India's Greatest Test XI: fast-bowlers

As we look ahead to their 500th Test, take a look at the greatest pacemen to play for India

Adam Burnett

18 September 2016, 06:00 PM

In the build up to India's 500th Test match, against New Zealand in Kanpur next week, we want YOU to select India's Greatest Test XI.

Every day we will be asking you to vote on which players you think deserve to make the cut, from the best-ever opening batsmen, to the greatest in the middle-order, the wicketkeepers, the spinners and the pacemen.

After looking at the contenders for the opening, middle order and wicketkeeping spots over the past few days, today we turn our attention to the fast-bowlers.

Voting for India's Greatest XI has CLOSED! Check out the results here.

Javagal Srinath

Tests: 67 | Wickets: 236 | 5wi: 10 | Ave: 30.49 | BBI: 8-86

More than a decade after his retirement, Javagal Srinath stands like a beacon on the landscape of Indian fast bowlers.

A right-armer who debuted as a 22-year-old in Brisbane in the summer of 1991-92, Srinath set the pace – literally – for Indian quicks to follow.

He had an inswinger and enough variety with cutters and seam movement to prosper even in home conditions that rarely aided him (he averaged 26.61 at home), never more so than in the third and final Test he played against arch-rivals Pakistan, when he took 13 wickets in front of a Kolkata crowd believed to have been in excess of 450,000 across the five days.

Zaheer Khan

Tests: 92 | Wickets: 311 | 5wi: 11 | Ave: 32.94 | BBI: 7-87

Just the second Indian paceman after Kapil Dev to claim 300 Test wickets, Zaheer Khan was on his day a lethal left-armer with a devastating swing-bowling skill-set.

In that sense, Zaheer more closely resembled the likes of neighbouring Pakistani greats Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis than any of his Indian predecessors.

Not that that bothered Indian fans, who relished having such a weapon in their attack for more than a decade from the turn of the 21st century, during which time they were able to ascend to the No.1 Test ranking.

While injuries blighted Zaheer's career at inopportune times, he stands tall among his country's finest pacemen.

Mohammad Nissar

Tests: 6 | Wickets: 25 | 5wi: 3 | Ave: 28.28 | BBI: 5-90

Held in high esteem as a great of the Indian game more for his legacy than his longevity, Mohammad Nissar was nonetheless a fearsome right-arm paceman in his era and a pioneer for his country.

In fact, Nissar, a solidly built quick renowned for raw speed, made the first meaningful on-field impact in his country's Test history.

In their first-ever Test, in June 1932 at Lord's, he knocked over England's opening pair – including the great Herbert Sutcliffe – in his second over, and went on to finish the innings with 5-93.

Only five more Tests followed over the next four years, but in total he claimed three five-wicket hauls and a place in his country's cricket history.

Kapil Dev

Tests: 131 | Wickets: 434 | 5wi: 23 | Ave: 29.64 | BBI: 9-83 | Runs: 5248 | Hundreds: 8 | Ave: 31.05 | HS: 163

The fact that Kapil Dev was named India's Cricketer of the 20th Century says it all; this was a man who carried the hopes of a nation on his shoulders throughout his 16-year Test career, and regularly delivered.

From the Vault: Kapil Dev cleans up

As a fast bowler, he was India's finest – fast, accurate and with a genuine wicket-taking weapon in his world-class outswinger – and left the game as the greatest Test wicket-taker of all time.

As a batsman, he was a free-swinging game-changer in the lower-order, his eight hundreds coming at positions six (one), seven (five) or eight (two) in the order.

And as an allrounder, he joined Imran Khan, Ian Botham and Richard Hadlee in dominating an era.

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