Kolkata: Who has been the fastest bowler of IPL 2021 after nearly three weeks of action ? The topic fascinates the cricket fan no end - and surprsingly enough - the record of hurling the fastest delivery belongs to Chris Jordan of Punjab Kings in their match against Kolkata Knight Riders.
A analytics report by the broadcasters Star Sports reveals that till the 21st game, the England allrounder’s 148.47 kmph delivery has been the fastest so far. The best is still reserved in the name of Anrich Nortje, the South African bowler who bowled at 150 kmph-plus for Delhi Capitals in the UAE last year.
However, two Indian pacemen - Mohammed Siraj (Royal Challengers Bangalore) and Prasidh Krishna (Kolkata Knight Riders) have left behind several big names of international cricket by consistently hitting a 145 kmph-plus mark and accounting for eight of the 10 fastest deliveries after 21 matches. Both of them figure in the list four times each - the other two spots being occupied by Jordan and the Australian pace ace Pat Cummins of KKR.
Both Siraj and Prasidh made their international debuts within the last six months - underlining the rich fast bowling resources at India’s disposal now. While the Hyderabad-based Siraj grew in confidence with his exposure during the Test series against Australia to emerge as the highest wicket-taker in the series, Prasidh impressed in the limited opportunities he got in three One-day Internationals against England at home in March.
Explaining the improvement in Siraj’s craft, former Australian spped merchant Brett Lee said in one of his pre-match shows: “Siraj is nailing the yorkers this year. So far, he has bowled one of the fastest deliveries this year and has bowled 34 deliveries more than 140kphs.”
“When he nails his yorker, the batters are struggling. He brings his length to the yorker zone more often this year. I reckon it is a little technical change from last year. I see a higher arm, closer to the umpire’s head and a better bend from his backleg. His front foot is facing more towards stumps,” Lee analysed, adding that Siraj could well breach the 150kph barrier soon.
Prasidh, a prolific wicket-taker for Karnataka, is more of a skiddy customer with a smooth run-up to the crease and hits the deck to get unexpected pace and bounce at time. Sunil Gavaskar, the Indian batting legend, was so impressed by the youngster during his international debut that he felt the team management should consider playing him at the Test level.
Gavaskar said that with Krishna’s “pace and seam position”, he is likely to do well for the country in Test cricket. “I tell you what, with those seam up deliveries, he is someone that the Indian selection committee must consider seriously for red ball (Tests) as well,” Gavaskar said during his TV commentary.
The competition of hitting the speed charts could have been a more intense one but Jofra Archer (Rajasthan Royals) is ruled out of IPL 2021 while the deceptive Lockie Ferguson has not played for the Knights so far. Nortje, who came out of quarantine after a scare of a ‘false negative’ report for Covid-19, may be seen in action sooner than later.
FAST AND FURIOUS
Fastest deliveries in IPL 2021
(As of April 26)
Bowler Speed (km/h)
Chris Jordan 148.47
Mohammed Siraj 147.67
Pat Cummins 146.71
Prasidh Krishna 146.60
Prasidh Krishna 146.58
Prasidh Krishna 146.28
Mohammed Siraj 145.97
Prasidh Krishna 145.96
Mohammed Siraj 145.96
Mohammed Siraj 145.84
(Updated till Punjab Kings vs Kolkata Knight Riders, match No 21 of IPL 2021)