What is in essence a play of the bat and the ball is however more a matter of the pace and the shot. Cricket is indeed the gentleman’s game, but pacing is the utmost priority here. Whether it be running between the wickets or running for the delivery or even running after it, cricket demands pace as assertively as it calls for technique. And indeed, cricketers the world over delivers across the game so much with speed in all its encompassments. Here are the best international cricketers who can claim to be the fastest bowler in the world with their paced up attacks-
Mitchell Starc (Australia) | 160.4 km/hr
The distinction for being the fastest bowler in the world at the moment goes to Australian Mitchell Starc. His delivery against Ross Taylor of New Zealand in 2015 at the WACA during the 3rd day of the 2nd test match clocked a swift 160.4 km/hr, thereby prominently asserting his position as being one among the fastest ever in the game. With this delivery, the left handed bowler from New South Wales also etched his name in the record books, courtesy being the man to have clocked the fastest delivery ever in the history of Test cricket.
Also the fastest paceman to claim 100 wickets in a mere 52 innings, Mitchell Starc has been spearheading the Australian pace attack ever since he made his international debut in 2010. Among the most feared bowlers in the game currently, the young Starc has been vital in asserting the position of the Australian cricket team as a formidable opponent in the international stage.
Wahab Riaz (Pakistan) | 155.1 km/hr
Whatever their current status in world cricket might be at the moment but Asian giant Pakistan has forever boasted some of the fastest bowlers in the game. And no exception to this is the current lot of Pakistani pacers, among whom the name of Wahab Riaz makes it to this list of the fastest bowler in the world currently.
An asset to the Pakistani side for more than a decade now since 2008, Riaz has continuously unsettled oppositions with his speed and aggression, clocking an average of 144.8 km/hr regularly. But what puts him at the second spot here is his T20 performance against England in the 2016- 17 season when he clocked an unbelievable 155.1 km/hr to produce a really fast spell of destructive bowling.
However even as perhaps the only active player in the world besides Mitchell Starc to go above the 155 kph mark, this feat of Riaz remains relatively lesser known. What remains a far more memorable standout performance produced by the fast bowler is his 2015 World Cup heroics against Australia. In a quarterfinal match of the premier tournament, Riaz achieved a 145 km/h clocking against Shane Watson in a fiery bowling spell that was lauded as being one of the best ever against the Aussies on their home soil. Another breakthrough spell saw this plausible pacer deliver a 149.6 kph against India as his fastest bet. This feat by Riaz at Edgbaston on 4th June 2017 during a Champions Trophy match furthered his reputation as one one among the finest fast bowlers in world cricket.
Jasprit Bumrah (India) | 153.26 km/hr
Clocking a maximum of 153.26 km/hr is Jaspit Bumrah, who is the second and consecutive man from the subcontinent marking his place in our list. At the Adelaide Oval during the first Test match of India Tour of Australia in 2018, the right armed Bumrah peaked far beyond his average of 142 kph, toppling even his personal best speed of 148.1 km/hr that he attained during the 2017 Champions Trophy final against Pakistan at the Oval. In the mere four years that he has been doning the tricolors, Jasprit Bumrah has managed to emerge at the fore of the Indian pace attack delivering every time stellar performances with charisma and style. In his unorthodox action as well as his ability to bowl well at the death overs, Bumrah has established himself as an indispensable asset to the Indian national cricket team as a potential match winner.
Pat Cummins (Australia) | 149.2 km/hr
The vice captain of the Australian cricket team Pat Cummins might be among the youngest of the current crop of Australia’s fiery fast bowlers but that does not make him any less devastating a phenomenon as any other in the cricketing world. Hailed for not just being among the fastest bowler in the world currently but also as one of the best ever in the game, the 26 year old right armed pacer boasts an average bowling speed of 143.3 km/hr.
But his exclusive best clocking was a delivery at a speed of 149.2 km/hr that he achieved against England again at Edgbaston in 2017 during a Champions Trophy match. Named the 2020 Test Cricketer of the Year by the International Cricket Council, Cummins massive abilities as a fast bowler and a capable lower-order right-handed batsman has made him one of the mainstays of Australia’s exploits in competitive cricket over the years.
Tymal Mills (England) | 149 km/hr
The country from where cricket started out as a national sport to eventually become among the most popular of sports globally, England’s pathetic reputation of never having won the ICC World Cup till recently- and dubiously- however does not in any way hamper the emergence of amazing cricketing talent from the country. One such English cricketer who is currently fastest among the bowlers of the world is Tymal Mills. Pacing close to Cummins with just two decimal points behind is yet again a left hander name Mills. His 149 km/hr delivery against India in 2017 at Bangalore on 1st February is remembered not just as a destructive spell of fast bowling in international cricket but also one that counts among the top five fastest deliveries still standing firm on the international pitch.
