Over the past two decades Cricket has undergone so many changes, most of them favouring the batsmen – be it bigger bats, smaller grounds or flatter pitches. Though this has given a big boost in terms of the entertainment factor and growth in stadium attendance, the rift between batting and bowling has widened.
Fast bowlers are on the verge of becoming an endangered species. Recurring injuries and heavy workload across formats have witnessed early retirements by pace bowlers. They travel from tour to tour with minimal breaks giving the body very little time to recuperate from niggles. This has significantly contributed to a decline of threatening pace bowlers in the world stage.
With some sensational modern pace bowlers - Dale Steyn, James Anderson and Morne Morkel - nearing their twilight years and the young crop of fast bowlers - Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Mohammad Shami and Steven Finn – frequently down with injuries, it is up to some super young talents from across the globe to keep the art of fast bowling alive.
Let us glance through a list of some fearsome upcoming pace bowlers in world cricket:
#1 Alzarri Joseph – West Indies
Alzarri Joseph created quite a stir in the 2016 U-19 World Cup, where he took 13 wickets in six games at an average of 13.76 for West Indies U-19, thus helping the team to a title triumph.
He had already made an impression with his pace and control, since his first class debut for the Leeward Islands during the 2014–15 Regional Four Day Competition.
For someone of his age, consistently hitting the 145kmph mark is quite a feat. He made people sit up and take notice every single time he bowled in the U-19 tournament in Bangladesh.
In July 2016, he was called up to the West Indian Test squad after continuing his impressive show in the Caribbean Premier League. In just his 15th ball in Test cricket, he had the Indian Test captain, Virat Kohli, nicking behind off a fiery ball that took off from the surface.
Joseph is yet to play another Test, but there is no doubting the fact that this young sensation is bound to create waves in the international circuit.