The IPL, which was suspended in May after a rise in the COVID-19 numbers in the franchises, is set to make a comeback in September in the UAE. Fans worldwide are holding their breath as they wait to see the blockbuster action return to the pitch.
Pundits are also eager to place their predictions on pace bowlers who can break the record of the fastest delivery. Currently, Anrich Nortje holds the record of the fastest ball in the history of the IPL. The South African pacer achieved this feat while bowling to Rajasthan Royals opener Jos Buttler. He bowled a delivery at a speed of 156.22 km/hr, the fastest ball in IPL history that broke all previous records.
As the stakes keep rising every season, we look at five bowlers who can break the record of the fastest delivery in the IPL 2021.
The South African pace sensation is rated as the most successful bowler in the 2020 edition of the IPL. Kagiso clinched the Purple cap after scalping most 30 wickets in the season. Additionally, he has been clocking deliveries at a speed of 150km/hr+. In the 2019 IPL season, the 25-year-old seamer bowled a delivery at 154.23 km/hr, which is very close to the existing record held by his South African counterpart Nortje. Since he has come this close to breaking the record for the fastest delivery in IPL, he has the ability to make history this season.
With only four years in the IPL, the Johannesburg-born seamer has already left a mark in the league and is considered among the best seamers in IPL and South Africa cricket.
A right-arm pacer with thunderbolt speed deliveries, Archer, has what it takes to deliver the fastest ball in IPL history, given his performance in the last season. The Rajasthan Royals pacer came second to Anrich Nortje as the bowler with maximum deliveries in the top 10 fastest balls. In the 13th season of the T20 competition, he notched the fastest delivery of his cricket career at 153.62 km/hr. So, it won’t come as a surprise if he unseats Nortje for bowling the fastest ball in IPL.
Currently playing for the Royal Challengers Bangalore, Saini is one of the fastest bowlers in Indian cricket. During IPL 2019, the Karnal-born speedster bowled the fastest delivery of his cricket career by clocking the ball at a lethal pace of 152.85km/hr. If a pace bowler can break the record for the fastest delivery in the IPL this season, it would be Navdeep Saini.
As one of the few fast bowlers in New Zealand who bowl continuously at a steady speed of 150km/hr, Lockie is another top contender for the fastest ball delivery in IPL 2021. He has recorded an incredible speed of 153 km/hr during first-class matches and 151.69 km/hr in the 13th edition of the T20 Championship. The Kolkata Knight Riders seamer is constantly improving his form and rising in ranks as one of the most successful pacers of the T20 league. Lockie is one to watch out for in the upcoming season to deliver the IPL’s fastest ball.
Arguably one of the best pace bowlers of modern cricket, Jasprit has displayed incredible speed. During the 2018 India tour of Australia, the Ahmedabad-born seamer clocked the ball at a 153 km/hr speed in the first Test of the four-match series. Also known as the Yorker King, Bumrah belongs to the rare breed of pace bowlers with a lethal steady speed of 150km/hr and above.
This season, he will be donning the Mumbai Indians Jersey; fans are expecting his raw pace and lethal deliveries to keep his opponents rattled. With 92 games in the IPL under his belt and having scalped 109 wickets at an economy of 7.41 and an average of 23.7, Bumrah is a top contender for the fastest ball delivery in IPL.
Other notable pace bowlers to watch out for include Pat Cummins. Mitchell Starc and Riley Meredith have displayed impressive performances in the past. They both have a reputation for bowling fast and can easily record the fastest delivery in IPL 2021.
Keep it here to always receive the latest sports news and updates from your favorite players and teams, and more importantly, the IPL 2021.