A crowd of more than a hundred thousand spectators were shouting as loud as they could. When ‘Little Master’ Sachin Tendulkar entered the ground, it was almost impossible for anybody to shout out in the deafening roar of slogans. He headed to the crease, taking short steps, occasionally moving his shoulders back and forth and sometimes looking to the sky, adjusting his eyes to the daylight. On the other hand, blood pressure of young Shoaib Akhtar suddenly shot up. Having taken wicket of Rahul Dravid, famously known as ‘wall’, on the last ball, Akhtar was praying to God to help him take Tendulkar’s wicket on the first ball. The wicket of one of the Indian gods, ‘The God of Cricket’! Who had never been bowled out before on the first delivery. Fans watching the moments on their TVs were listening to the enthusiastic voice of Tony Greig. Tendulkar took guard from the umpire, sat down and stood up in his traditional style and made himself ready to face Akhtar, who was about to start his run-up. Akhtar ran towards the wicket, further broadening his chest. The master of bowling reverse swing had the ‘plan’ ready in his mind. Unaware of the incident that was destined to be followed, Tendulkar fixed his eyes on the bowler. The young bowler delivered the ball using his full strength, it reached Tendulkar swinging in the air and dodged the Little Master, who was trying to play a straight drive. Wickets were broken and the roar came to an abrupt halt. Only the shouting from Akhtar and Pakistani players could be heard. Shoaib Akhtar had become a ‘super star’ from an ordinary player in a moment.

[caption id="attachment_703" align="alignright" width="300"]Australia is prominent in emerging pacers, and they can lift Australia to the top once more if remain fit (Photo: Wayne Ludbey) Australia is prominent in emerging pacers, and they can lift Australia to the top once more if remain fit (Photo: Wayne Ludbey)[/caption]

These thrilling moments in cricket are because of the fast bowling. Michael Holding, Malcolm Marshall, Joel Garner, Andy Roberts, Dennis Lillee, Geoff Thomson and Imran Khan fascinated the cricket lovers by their pace and swing in the ‘70s. In the ‘90s, Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, Curtly Ambrose, Courtney Walsh, Allan Donald and then Bret Lee, Shoaib Akhtar and Shane Bond set their fright on batsmen. Presently, Dale Steyn is the only bowler who has proved himself to be the number one, but fortunately there are some other talented bowlers who have expressed their heroics in this age of diminishing talent. Let’s have a look at those pacers who entered the world of cricket in the last two years and proved their worth. Medium fast bowlers are not included in the list.

James Pattinson (Australia)

Age: 23 years

Test career: 10 matches, 40 wickets, average 23, five-wicket haul three times, best 27/5

ODI career: 11 matches, 15 wickets, average 31

T20 career: four matches, three wickets, average 34

The 6-foot-1-inch tall Pattinson belongs to Australia’s state of Victoria. He is said to be the best bowling discovery of the time. Australia’s future bowling will be in his hands, according to the renowned Dennis Lillee. The tall and physically strong Pattinson has the ability to bowl at 145 to 150 kph and normally prefers full-length deliveries, which is why most of the wickets he took in his brief career are either in the form of clean bowled or lbw. Australian fans are expecting that Pattinson would destroy the English batting line-up in the upcoming Ashes series. If Pattinson remains fit and continues hard working then he will be among the world’s best bowlers soon.

Mitchell Starc:

Age: 23 years

Test career: nine matches, 30 wickets, average 34, five wickets two times, best bowling 154/6

ODI career: 18 matches, 36 wickets, average 18

T20 career: 10 matches, 15 wickets, average 16

Tall Starc, who regards Wasim Akram as his favourite bowler, is another excellent addition in the list of young Australian bowlers. The left-hand bowler belongs to Australia’s state of New South Wales. He can bowl in-swing, which is one of the most dangerous tools of a left-hand bowler. If in good rhythm, he can easily bowl at the speed of 90 mph. He also has the ability to become a useful all-rounder, and he has proved this in the recent series against India when he scored 99 runs in a Mohali Test innings. His ability to swing the ball can prove fruitful for Australia in English conditions.

