5 fast bowlers who can replace ex-legends

Fast bowling is toughest yet most thrilling part in cricket. A fast bowler can scare best of the batsmen to take wickets like Mitchell Johnson or keep pitching the ball in good areas to frustrate the batsman and get him out like Glenn Mcgrath. Cricket has witnessed some legendary fast bowlers like Wasim Akram, Glenn Mcgrath, Andy Roberts etc. Here are 5 current bowlers who can imitate ex legends.

Mohammad Amir-Wasim Akram

Mohammad Amir, the left arm fast bowler from Pakistan have it all. He bowls fast, he swings the ball both ways, he is fit and most importantly, he is a fighter who believes in not giving up. Amir burst on to the scenes as 17 year old prodigy. Identified in a pace bowling camp by Wasim Akram, Amir made immediate impact. He made his test debut in July 2009 against Sri Lanka and picked up 3 wickets including 2 important ones of Kumar Sangakkara and Tilkaratne Dilshan in first inning. He finished the match with 6 wickets as he got Sangakkara again in the second inning and followed it up with another big wicket of Mahela Jayawardene. He was impressive on his ODI debut as well picking up three wickets for 45 runs. He made his T-20 debut in the same year against England but failed to make an impact in shortest format of the game on debut as he was smashed for 31 runs in 3 overs.

Coming from a poor background, sudden star status probably all these things were too big to handle for a 17 year old Amir as he was lured into the biggest mistake of his life. Already called as Akram's replacement, Mohammad Amir found himself behind bars for the biggest mistake a sportsman can make. He was banned for 5 years in 2010 for spot fixing. It looked like that Cricket lost one of the best bowler ever. But Amir was spirited. He came back stronger. His ban is now lifted and he is active in cricket since last 8 months and so far, it looks like he has only became better as we saw his class against top class Indian batting lineup in Asia cup. He will have to deal with fixer's tag forever in his life but he is no doubt one who can achieve the feats that great Wasim Akram achieved.

Josh Hazlewood-Glenn Mcgrath

Josh Hazlewood, the Australian fast bowler is known for his ability to keep the ball in right areas and test the batsman's awareness outside off stump just like Glen Mcgrath. Standing 6 feet 4 inches, Josh extracts good bounce even from the full length areas and on most sluggish tracks. Josh's cricketing journey at professional level started when he was 17 as he was picked by New South Wales to play against New Zealand for a tour match in November 2008. Some consistent performance for New South Wales meant he was picked for Australian team on England tour for ODIs. He made his ODI debut on 22nd June 2010 and picked up an important wicket of Craig Kieswetter. Lower back stress fractures, known as biggest nightmare of fast bowlers, haunted Josh Hazlewood as well.

Injuries meant he had to wait for another three years to add another ODI to his tally. He made his T-20 debut in 2013 as well but it was 2014 December when he made debut in the format of his liking, test cricket. Playing his first match against India, Josh made immediate impact as he picked up five wickets for 68 runs on a flat surface. Cheteshwar Pujara was his first victim while he later dismissed Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane and M.S.Dhoni as well. He followed it with another 2 wickets in second innings. So far Josh Hazlewood have picked up 70 wickets in 17 tests at an average of just above 25. His attributes and number suggest that he is a like to like replacement of Glenn Mcgrath but he will have to keep this consistency forever to achieve the milestones that Mcgrath have achieved.

Adam Milne-Shane Bond

When you think about fastest bowlers in 2000s, you can not miss a name 'Shane Bond'. Shane Bond was one of those bowlers who used pace as main weapon to destroy the opposition. He regularly bowled in excess speed of 145 kmph and he touched 150 mark regularly. On some occasions he bowled at over 155 kmph. Adam Milne, 24 year old boy from Bond's country is doing the same in 2010s. Adam made his first class debut on 4th March 2010 and took a wicket on his second ball. He finished the match with 4 inning for 52 runs. His international debut came 2 years later in Hambantota against Sri Lanka in 2012. He failed to impress on his first outing in ODI cricket and was dropped later. So far his ODI numbers are average as he has picked up only 31 wickets in 33 ODI matches at over 40. His T-20 numbers are not great either but at 24, he has plenty of time to go past Shane Bond. Adam will have to take care of his injury prone body above all to make sure that he can play as many games as he can.

Patrick Cummins-Brett Lee

Brett Lee is the second fastest bowler on the bowler (At least since the speed guns are used in cricket). He terrorized batsmen with sheer pace and bounce for more than 13 years. Patrick Cummins, who also comes from New South Wales but from a different generation, has all the guns in his Arsenal to match him. Cummins made his test debut in 2011 against South Africa and imminently showed the signs of a tearaway fast bowler. He picked up 5 wickets in his very first inning and consistently bowled over 145 kmph. He made his ODI debut T-20 debut in the same season but since then, he has got more injuries than wickets. He has played only 18 ODIs, 15 T-20s and just a single test match in last 6 years. Although his numbers are great as he have picked up 33 ODI wickets at 25 and 21 wickets in T-20s at 18, he will have to find a way to deal with his injuries. He has not lost any pace and even he clocked 154 in last year's Natwest Series. But to reach the standards set by Brett Lee, he will have to work really hard and play more games for Australia.

Mitchell Starc-Mitchell Johnson

Mitchell Johnson was probably fastest Left arm bowler, but that's only until Mitchell Starc bowled that delivery of 160.4 to Ross Taylor in Mitchell Johnson's final test at Perth. Mitchell Johnson was fast, his deliveries skidded onto the batsmen, he generated so much of bounce and he was one of those who could scare the batsmen to take his wicket. When he failed with ball, he made sure that he contributed with the bat to the team. Mitchell Johnson was a player anyone would love to have in his team. Now lets move on to Mitchell Starc. Starc ticks all the boxes that Johnson does. He can bowl at over 150 kmph, he can bat well when needed, he is tall, he generates bounce and just like his namesake, he is sometimes wayward too. If Starc played next 12 years the way he is playing in last 30 months, Kangaroos are never going to miss Mitchell Johnson.

Mitchell Starc made his ODI debut on 20 October 2010 against India but he was not impressive in his first outing. He made his test debut against New Zealand in 2011. Starc so far has enjoyed shorter format more than the longer one as he needs 6 wickets in five games to become fastest bowler to reach 100 wickets. His numbers in test cricket are so far not eye popping ones but in last 2 years he has improved in tests as well and with his deadly inswinging yorkers, he is one of the best T-20 bowler in the world.

Honorable Mentions

Barinder Saran-Zaheer Khan
James Pattinson-Jason Gillespie
Kagiso Rabada-Makhaya Natini


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