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India’s Pace Legends: Celebrating the Exceptional 5 Fast Bowlers of India

There have been a lot of exceptional pacemen who have played for the subcontinental giants even if India may not be known for producing a tone of high-class fast bowlers throughout the years.

Kapil Dev (1978-1994)

Without a doubt, India’s finest fast bowler allrounder in history Kapil Dev , with 434 Test wickets and 253 ODI wickets combined throughout a remarkable 16-year international career. And when Kapil did eventually decide to call it quits in 1994, he left the game as the leading wicket-taker in Test cricket having just passed Richard Hadlee’s total of 431 victims, with the all-rounder subsequently being voted India’s Cricketer of the Century in 2002 on the back of that achievement, as well as also captaining his country to their first World Cup triumph at Lord’s in 1983.

Zaheer Khan (2000-2012)

A true bowling conundrum Zaheer Khan who, during the first half of his career, was primarily inconsistent with the ball and plagued by both hamstring and back ailments, the second part of his career being in stark contrast to the first. But following a pivotal period with Worcestershire in county cricket in the summer of 2006, when Zaheer claimed an incredible 78 wickets, the swing bowler began to perform in both formats of the game like the legendary Pakistani left-armer Wasim Akram in his prime. And while getting the ball to swing a lot was an important element of Zaheer’s arsenal, his true talent lay in his ability to exert control over the situation and his apparent instinctive knowledge of how and when to eliminate opposing batsmen.

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Javagal Srinath (1991-2003)

Only the great Kapil Dev among Indian pacemen had taken more Test wickets than Srinath had at the time of his retirement from international cricket (although Zaheer Khan would later surpass that number), while no fast bowler had ever taken more ODI wickets than his 315. Srinath, who was surprisingly swift for an Indian seamer—possibly the fastest that his nation has ever produced—made extensive use of the off cutter in the beginning of his career, particularly in subcontinental conditions. But as he aged and gained experience, he added the away swinger to his arsenal as well, doubling his effectiveness as a bowler. Like a fine wine, Srinath only improved with age, as seen by his impressive performances for his nation in his final match in the 2003 World Cup in South Africa.

Ajit Agarkar (1998-2007)

A fast-medium bowler Ajit Agarkar who was occasionally outstanding but frequently underrated. He battled injuries throughout his career, which doubtless stopped him from continuing to maximise his bowling prowess. Agarkar’s inclusion on this list is primarily due to his outstanding performance in the 50-over format, as he amassed 288 wickets overall in 191 matches, including being the fastest player to ever claim 50 ODI victims at the time. The all-around player, however, left you with the impression that he could have done so much more with his career.

Venkatesh Prasad (1994-2001)

During the mid-1990s, Venkatesh Prasad and fellow fast bowler Javagal Srinath forged a sometimes lethal new-ball combo. This was especially true when Prasad competed outside of the subcontinent, where his results in both games were far better than those obtained under domestic circumstances. Prasad’s greatest strength was his ability to move the ball both ways, which he demonstrated admirably when he toured England in 1996. On the other hand, his most effective spell of all time was in Chennai against Pakistan’s archrivals. This occurred during the first Test of the 1999 series, when he recorded six for 33, including an extraordinary second-innings stretch of five for none at one stage. However, Prasad really excelled for his nation in the one-day format, where his deceptively slower ball frequently gave him great success while his persistent accuracy always made him difficult to score off.

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. akriti

    June 28, 2023 at 9:26 pm

    Kapil paji is on the top

    • Vivaan

      June 28, 2023 at 10:36 pm

      He runs like he’s on a battery, like a robot

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