Cricket is a game of intelligence played with a bat and a ball. Each player on the field gives their 100% to win the match for their team. In due course, of time we have seen some exceptional performances by both batsmen and bowlers. In this segment, we will list out some exceptional bowling spells by the ‘Indian Pace Battery’ throughout India’s cricketing history. Some performances won the match whereas some won hearts of cricket fans all over the country. Most of the spells remain fresh in the minds of cricket enthusiasts and inspire the youth to follow the footsteps of these legendary fast bowlers.

The following is the list of some great bowling spells in no particular order or ranking:

1. Javagal Srinath’s 6-21 Against South Africa In 1996

Javagal Srinath is a legendary fast bowler and probably one of the fastest bowlers to represent India. His career at the initial stages was marred by a lot of injuries, due to which he was sidelined for a long time. However, his performances were splendid whenever he played for the men-in-blue. He debuted for India in the year 1991-92 at the Australian fortress, One of the career best performances of 6-21, came against South Africa in the year of 1996, at Ahmedabad, while defending a score of 170 runs.

2. Kapil Dev’s 9-83 Against West Indies In 1983

Kapil Dev is the best all-rounder Indian cricket has ever produced. He became India’s first World Cup winning captain in the year 1983 by defeating the ‘Mighty West Indies’. The victory came at a time when India was considered to be an under-dog team and this inspired many Indians to take up the sport, and dream like he dreamt of making India a dominant cricketing nation. His career best performance of 9-83 came against West Indies in the year 1983, at Ahmedabad. However, India lost the match by 138 runs, but Kapil Dev’s splendid performance still inspires many.

3. Chetan Sharma’s 5-64 Against England In 1986

Chetan Sharma is a former cricketer turned politician. He was a right-arm medium-fast bowler. Currently, Sharma is the Chairman of the selection committee of Indian Cricket Team. Throughout his career, he gave some splendid performances but one of his memorable performances of 5-64, came against England in the year 1986, at Lords. This played a crucial role in registering India’s first ever series win in England. That match win inspired the Indians to go on and win the next match in spectacular fashion as well.

4. Ajit Agarkar’s 6-41 Against Australia In 2003

Ajit Agarkar is one of the legendary bowlers India has ever produced in ODI Cricket, whose career ended with being the third highest wicket taker for India in the ODIs. His talent of swinging the ball both ways brought about massive success in his career. However, one of his best performances in test came against Australia, when he balled a fiery spell of 6-41 to bag the match for his team by 4 wickets.

5. Ashish Nehra’s 6-23 Against England In 2003 World Cup

Another lethal Indian fast bowler whose smooth body flow and action helped him bowl bazookas. Although the man was highly talented, his career was marred with some unfortunate injuries. His all-time best performance came in the 2003 World Cup, where the seaming wickets of South Africa helped him utilize his strong points. In the same edition of ICC World Cup, he bowled his career best spell of 6-23 against England in the group-stage matches. Point to be noted! Ashish Nehra had a swelled up ankle the night before, his selfless devotion towards the game makes this bowling performance really a special one.

6. Irfan Pathan’s 5-61 Against Pakistan In 2006

Irfan Pathan, the master of swing, who was compared to the likes of all-time great Kapil Dev. His action resembled a lot to the Pakistan legend, Wasim Akram. His ability to swing the ball both ways troubled the best of batsmen. Both him and his brother, Yusuf Pathan wreaked havoc in International Cricket. Yusuf was a power-hitting batting all-rounder, whereas Irfan Pathan ripped through the stumps of almost every batsman at his peak. His one of the best and memorable performances came against Pakistan in the 3rd test at Karachi, in the year 2006. The best part of this spell was the first 3 wickets of this spell came in the first 3 balls of the 1st innings of the test match. With a sensational hat-trick he ended the innings with the figure of 5-61.

7. Ishant Sharma VS Ricky Ponting In 2008

Ishant Sharma, the one thing that comes to our mind, after hearing his name is- a 6ft 4 inch tall young lad with long hair, who came running with a ball like a steaming engine. This spell by Ishant Sharma may have just wielded a single wicket, but what stood out was his determination and aggression. Still in his teens, Ishant troubled the former Australian captain, Ricky Ponting with his hard length bowling, ultimately getting the priced wicket. His post-match statement was “At 19 you don’t plan. You just bowl.”

8. Stuart Binny’s 6-4 Against Bangladesh In 2014

Son of the legendary world-cup winning bowler, Roger Binny, Stuart was deemed to carry on the legacy of his father. But after the retirement of the great Kapil Dev, India’s dire search for a fast-bowling all-rounder yet again was flushed down with his bits and pieces performances. However, Stuart Binny holds a sparkling record of 6-4 against Bangladesh, which still remains the best ODI figures by any Indian till date.

9. Jasprit Bumrah’s 6-27 Against West Indies In 2019

India’s emerging pace powerhouse Jasprit Bumrah is all set to become one of the greatest of all times. His unorthodox action and some real firepower in his bowling arsenal gives batsmen nightmares. One such ruthless performance by Jasprit came against the West Indies, where he bundled up the team for 117, with sensational figures of 6-27, which also included a hat-trick.

10. Ishant Sharma’s 7-74 Against England 2014

Ishant Sharma’s best bowling figures came against England in the year 2014. His magic with the ball resulted in a match-winning performance at the Lord’s test match. Not only did he win it for his team, he also silenced all of his critics. His figures of 7-74 still remains one of the best performances by an Indian bowler at the Lord’s.