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The next generation of T20 fast bowlers

by Josef Rindl 4 minute read

In the latest episode of Wisden and CricViz’s podcast series The Greatest T20, the panel of CricViz’s Freddie Wilde, England fast bowler Tymal Mills, and host Yas Rana were tasked with picking greatest T20 fast bowler of all time.

Naturally, the conversation took a detour into those quicks who might enter the conversation in years to come, with Mills’ experience playing for Quetta Gladiators in the Pakistan Super League coming in handy in helping identify some lethal Pakistani prospects.

Here are the names that came up in the discussion:

Shaheen Afridi – 20 years old

42 T20s, 55 wickets, ER:7.54, BBI: 5-4

FW: For me he’s probably the most exciting bowler in the world right now, in all formats. In T20 he’s amazing, we talk about Mitchell Starc being an attacking bowler who pitches the ball up early on, that’s exactly what Shaheen does. Powerplay wickets are super powerful and Shaheen with the ball will just go hunting for them. He’s got no fear.

Pat Brown – 21 years old

40 T20s, 52 wickets, ER:8.32, BBI: 4-21

TM: If you look in England, Pat Brown has obviously done very well in English domestic cricket, he also started to do very well in the winter. He had a Big Bash gig that he wasn’t able to fulfil after getting injured. So it will be interesting how he does when he starts playing abroad. I’ve spoken to him a little bit, he loves T20 cricket, I remember straight after Worcester beat us [Sussex] in the Blast final a couple of years ago, he came and collared myself and Jofra Archer and Chris Jordan and just asked us about bowling and about T20 cricket and about franchise cricket and he’s obviously very switched on in those regards.

Naseem Shah – 17 years old

10 T20s, 8 wickets, ER: 7.76, BBI: 2-17

TM: It will be interesting to see guys like Naseem Shah, he’s 17, that’s very young. He may get wrapped up a bit in cotton wool to play Test cricket, obviously he’s in the Pakistan Test team. He’s a very talented young boy. He really is a special talent, he swings the ball, he’s got good skills.

Mohammad Hasnain – 20 years old

32 T20s, 48 wickets, ER: 8.43, BBI: 4-25

TM: Mohammad Hasnain as well, another young guy. He bowls quick, he’s more expensive but he takes wickets, he’s a pure wicket-taker. He’s like Wahab Riaz in international cricket, you’ll often see him taking 4-50 in a four-over spell which you gives you a bit of all sorts.

Jhye Richardson – 23 years old

45 T20s, 49 wickets, ER:7.93, BBI: 4-19

TM: Jhye Richardson, I think he’s very good. Again he swings that new ball, he bowls good pace and he bowls yorkers. He’s a good bowler.

While it was an old stager in Lasith Malinga who took home the overall crown to be named the greatest T20 fast bowler, Mills said India’s Jasprit Bumrah is the best in the world right now, and is on course to overtake his Mumbai Indians teammate as the best ever.

Jasprit Bumrah – 26 years old

157 T20s, 182 wickets, ER: 7.06, BBI: 3-7

TM: If I was picking a T20 team right now, who would be my No.1 fast bowler be? I would probably say Jasprit Bumrah. He’s on that trajectory if we have that conversation in 10 years to maybe eclipse [Malinga]. He’s an outstanding bowler at all three phases of the game, the two most important phases, the start and the end, he’s excellent. I had the displeasure of facing two balls from him on an England tour in India. The first ball almost took my face off and the second I gladly nicked to Virat Kohli at first slip. He’s got that express pace. He’s 90 mile an hour plus, he’s got that awkward action, awkward run-up, and he blows your stumps out the ground.

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