Express pace bowling can be dangerous sometimes but it also brings with it a sheer adrenaline rush and is a treat to watch in international cricket.
Over the decades, Pakistan was the only subcontinental cricket team which produced multiple outright quicks who made batsmen dance to their tunes. The supply chain of fast bowlers seemed endless for Pakistan. But with time, other subcontinental teams too have developed or are in the process of developing an arsenal of speed merchants.
India, for example, in the last 4-5 years has developed some serious pacers across formats and more and more youngsters are cropping up and advancing to the higher levels. Teams like Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Afghanistan too are eagerly investing in young talents, who can clock above 140 kmph at will and rattle the batters.
TimesofIndia.com here takes a look at some of the current highly rated quicks from the subcontinental teams other than Pakistan who are constantly clocking 140kmph plus on the speed guns:
Jasprit Bumrah (India)
An unorthodox action coupled with some serious pace, India pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah is currently one of the most feared bowlers in world cricket. From his toe-crushing yorkers to highly accurate bouncers whistling past the ears of the batters, Bumrah works like a magician when in full flow. And the pace at which Bumrah delivers the ball often makes the batsmen pretty uncomfortable at the other end. The 28-year-old since the initial phase of his career has been a revelation of sorts and continues to torment the batters with his fiery bowling. An uncanny action along with an average speed in the range of 140-145 kmph makes Bumrah not only the top bowler in the subcontinent but one of the best around the world currently. Bumrah, who is known for his sheer pace and has so far clocked 153.2 kmph as his fastest delivery which he bowled in a Test match against Australia in 2018. Currently at the peak of his career, with ever-improving fitness levels and with age on his side, it won’t be a surprise if Bumrah, in the near future, manages to get closer to the 160 kmph elite mark. Bumrah so far has a combined 293 international wickets to his name across formats.
Prasidh Krishna (India)
Young Prasidh Krishna is one of the recent pace sensations in India’s fast bowlers’ army who has been knocking on international doors with some high quality performances. The 6’2 tall Karnataka speedster has already represented India in 7 one-day internationals and is set to expand to other formats as well. Prasidh was performing pretty well in the domestic circuit but it was the Indian Premier League which brought him into limelight in no time. Four years with Kolkata Knight Riders and every cricket pundit saw the consistency at which Prasidh bowled in the high 140s. The 26-year-old has registered a 152.2 kmph fastest delivery in the IPL but is yet to replicate it at the international level. Apart from the speed factor, Prasidh’s height helps him extract extra bounce and that causes a lot of trouble for the batters. With Gujarat Titans spending INR 10 crore on the right arm medium fast bowler in the recent auction, it shows how much cricket scouts and team managements believe in the lanky pacer and his abilities. Prasidh though will have to be nurtured and taken care of well to turn him into a truly feared fast bowler
Lahiru Kumara (Sri Lanka)
What Lahiru Kumara did to Ishan Kishan in the second T20I in Dharamsala was an instant hit on social media. In the blink of an eye, the ball had travelled from Kumara’s hand and had hit Ishan’s forehead. Thankfully due to the quality helmets that batters wear these days there was no physical damage, but the India opener was definitely rattled by the Lankan’s raw pace. And it is not the first time Kumara’s delivery has hit the batter flush on the helmet. Flying stumps, balls swooshing past into keeper’s gloves and bouncers knocking over the batsmen is a common sight when the 25-year-old Kumara is in full flow. One of the fastest bowlers currently in Sri Lanka’s cricketing ecosystem, Kumara has been around since 2016 and has been troubling batsmen all over the world. The right-arm quick bowls 145 kmph-plus deliveries with ease and has crossed the 150 kmph barrier several times in his short international career. With the likes of young Binura Fernando, Dushmantha Chameera, Chamika Karunaratne and other upcoming talents by his side, Sri Lanka’s pace bowling future looks promising.
Taskin Ahmed (Bangladesh)
Bangladesh’s Taskin Ahmed has hit the 148 kmph mark (his fastest delivery during an Asia Cup encounter). In an interview some time back he said that he is aiming to add more pace and get closer to around 155 clicks. The 26-year-old bowling sensation from Dhaka was sighted early in his U-12 playing days by his coach and then found domestic recognition in 2013. From there on Taskin went on to make is international limited overs debut in 2014 and has since been a regular feature in Bangladesh cricket. And even though Rubel Hossain currently holds the record for the fastest delivery bowled by a Bangladeshi bowler — 149.5 kmph, Taskin, with the consistency, determination and attitude he bowls with might knock over that record soon. The speedster so far has a combined 105 wickets across all formats for Bangladesh.
Avesh Khan (India)
Pacer Avesh Khan had a breakthrough IPL 2021 season in which he finished as the second highest wicket-taker (24) behind Harshal Patel. The 25-year-old from there on earned the India cap and so far has 2 T20Is to his name. A smart bowler who has a lot of variety up his sleeves, Avesh has what it takes to achieve a lot of success. And the signs were there from the early days of his cricketing career. Avesh featured in two editions of the ICC U-19 World Cups in 2014 and 2016. A poor run in the 2014 edition forced Avesh to work tremendously hard on his game and he bounced right back in the following edition, becoming India’s highest wicket-taker in 2016. More importantly, a rookie clocking 140 clicks in the junior tournament was something that helped Avesh grab eyeballs. The following year, he was picked up by Royal Challengers Bangalore and was part of the team for one edition before being bought by the Delhi Capitals in 2018. Consistently bowling in the right channel along with a pace of over 140 clicks makes Avesh a lethal bowler. To go with that his ability to trick the batsmen with his variety makes him a hot pick. In the recent IPL player auction, Avesh was bought by the Lucknow Super Giants for a whopping Rs 10 Crore, which made him the most expensive uncapped player ever at an IPL auction. Six days after the second day of the auction, Avesh made his India debut in the T20I in Kolkata vs the West Indies. In two T20Is so far he has two wickets. He is 25 and is heading into the most productive phase of his career. Going forward, exciting times lie ahead for Avesh if he continues with the same determination and passion.