Shannon Gabriel (West Indies) | 148.2 km/hr
Trinidad and Tobago born Shannon Gabriel of the West Indies is one present day rare breed from the island nation that is now famous for its prominent big hitters and limited overs, read T20 specialists. With an average bowling speed of 137.9 km/hr, Gabriel might not command the ultimate fear as being among the fastest of fast bowlers but his 2017 bowling spell against Pakistan proves otherwise. A 148.2 km/hr clocking on 10th May three years back against Pakistan during the third match of a Test series does justice to the consistency with which Gabriel has been going about the exerting pace bowling routine.
Naseem Shah (Pakistan) | 148.1 km/hr
The youngest bowler to claim a hat trick in a Test match, as well as the youngest pace bowler to take a five wicket haul in a Test match, young Pakistani player Naseem Shah has been stupendous enough in his still nascent beginnings as an international cricketer to already achieve one of the fastest mileages in the game. His 148.1 km/hr speedy delivery against Australia established this budding cricketer as one to watch out for in the world of fast paced cricket in the international arena.
Adam Milne (New Zealand) | 147.7 km/hr
A limited overs right arm fast bowler of New Zealand, Adam Milne is a regular with deliveries that clock around 139 km/hr but his average performance is a hazy reflection of what he can do at his peak. And the team that learned it the hard way round was the Asian nation of Bangladesh when in 2017 during the Champions Trophy, Milne bowled a speed of 147.7 km/hr to be the seventh fastest bowler in the world among the current lot of international players. Hailed a long term prospect for the Black Caps on debut, Milne is definitely a pace phenomenon of repute.
Liam Plunkett (England) | 147.3 km/hr
A key part of the England team that clinched the 2019 ODI World Cup for the maiden time in its history, Liam Plunkett is another English name in our list of fastest bowler in the world even when he is quite a rookie yet. In his international career that spans a decade and a half, Plunkett has consistently delivered some 137 km/hr speed in his deliveries even when his fastest recorded delivery was a phenomenal 147.3 kph swiftie that he achieved in 2017 against South Africa in a Twenty 20 match.
Kagiso Rabada (South Africa) | 147 km/hr
Wisden’s 2018 Best Young Player in the World is also the best when it comes to the pace business. We are alluding to South African cricketer Kagiso Rabada who at a mere 24 years of age is the youngest pick in the list of the fastest bowlers. In his six year long international career, the pacer has taken the cricketing world by storm. But even prior to that, as a phenomenal presence of the South African team that played the 2014 ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup, Rabada revealed his heroics enough to be dubbed “the fastest and most feared bowler in the competition”.
An average rate of 138.3 kph was what he delivered consistently through the years peaking at a stupendous 147 kph against England during a Test match, yet again in 2017. The youngest bowler to take 150 wickets in Test as well as amongst the youngest of top bowlers in both Tests and ODIs, Rabada however is more than just a speed machine. He is a true pacer and a terrific bowler to have graced the cricket pitch.
Umesh Yadav (India) | 146.6 km/hr
Another Indian in the list who makes it matter as being one of the fastest bowler in the world currently is Umesh Yadav. A right arm fast bowler whose association with the national side goes a decade back, Yadav might not be the most prominent of names in the Indian bowling circuit owing to his lack of consistency with the ball but that does not nullify the speed with which he has delivered the goods through the times. Among the fastest bowlers who regularly clock speed of 138 km/hr or higher, Yadav’s speediest delivery has been a 146.6 km/hr recording attained against Sri Lanka on 26th July 2017 during a Test match.
Shoaib Akhtar (Pakistan) | 161.3 km/hr
However no discussion of fastest bowler in the world can be complete if we don’t take into consideration the fastest delivery ever in the world cricket, irrespective of whether that is a record by a present day or former cricketer. Officially the fastest bowler in the world of all times is Shoaib Akhtar of Pakistan who at a clocking of an unbelievable 161.3 km/hr recorded the fastest ever speed in international cricket.
Aptly known as the Rawalpindi Express, Akhtar’s greatness as a pace bowler however rests not just in this single feat that he achieved against England. The fact that the legendary Akhtar bowled this delivery during a high pressure match of the 2003 ICC World Cup only enhances his stature as being the fastest in the pace business. But even beyond this obviously no mean feat, what is even more phenomenal is that Shoaib Akhtar breached the 100 mph or equivalently the 160.9 kph barrier not just in 2003 but twice in his entire illustrious career! As the first bowler to break the 100 mph mark not once but twice, it’s no wonder that Akhtar is recognized as the fastest ever bowler in the history of world cricket.