed of 161.3 km/h against England in 2003 World Cup.