There have been some magnificent bowlers of express pace who have thrilled aficionados with their brisk pace, scorching bumpers and toe-crushing yorkers. There is nothing quite like pace when it comes to regaling the crowds. Let's take a look at the list of five most lethal bowlers who sent shivers running down the spine of hapless batsmen who had to fend these snorters.
The Rawalpindi Express is often the first name that pops up in our minds when we think about lightning-fast speeds. The Pakistani quick was hardwired to crank up the pace. He was destined to deliver the fastest delivery and he reached that feat against England in the 2003 World Cup at Newlands where he darted a 161.3 kph snorter.
He was exceedingly quick that day and on top of his game, ran in hard, bowled with steam and tested the limits of the speed gun. Shoaib was the trendsetter as he was the first bowler to breach the 100mph barrier.
The pacer with a liquid rolling action and that chain-saw celebration made the fans go berserk. The Aussie quick clocked 161.1 against New Zealand in 2005. Not only did Lee got the ball to move both ways but he had a pretty devastating yorker in his armoury to ruffle up the batsman. He was a complete package and a captain's delight.
Even though Shaun didn't realize his true potential and his career was in limbo due to some nagging injuries and he was therefore forced to take early retirement at the age of 28 but whatever cricket he played, he made sure to leave a lasting impression on the fans. He was exceptionally rapid and quick through the air. With a quick-arm slingy action, he got the ball to catapult and often deceived batsmen with his searing pace. Tait fastest jaffa was of 161.1 kph and it came against England in 2010 at the home of cricket - Lord's.
The right-arm speedster in his heyday clocked 160.6 kph against West Indies in 1975 at Perth. Imagine the batsman's plight as he gears up to face a fired-up Thompson and that too, without any reliable protective equipment to feel assured against a violent fast bowler. Thompson was a nightmare for the batsman in his era and he truly inspired a whole generation of fast bowlers.
The left-arm sensational strike bowler from Australia is a treat to watch. With a long run-up and picture-perfect action, he gets the ball to zip through the surface and batsmen cannot afford a lapse of concentration when handling the heat-seeking yorkers and rapid thunderbolts. Mitchell hurled a scorching delivery against the Kiwis on an incredible speed of 160.4 kph at WACA and it was a brilliant yorker that nearly got through Ross Taylor's defence.