Sunrisers Hyderabad’s latest sensation in the Indian Premier League, fast bowler Umran Malik has taken the sport of cricket by storm and has become the fastest bowler in India.
There is no doubt that the quickest bowlers set the sport ablaze and bring more thrills and excitement to it. Known as speed guns, pace spearheads, lethal machines, or other monikers suitable for their outrageous pace and fitness, fast bowlers have always been one of the crown jewels of the game.
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Much like an explosive batsman who launches into opposition bowlers with the singular intent of punishing them and smashing them all over the park, fast bowlers steam in with the obsession of scaring the opposition batsman with a mean bouncer, knocking his bails over with a full delivery or inducing a sharp edge with some late swing.
Over the years, the game of cricket has gone through many changes. However, the 1990s and 2000s were dominated by a rare breed of fast bowlers who truly held the mantle of being demons. Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, Shoaib Akhtar, Brett Lee, and Shaun Tait force the best of the best batsmen to contemplate not taking the strike. Pakistan’s Shoaib Akhtar is widely accepted as the fastest bowler in the history of cricket, having bowled a delivery that exceeded 161 kmph.
Even in the current era, bowlers like Pat Cummins, Jofra Archer, Mitchell Starc, Kagiso Rabada, and Lockie Ferguson continue to uphold that tradition. While Indian cricket has been synonymous with producing several world-class spinners who have changed the game forever, they have rarely had truly impressive fast bowlers in history.
However, that is no longer the case now as the likes of Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Umesh Yadav, Ishant Sharma, and Mohammed Siraj have shown plenty of control and precision to go along with their brute pace and strength. Team India have built a wonderful pace attack in recent years which has resulted in plenty of success in Test cricket over the last five years. India’s fastest bowlers can now go toe to toe with the best and quickest bowlers from Australia, South Africa and England.
But who comes out on top in the list of fastest Indian bowlers? Let’s find out below:
Fastest bowler in India: Top 5 list of fastest bowlers
Umran Malik | 157 kmph
Hailing from Jammu and Kashmir, speedster Umran Malik has taken the world by storm. He is India’s fastest bowler by some distance and is well on course to be one of the fastest in the world.
He made his IPL debut against Kolkata Knight Riders on October 3, 2021 after originally being roped in as a replacement bowler for Sunrisers Hyderabad. During the match against Royal Challengers Bangalore that season, Umran Malik bowled five straight deliveries of speed more than 150 km/hr, leaving then-Indian captain Virat Kohli mighty impressed.
He was one of three players retained by SRH ahead of the IPL 2022 mega auction. In his first full IPL season in 2022, Umran Malik has already become a major highlight of the season. Working alongside acclaimed pace bowler Dale Steyn, who is part of SRH’s backroom staff, Malik has recorded speeds of 153.3kph,153.1kph, 153kph, 152.9kph, 152.6kph, 152.4kph, 152.3kph and 152kph.
Against Delhi Capitals at the Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai, he clocked a speed of 157 kph. It is the fastest ball by an Indian bowler in the IPL and is only behind Shaun Tait in the fastest delivery of all time in the Indian Premier League.
Irfan Pathan | 153.7 kmph
Irfan Pathan burst on to the limelight with a hattrick against Pakistan on their soil in the very first over of a Test match, a record that hasn’t been matched by anyone else. In his prime, Irfan Pathan drew comparisons with Wasim Akram because of his pace, accuracy with line and length and ability to swing the ball both ways. He was also a handy batter in the lower order and often rescued games for India from difficult situations.
However, the left-arm bowler fizzled out even before reaching his full potential. Hampered by injuries and limited chances, he never lived up to the promise he generate in his heydays. Despite that, Irfan Pathan had left a unique mark when he sent down a 153.7 kmph delivery during the 2007 T20 World Cup in South Africa.
Mohammed Shami | 153.3 kmph
Mohammed Shami is one of the fastest bowlers produced by India. He holds the record for the third fastest delivery bowled by an Indian bowler. He delivered a 153.3 kph during the third Test against Australia in Melbourne in 2014. Shami was the standout bowler in the series as he picked 15 wickets in three Tests at an average of 35.80.
No longer focusing on just brute pace, Shami has, in fact, improved as a bowler over the years. He has cut down his pace a tad bit to focus on accuracy and is also capable of generating enough swing on the ball. Mohammed Shami continues to be an important asset for the Indian team in both red-ball as well as white-ball formats.
Jasprit Bumrah | 153.2 kmph
The man that began the fast bowling revolution in India, Jasprit Bumrah is not just one of the fastest bowlers in Indian history, he is also one of the very best, if not the best. Bumrah’s consistency and quality has allowed Indian cricket to form an extremely competitive pace-bowling unit with him as the leader.
Bumrah’s ability bowl precise yorkers and surprise the opposition with variations in the death overs has turned him into a fine asset in limited-overs cricket. However, his greatest impact has arrived in Test cricket where has become indispensable and is central to India’s plans, especially on opposition soil.
He clocked 153.26kph during the first Test match against Australia in the 2018 Border Gavaskar Trophy. Bumrah ended the series as the joint highest wicket-taker with 21 scalps, which helped India win their first-ever series Down Under.
Navdeep Saini | 152.8 kmph
Navdeep Saini completes the top five list of the fastest bowlers in India. His delivery of 152.8 kmph against Mumbai Indians in IPL 2019 is regarded as one of the fastest deliveries bowled by an Indian. Saini held the record for the fastest ball in the Indian Premier League when until Umran broke his record with ease.
Although he has been a bit of a hit or miss at the international level, Saini’s raw pace and formidable power make him an exciting bowler, for better or worse. He can get hit and smashed for runs and be predictable, but he can also defy the odds and stun batsmen with fireballs they don’t see coming.
Fastest bowler in India: Special mentions
Although speed guns that measure the delivery speeds haven’t always been accurate which makes it incredibly difficult to truly label who is the fastest bowler in history, unofficially Javagal Srinath is said to have breached the 157 kmph mark during India’s tour to South Africa in 1996. However, it hasn’t actually been verified and remains a major claim at this point. However, the cricketer from Karnataka did clock 149.6 kmph to become the second-fastest bowler in the 1999 World Cup, only after Shoaib Akhtar.
Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav and Varun Aaron have also breached the 150 kph barrier in international cricket. Ishant Sharma and Umesh Yadav have been reliable figures in the Indian Test side for years and are regarded as important workhorse bowlers. Ishant Sharma had sent down a 152.6 kmph ball while playing against Australia in the CB series way back in 2008.
Four years later, Umesh Yadav bowled at a speed of 152.5 kmph against Sri Lanka in Brisbane, and Varun Aaron also clocked the same speed against the same rivals in 2014 to ensure his name finds a spot in the list of fastest bowlers from India.
|Chennai Super Kings
Who is the fastest bowler in India in 2022?
Umran Malik, who bowled a delivery of 157 kmph against Delhi Capitals in the IPL is the fastest bowler in India in 2022.
What is the fastest delivery bowled by an Indian bowler in the Indian Premier League?
Umran Malik holds the record for the fastest delivery by an Indian in the IPL. He reached 157 kmph against Delhi Capitals and it is the second-fastest delivery in IPL history.
Who is the fastest bowler in the world?
Pakistan’s Shoaib Akhtar is regarded as the fastest bowler in the history of cricket. His delivery of 161.3 kmph against England in the 2003 World Cup is accepted to be the fastest delivery of all time. Among active bowlers, Australia’s Mitchell Starc is the fastest bowler in world cricket.