Patrick Cummins:

Age: 19

Test career: one Test, seven wickets, average 16, five wickets in an innings one time, bets bowling 79/6

ODI career: five matches, seven wickets, average 30

T20 career: 11 matches, 16 wickets, average 19

Hailing from New South Wales’ capital Sydney, Cummins has only played a single Test, but he has shown his class, talent and a prospect for his bright future. In his first Test, he took six innings in an innings and also played the match-winning stroke in the fourth innings, chasing a 300-run target. His bowls at the speed of around 150 kph and out-swings the ball from ‘wide of the crease. Cummins made his debut in 2011, but then his career was plagued by injuries so that he could not play a Test again. He is likely to face more injuries in future because he put much pressure on his waist during bowling. If he is able to improve his fitness, he can become an asset for Australia and international cricket.

Adam Milne:

Age: 20

Test career: Has not played a match

ODI career: two matches, one wicket

T20 career: four matches, one wicket

To include Adam Milne in this list might be surprising to some readers, because neither has he played a Test yet nor his limited-overs career is extraordinary. But having an ability to bowl at 145 to 150 kph, he is fit to be the successor of Shane Bond and fans will enjoy his play in future. His pace is his only effective tool.

[caption id="attachment_702" align="alignright" width="195"]Mohammad Irfan can prove fruitful in the 2015 World Cup if he manages to maintain his fitness (Photo: AP) Mohammad Irfan can prove fruitful in the 2015 World Cup if he manages to maintain his fitness (Photo: AP)[/caption]

Mohammad Irfan:

Age: 30 years

Test career: two Tests, three wickets, average 67

ODI career: nine matches, 14 matches, average 25

T2 career: three matches, two wickets, average 36

Mohammad Irfan, who is the tallest player in cricket’s history, started his career quite late. The 7-foot-1-inch-tall Irfan belongs to Waqar Younis’ district of Burewala. Before entering the world of cricket, Irfan was working in a pipe factory. An in the beginning, he was reluctant to leave his job for a career in cricket. Irfan’s bounce and pace are his two most useful assets. He can prove fruitful in the 2015 Wolrd Cup to be held in Australia and New Zealand. In the recent tour of India, Irfan annoyed Indian batsmen with his bouncers and South Africa’s Graeme Smith, Hashim Amla and AB de Villiers also faced similar circumstances. Irfan can prolong his career if he focuses on his fitness.

Umesh Yadav (India)

Age: 25 years

Test career: nine matches, 32 wickets, average 32, five-wicket haul one time, best bowling 93/5

ODI career: 17 matches, 18 wickets, average 46

T20 career: one match, one wicket

There has been a dearth of pacers in India. And even if someone tried to do so, his fuel ended within two years and he came back to normal like Munaf Patel. Hailing from Nagpur, a son of a miner and aiming to become policeman, Yadav has started quite well, but the disturbing thing is the possibility if he too follows the footsteps of his predecessors. Being physically strong, he has the ability to bowl fast and reverse swing. Let’s see how Yadav manages to maintain his pace in the India’s hectic schedule.

Marchant de Lange (South Africa)

Age: 22 years

Test career: two Tests, nine wickets, average 30, five wickets in innings one time, best bowling 81/7

ODI career: one match, four wickets, average 11

T20 career: two matches, three wickets, average 26

Marchant de Lange is a fast bowler and can bowl at 145 to 150 kph with a short run-up. Belonging to a remote district of South Africa, he is presently out of the team because of an injury, but even after gaining fitness, he will have to struggle very hard to win a place in the side in the presence of world-class bowlers like Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel and Vernon Philander. However, given his excellent performance, de Lange can be a permanent part of the team in the absence of the three bowlers. His special tools are his Yorkers and swinging deliveries.
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