To witness the scene of the batsman’s stumps flying over the ground is one of the main goals of a pacer. It has been hard luck for the cricket fans in today’s world as the pace of the bowlers has reduced to a certain limit pertaining to their injury issues.
The West Indian team had various devastating fast bowlers during the 20th century. Malcolm Marshall was arguably the best among them. He is regarded as one of the best pacers of his time.
However, breaking the stumps is one step ahead of stumps flying all over the ground. There are various pacers who have achieved this feat at the international level.
The following are the top 3 bowlers who have achieved this feat:
#1 Dale Steyn
Regarded as the fire-gun of South Africa, Dale Willem Steyn has been one of the finest pacers South Africa has ever produced. The 35-year-old recently made his return to international cricket after dealing with his injury issues.
Steyn has achieved a plethora of records to his name thanks to his quick-arm bowling action. Dale Steyn holds the record of the quickest South African pacer to claim 100 wickets in Test cricket. The fastest ball bowled by Dale Steyn at the international level was clocked at the speed of 155.7 km/hr.
However, he bested his previous performance by bowling his fastest ball at the speed of 156 km/hr during the Indian Premier League.
Steyn once destroyed the stumps of New Zealand’s pacer Mitchell McClenaghan during an ODI series between the two nations. McClenaghan moved to his leg side to create room but missed Dale Steyn's delivery which went on to break his off stump into two.
#2 Umesh Yadav
The 30-year-old pacer, Umesh Yadav has cemented his place in the Indian test team due to his phenomenal pace bowling. Yadav has remained one of the main pillars of Indian bowling department in recent years but not very consistently so.
He has taken 117 wickets in his 40 matches which include 2 five-wicket hauls and 1 ten-wicket haul.
The Indian fast bowler entered the list of stump breakers when he broke the stumps of Kyle Abbott into 2 parts during the India vs South Africa test series. The firing yorker from Umesh Yadav went through the technical defence of Kyle Abbott, parting the leg stump into two halves.
#3 Shoaib Akhtar
The retired Pakistani pacer, Shoaib Akhtar is regarded as the fastest bowler of the century. Akhtar bowled the quickest ball of the century at the speed of 161.3 km/hr. In light of this achievement, the fans nicknamed Akhtar as “Rawalpindi Express”.
There have been various instances where Akhtar saw the stumps flying off the ground off his bowling. Out of all, the most pleasing one must have been the ball which broke the stumps during the 1st ODI between Pakistan and New Zealand in 2002.
It completely shattered Andre Adams' off stump as Akhtar’s ball went through his defence and broke the stump into 2 halves.
Though there have been various other bowlers who have broken the batsman’s stumps with their unbelievable pace, these were the top 3 instances.