Among cricket’s many facets and intricacies, the art of fast bowling is one of the more intriguing ones.
From the manner in which they line up with their extensive run-ups to the menacing stare-down at the batsman after a troubling delivery, fast bowlers have always captivated attention throughout the history of the game.
For a batsman, nothing is more intimidating than facing a hostile spell of fast bowling on a minefield of a pitch. Be it their barrage of threatening bouncers or toe-crushing yorkers, pacers have the ability to unsettle batsmen like no others.
It is not an easy art to perfect by any means and comes with a heavy price to boot. With the enormous physical strain they exert on their bodies, particularly their backs, fast bowlers are the most injury-prone in cricket. The fear factor they instill on the opponent, along with their risk of injuries makes fast bowlers one of the more precious commodities in the game of cricket.
Fast bowling is not a one-dimensional art form involving hurtling down deliveries at express pace. The greatest fast bowlers in the history of the game have always had other skillsets up their sleeves, including the ability to swing and seam the cricket ball. It is a varied art after all, with each fast bowler having a unique armoury at his disposal.
While some rely more on pure pace, others rely on movement. Then there are those who maintain extremely tight lines and lengths, while there are some who have an array of variations in their arsenal.
It is difficult to really define what a complete fast bowler is with the many intricacies to the art. Here, we try our best to construct one using the best traits of some of the top fast bowlers in the business currently.