Fastest Bowlers in Indian Cricket History

India have produced some serious speed merchants over the years and their bowlers are getting quicker. Here are the fastest Indian bowlers in history.

Who is the Fastest Indian Bowler Ever?

The fastest bowler in the history of Indian cricket is Umran Malik. Playing against Sri Lanka in 2023, Umran was measured by the official speed gun at 156 kilometres per hour.

Malik also appears at number two on the list and was widely expected to become India’s quickest ever bowler.

Fastest Balls By Indians in International Cricket

Umran Malik – 156 km/h – vs Sri Lanka – 2023

Umran Malik’s fastest ball was measured at 156 km/h and it came in the first One Day International against Sri Lanka in January 2023. That figure converts to 96.93 for those who prefer miles per hour, and it’s seriously fast.

The ball itself didn’t trouble batter Charith Asalanka in this match at Guwahati. It was a full length delivery on the offside and it was calmly driven for two runs.

It’s incredible to think that Malik was just a net bowler for Sunrisers Hyderabad before finally getting a chance in the Indian Premier League. While he may need to improve his accuracy levels, speed will always be a useful weapon in international cricket, and Malik has plenty.

Umran Malik
Umran Malik

Umran Malik – 155 km/h – vs Sri Lanka – 2023

Umran Malik’s fastest ever ball broke his previous record which had stood for less than a month. For the second fastest ball by an Indian, Sri Lanka were the opponents once again in the 1st T20 International which was played at the Wankhede Stadium on January 3rd, 2023.

Throughout this contest, the Indian quick bowled with serious pace and he consistently hit over the 145 kph mark. His fastest delivery came in at 155 km/h and this time it took a wicket as Dasun Shanaka hit the ball straight to Yuzvendra Chahal at cover.

That delivery converts to 96.31 miles per hour and it helped Umran Malik finish with figures of 2/27 from his four overs. It was a vital spell as India won a tight game by just two runs.

Javagal Srinath – 154.5 km/h – vs Pakistan – 1999

A number of players on this list may not have been consistently fast, but they could slip in a quicker ball as a surprise weapon. Javagal Srinath could probably be included on this list as a fast seam bowler, who wasn’t quite in the same pace league as others from around the cricketing world.

Despite that, Srinath held the record for India’s fastest ever delivery for more than 23 years. He bowled consistently above the 140 kph mark which is respectable, but he really let rip at the 1999 World Cup.

During the tournament, Javagal Srinath touched 154.5 km/h which converts to a fraction above 96 miles per hour. He went on to become India’s leading wicket taker in ODIs with that useful combination of swing, seam and some serious pace on occasions.

Javagal Srinath
Javagal Srinath

Irfan Pathan – 153.7 km/h – vs Pakistan – 2007

The left arm bowler Irfan Pathan will largely be remembered for his swing and seam. The movement that he gained in the air and off the pitch made him the most effective bowler of his kind since the great Kapil Dev.

He had some good pace at times and his quickest ball landed in a match against Pakistan in 2007. Pathan sent down this delivery at 153.7 km/h which equates to 95.5 in miles per hour.

Irfan Pathan
Irfan Pathan

Jasprit Bumrah – 153.36 km/h – vs Australia – 2018

Jasprit Bumrah’s unusual action allows him to fire in fast, swinging yorkers at will. His fastest ball to date came against Australia and it was in a test match in 2018.

Many quicks will be able to send down faster deliveries in limited overs cricket because they have a smaller workload. The fact that Bumrah was able to bowl at pace during a red ball game is a testament to his durability. It’s therefore hoped that his speed is not affected by injuries that caused him to miss both the Asia Cup and the T20 World Cup in 2022.

The delivery that got Jasprit Bumrah into this exclusive list was sent down at 153.36 kilometres per hour and that figure converts to around 95.3 miles per hour.

Mohammed Shami – 153.3 km/h – vs Australia – 2014

Outside of the country, Mohammed Shami may not be known for his pace, but he’s been one of the best Indian fast bowlers throughout his career. Nine years on from his fastest ever ball, he may be running out of time to improve on it, but he can still be proud of this effort.

Shami’s fastest delivery came against Australia in a test match in 2014. It was measured at 153.3 kph which is just a fraction under Jasprit Bumrah’s 153.36. Those are fine margins which means that Mohammed Shami’s fastest ball also comes in at around the 95.3 miles per hour mark.

He bowled with a very upright action which generated some exaggerated seam movement, but Shami could deliver at pace when he needed to.

Mohammed Shami
Mohammed Shami

Ishant Sharma – 152.6 km/h – vs Australia – 2008

For a number of years, Ishant Sharma was second only to Javagal Srinath on this list of Indian pacers. He was a similar bowler to Mohammad Shami in the sense that he relied on seam movement, but he was taller so he was able to generate some extra bounce.

Ishant wasn’t necessarily known for his pace, but his fastest ball in his international career was an impressive one. It was clocked at 152.6 km/h which converts to around 94.8 miles per hour.

While he’s at the very end of his career, it’s unlikely that Ishant Sharma will be improving on those numbers, but he made a strong impression across the three formats.

Ishant Sharma
Ishant Sharma

Final Thoughts

Most of my lists are subject to change, but this could be the most fluid of them all. Umran Malik has burst onto the scene and risen to the top of the fast bowling charts in a short space of time.

He’s still only young and has time to bowl even faster. Further down the list, Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammad Shami are also playing internationally at the time of writing in 2023. Shami isn’t necessarily known for his pace, but Bumrah is quick and should retain that speed if he isn’t affected by the injury that kept him out of the 2022 T20 World Cup.

Shami’s fastest ball was delivered nearly ten years ago, so it’s hard to see him improving on it. Bumrah should still have time if he comes back fit and firing.

However, I could see a scenario where I revisit this list in the near future and find that Umran Malik occupies every single slot from one to seven.

Could any other members of the current squad break through and find some serious speed? Do India possess any young pace bowlers, who have yet to feature for the senior squad and could come through as Umran Malik has done?

There’s a lot of questions thrown up here and it will be fascinating to see how India’s pace battery develops in the future.