When one considers the most lethal fast bowling groups in the world, some legendary names crop up. The West Indies had fierce groups like Michael Holding, Joel Garner, Malcolm Marshall and Andy Roberts. For Pakistan, it was Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis and Shoaib Akhtar. When considers Australia, Glenn McGrath, Jason Gillespie and Brett Lee were fierce while the current lot of Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc have not done too badly either. In South Africa, the trio of Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel and Vernon Philander have boosted the side. Now, there is one more addition in this list and these three are far greater than all the groups mentioned above.
Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami and Ishant Sharma have become the most lethal fast bowling trio ever. Following the end of the Melbourne Test, Bumrah, Shami and Ishant have taken a total of 136 Test wickets in the entire calendar year of 2018. They have broken the previous record of 130 wickets which was taken by Holding, Marshall and Garner in 84. The likes of Steyn, Morkel and Philander have taken 123 wickets in 2008. Not only are the trio the most lethal as far as numbers are concerned, the current lot of Indian bowlers have now taken the most wickets ever in a calendar year.
In 2018 alone, India have taken 259 wickets in 14 Tests, shattering the record set in 1979 when the Indian bowlers took 237 wickets in a single season. When Virat Kohli, the Indian skipper, said that the team now has the bowlers to take 20 wickets in a series on a consistent basis, he was not kidding.
Bumrah has been sensational for India ever since he made his debut in the South Africa series in 2018. His 5/54 in Johannesburg helped India secure a consolation win while his 5/85 in Trent Bridge gave India something to smile in the England series. In Australia, he picked up his career-best haul of 6/33 and with 3/53 in the second innings, his nine wicket haul helped India win a match in Melbourne for the first time in 37 years. Shami, on the other hand, picked up a five-wicket haul in Johannesburg and registered career-best figures of 6/56 in the Perth Test against Australia. Bumrah's haul of 47 wickets is the most by an Indian in a calendar year, breaking Dilip Doshi's record of 40 in 1979. Ishant also took a five-wicket haul in Edgbaston against England.
Bumrah’s tally of 48 wickets, combined with Shami’s 47 and Ishant’s 41 in the calendar year have played a vital part in India securing wins in all the three countries. The exploits of the fast bowlers have put India on the cusp of a historic series win in Australia after they won the Melbourne Test by 137 runs to take an unbeatable 2-1 lead in the series.