“At times, he rekindles memories of our prime. The pace, aggression, the hostility, the craft. The way he outclasses the batsmen, the way he out-thinks them. He could have been one of us, he’s so complete a bowler that he could have played in any era”, this is what West Indies great Andy Roberts had to say about the genius that is Jasprit Bumrah.
Bumrah became the fastest Indian pacer to take 50 wickets in Test matches during the first test match win against the West Indies. There have been bowlers who have been quicker in terms of matches but Bumrah has taken the least number of deliveries by any Indian bowler.
He got his 50th Test wicket in his 2465th ball while Ashwin who had held the record previously needed 2597 balls.
Let’s take a look at five of the Indian pacers to take least number of matches to take 50 test wickets.
1. Jasprit Bumrah- (11 matches)
Bumrah has taken the cricketing world by storm ever since his debut. His unusual action and hostility is a treat to watch and he has been immense in India rise in the ODI and Test rankings.
He took his 50th wicket in the 11th match he played. The Mumbai Indians bowler has an impeccable record in his short career. He has taken 55 wickets at a strike rate of 46.7. Moreover, he has taken four 5-wicket hauls with best bowling figures of 6/33.
If he continues on his merry way, he will become the greatest proponent of fast bowling India has ever produced.
2. Venkatesh Prasad- (13 matches)
This former Indian bowling coach was a very deceptive bowler who was capable of moving the ball both ways. He took his 50th wicket in the 13th match he played.
He had an amazing control over his line and length. He didn’t give too many loose balls to score from and formed a formidable bowling pair with Javagal Srinath in the late 90’s.
In the 33 matches he played, he took 96 scalps with a strike rate of 73.3. He has seven 5-wicket hauls in total with best bowling figures of 6/33.
3. Mohammed Shami- (13 matches)
Mohammed Shami had a great start to his test career. He took 9 wickets in the match and impressed everybody with his command of reverse swing.
He took his 50th wicket in his 13th match. So far, he has taken 148 wickets in 48 tests with a career strike rate of 51.9. Also, he has taken four 5-wicket hauls with best bowling figures of 6/56.
Shami has a knack of taking wickets at regular intervals. He is as effective with an old ball as he is with a new ball, a rare skill which is helpful in the truest format of the game.
4. Irfan Pathan- (14 matches)
Irfan came onto the international cricketing scene after some breathtaking performances in U-19 Asia Cup. He took 18 wickets in four matches with a best of 9/16.
Comparisons were made with Wasim Akram and other legendary pacers. He took his first 50 wickets in just 14 matches with a career strike rate of 58.8. Pathan also took seven 5-wicket hauls with best bowling figures of 7/59.
The Baroda born lad also became the first Indian pacer to take a test hat-trick. He achieved the feat against Pakistan and that too in the first over of the match which is an achievement and record in itself.
5. Shanthakumaran Sreesanth- (14 matches)
The much maligned fast bowler from Kerala divided opinions. He possessed an immaculate straight seam position when he bowled, which helped him produce those deadly out-swingers.
He produced some memorable performances outside the sub-continent. He performed admirably as India won their first test match in South Africa. The Kerala pacer also helped India win test series in England and West Indies.
Sreesanth took his first 50 scalps in just 14 matches. He has played 27 test matches for the country in which he has taken 87 wickets with a career strike rate of 62.2. The aggressive fast bowler also took three 5-wicket hauls with best bowling figures of 5/40.