It is every fast bowler’s dream to bowl 100 miles/hour. Fast bowlers love to amp up the pace with every ball they bowl. They are a force of nature. Pace bowling is an art that needs constant artists who enthrall, excite, and entertain in equal measure.
There are few modern-day pacers who set the stage on fire with scorching pace. They bring to life the magic of watching the sport. Shoaib Akhtar, Brett Lee, and Shane Bond famously fought for winning the speed battle. It was Akhtar who clocked the 100 miles per hour clock. This magical number remains a quest for many fast bowlers to conquer.
We look at 6 active bowlers who can potentially break Shoaib Akhtar’s record:
#6 Jofra Archer
Jofra Archer hails from the Caribbean hence it comes as no surprise that he is a natural athlete. Archer trudges slowly to the crease throwing no hints of what is to come. He has troubled the best of the batsmen with his sheer pace. Archer possesses a mean bouncer. He almost made Steve Smith quit the game with a searing bouncer. Archer effortlessly clocks a speed of 150km/hour. He can challenge the speed gun for sure.
#5 Pat Cummins
Pat Cummins is the best Test fast bowler of the current generation. He is a mean machine who keeps going at it. Cummins’ not only bowls fast but with relentless discipline. He is mighty consistent with the speed gun too. Cummins routinely clocks speeds over 150km/hour. He might even be near the 100mile/hr if he aims for the record.
#4 Lockie Ferguson
Lockie Ferguson is one of the most underrated fast bowlers of the current generation. He is a standout performer across formats. Ferguson has a beautiful bowling action. He sprints to the crease and delivers one bolt after the other.
Ferguson is always one of the quickest in a multi-team tournament. He is one of the dark horses to break Akhtar’s record.
#3 Mitchell Starc
He is the only left-arm fast bowler on this list. Starc in rhythm is a different beast. His toe-crushers are almost always unplayable. He has a Yorker playlist. His Yorkers have been iconic deliveries that have sent the stumps on a cartwheel. Be it, Brendon McCullum or Ben Stokes, they all have been Starc’s bunnies. His pacy Yorkers are a sight for the sore eyes. He is a sure speed gun contender.
#2 Anrich Nortje
Anrich Nortje has emerged as one of the best speedsters in the last couple of seasons. His dismissal of Jos Buttler in IPL 2020 sent shivers down batsmen’s spines. Nortje is a cool customer who lets his pace do the talking. He sent down a 156.3 km/hour thunderbolt in the IPL signalling that he is a big force to reckon with.
#1 Umran Malik
Not many Indian pacers have challenged the speed gun in the world order. It was only after the emergence of Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav, and Varun Aaron that Indians started taking pace seriously. Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammad Shami mixed pace with precision to help India form a formidable pace attack.
It is at this juncture, that a talent like Umran Malik has come to the fore. He has already set the pace gun roaring in the IPL. Malik who boasts of a wonderful bowling action is India’s next big thing. He was the fastest bowler in the IPL 2021 season. Expect him to hit top speed very soon!