Nowadays, fast bowlers have become second-class citizens in ODI cricket due to flat wickets and fielding restrictions further jeopardize this exciting domain of cricket. Talking about India, wickets here do not offer any kind of assistance whatsoever to fast bowlers. In spite of these limitations, there are certain Indian fast bowlers who have held their own in limited overs cricket.
Though keeping scoring rate under check is very important in limited overs cricket it is equally important to pick up wickets at regular intervals. Very few Indian fast bowlers have mastered this art of picking up wickets.
Let us take a look at 3 Indian fast bowlers who were fastest to hundred wickets in One Day International cricket, to understand who has truly mastered the art of picking up wickets:
#3 Zaheer Khan (65 games)
One of the best fast bowlers India has produced till date, Zaheer Khan was a supremely talented and skilled pacer. The moment he arrived at the international scene everyone in the cricketing world knew that he was a special talent. He had a lot of variation in his repertoire which he used with good effect in both ODI's and Test cricket.
During early days in his career, he used to primarily bring the ball into the right-handers, through which he got many wickets and he had a lethal yorker as well. Later on, he developed a fearsome leg-cutter which fetched him many wickets and he troubled many left-handers with this delivery during the later stages of his career. Zaheer is the 3rd fastest fast bowler from India to reach 100 wickets in ODI's, he reached this milestone in just 65 games.
#2 Irfan Pathan (59 games)
Another left-handed fast bowler from India who started his international career with a bang. It won't be an exaggeration to say that he flattered to deceive as he failed to live up to the euphoria he generated early on in his career. Pathan was a handy batsman too.
Early on in his career, Pathan had a superb inswinging delivery to right-handers which got him many scalps, but, somehow he lost this ability to swing the ball mid-way through his career and eventually fell out of favour from Indian cricket. Pathan is the 2nd fastest bowler from India to reach 100 wickets in ODI cricket, he reached this milestone in a meager 59 games.
#1 Mohammed Shami (56 games)
Mohammed Shami has been an enigma, he can be lethal on one day and ordinary on another day. He has been a blow hot-blow cold sort of bowler, especially in ODI cricket.
He has the ability to pick up wickets which is evident from the fact that he is the fastest Indian bowler to reach 100 ODI wickets, but, he has the tendency to leak a lot of runs especially during the slog overs.
Lately, Shami has been in tremendous form in ODI cricket which has brought him into the reckoning for a slot in the 2019 World Cup squad. Shami took just 56 games to reach 100 ODI wickets.