Best Indian fast bowlers: The top 10 of all-time

Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami are among the best indian fast bowlers of all-time
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Who are India’s greatest ever pacer bowlers?

The Indian Cricket Team are perhaps best known for their spin bowlers and batsmen. Throughout the years, India has excelled in these two categories. But, in recent times, particularly in the last two or three decades, the nation has produced some excellent pace bowlers. Mohammad Siraj and Shardul Thakur are two examples of recent successes Down Under. In this article, we will explore the top 10 best Indian fast bowlers of all-time.

So, who makes the list?

1. Kapil Dev

Kapil Dev bowling for India during the 4th Test match between England and India at The Oval, London, 1st September 1979. The non-striking batsman for England is Geoff Boycott and the umpire is David Constant. (Photo by Ken Kelly/Popperfoto via Getty Images/Getty Images)

With over 680 wickets to his name across formats, Kapil Dev is number one on our list of best Indian fast bowlers. He had the ability to swing the ball both ways and trouble batsmen. His bowling average of 29 in Test cricket is very healthy, given that he played half of his games in India, where pitches suit spin bowlers.

2. Zaheer Khan

Indian fast bowler Zaheer Khan reacts after taking the wicket of Sri Lankan batsman Chamara Kapugedera during the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 final match at The Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on April 2, 2011. AFP PHOTO/MANAN VATSYAYANA (Photo credit should read MANAN VATSYAYANA/AFP via Getty Images)

This shouldn’t come as a surprise, because after all, Zak was quite the player, not express pace, but his control and his left-arm angle allows him to take the second spot in this coveted list of Indian pacers. He picked up 18 wickets at 20.33 to help India win the Test series in England in 2007. Zaheer also had a fabulous 2011 Cricket World Cup, where his 21 wickets at 18.76, helped India win their second title.

Watch every Zaheer Khan wicket from the 2011 triumph

3. Javagal Srinath

England batsman Alec Stewart (centre) is out LBW for 50 runs off the bowling of Javagal Srinath (right) during the 3rd Test match at Trent Bridge, Nottingham on 4th July 1996. The match ended in a draw. (Photo by David Munden/Popperfoto via Getty Images/Getty Images)

A man quite often forgot about, Javagal Srinath was truly tremendous. His skill and his pace were untouchable and that is why he sits at the third spot on this list with an average of 29 across 551 wickets in both formats combined.

4. Ishant Sharma

AHMEDABAD, INDIA – MARCH 04: Ishant Sharma of India bowls during Day One of the 4th Test Match between India and England at the Narendra Modi Stadium on March 04, 2021 in Ahmedabad, India. (Photo by Surjeet Yadav/Getty Images)

The Indian workhorse, ever since he has worked under Bharat Arun we’ve seen Ishant 2.0, who pitches it up and gets wickets. With 420 wickets at 32, he is among the top pacers India has ever produced.


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5. Ajit Agarkar

Indian cricketer Agit Agarkar (R) appeals successfully for the wicket of England’s Matthew Prior (L) during the sixth NatWest One Day International match at the Brit Oval stadium in central London, 05 September 2007. England is leading the series 3-2. AFP PHOTO/ALESSANDRO ABBONIZIO (Photo credit should read Alessandro Abbonizio/AFP via Getty Images)

Famous more for his Bombay Duck than his 349 international wickets, Ajit Agarkar was a top bowler who was very capable with the bat and still holds the record for the fastest ODI fifty by an Indian. An excellent seamer who could swing the ball in all conditions, no matter whether the ball was old or new, he slots in at 5.

6. Mohammed Shami

Mohammed Shami (R) of India celebrates the dismissal of Roston Chase (L) of West Indies during day 4 of the 1st Test between West Indies and India at Vivian Richards Cricket Stadium in North Sound, Antigua and Barbuda, on August 25, 2019. (Photo by Randy Brooks / AFP) (Photo credit should read RANDY BROOKS/AFP via Getty Images)

Currently, the best test pacer India has, with his pace constantly in the 88-89mph range and his ability with the old all to reverse the ball. With 336 wickets to his name at a miserly average of 26, he is among the top bowlers that India has ever produced.

7. Irfan Pathan

India’s Irfan Pathan (C) celebrates with teammates after bowling Sri Lanka’s Dinesh Chandimal during the one-day international cricket match in Brisbane on February 21, 2012. IMAGE STRICTLY RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE – STRICTLY NO COMMERCIAL USE AFP PHOTO / Greg WOOD (Photo credit should read GREG WOOD/AFP via Getty Images)

An excellent left-arm seam/swing bowler, he wasn’t as quick as his colleagues but he made up for his lack of pace with his ability to swing the ball, his control and his lengths. With a test hat-trick, he sits number 7 on our list of best Indian fast bowlers of all-time.

8. Venkatesh Prasad

Venkatesh Prasad bowling for India during the 2nd Test match between England and India at Lord’s Cricket Ground, London, 20th June 1990. The batsman for England is Jack Russell and the umpire is Dickie Bird. (Photo by Patrick Eagar/Popperfoto via Getty Images/Getty Images)

A forgotten man due to the era that he played in. Among the greatest India, has produced, Prasad was well and truly a once in a lifetime player, with 92 wickets at 33, he is among the best Indian fast bowlers of all-time.

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9. Umesh Yadav

India’s Umesh Yadav (R) celebrates the wicket of Australia’s batsman Joe Burns (2nd L) with teammates on the third day of the second cricket Test match between Australia and India at the MCG in Melbourne on December 28, 2020. (Photo by WILLIAM WEST / AFP) / –IMAGE RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE – STRICTLY NO COMMERCIAL USE– (Photo by WILLIAM WEST/AFP via Getty Images)

Quite often a target for trolls, he has proved them wrong every step of his career. With 259 wickets at 32, he has been nothing but impressive for India. Originally from Vidharba, with express pace up his sleeve. His record in India a country that traditionally suits spin is quite the wonder. He is one of the best Indian fast bowlers in Asian conditions.

10. Manoj Prabhakar

Alec Stewart of England is out LBW for 10 runs to Manoj Prabhakar of India during the 3rd Test match between India and England at the Wankhede Stadium, Bombay (Mumbai), 22nd February 1993. The non-striking batsman for England is Graham Gooch and the fielders for India include Sachin Tendulkar (top left), Kapil Dev (2nd left) and wicketkeeper Kiran More; the umpire is Srinivas Venkataraghavan. India won the match by an innings and 15 runs and took the three-match series 3-0. (Photo by Patrick Eagar/Popperfoto via Getty Images)

He’s very unknown due to the time he played. With Kapil Dev being the frontline pacer, he was usually overshadowed by Dev. Nevertheless, Prabhakar managed 253 wickets at 32. A bowling all-rounder, he also had two ODI hundreds to his name. Not really someone who could bowl fast, but was extremely accurate and had an excellent economy.



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