Before it was curtailed just after its halfway stage due to Covid-19, 29 matches were played between the eight 2021 IPL teams. Though South Africa’s batsmen grabbed the headlines, one bowler in particular also stood out with his top speeds.
With the T20 World Cup only a few months away, here’s a look at the five fastest deliveries in this year’s IPL. Who was the quickest of the quicks?
5 – Kagiso Rabada 147.62km/h
The Delhi Capitals bowler arrived late to the tournament due to South Africa’s home ODI series against Pakistan. Quarantine protocols meant Rabada missed the Capitals’ first match against the Chennai Super Kings. South Africa’s premier speedster made up for lost time though bowling this delivery in his first match back.
4 – Mohammed Siraj 147.67km/h
RCB’s Siraj may have picked up only six wickets in his seven IPL matches, but with his lightning pace he has become something of a death-bowling specialist for the side. Australia pace great Brett Lee puts it down to a change in Siraj’s action.
‘When he nails his yorker, the batters are struggling. He brings his length to the yorker zone more often this year. I reckon it is a little technical change from last year. I see a higher arm, closer to the umpire’s head and a better bend from his back leg. His front foot is facing more towards stumps.’
3 – Kagiso Rabada 148.40km/h
Rabada takes third spot on the list with a blistering delivery that clocked over 148km/h. Rabada finished as the leading wicket-taker in the 2020 iteration of the IPL and had managed to bag eight wickets in this year’s tournament before its suspension at a modest economy of 8.76.
2 – Chris Jordan 148.47km/h
Putting to bed the myth that England doesn’t produce fast bowlers, Chris Jordan narrowly missed out on bowling the fastest ball in this year’s IPL and was still consistently bowling in the high 140s. Jordan bowled only nine overs for the Punjab Kings in this year’s IPL but managed to take two wickets in that time.
1 – Kagiso Rabada 148.73km/h
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Rabada tops the list for the fastest deliveries in the IPL with a 148km/h scorcher. The 25-year-old has found his groove and it is startling to think that his best years are still ahead of him as a bowler. Rabada has been named in the white-ball and Test squads to tour the West Indies as the Proteas ramp up their preparations for the T20 World Cup later this year. The Proteas’ chief strike bowler is coming into form at just the right time to help his side lift that elusive first-ever World Cup.