Shaun Tait, the mercurial and injury prone but tall and lightning quick Aussie bowler was recorded bowling at 160.7kph in the Twenty20 against Pakistan in Melbourne today. That's as near as damn it to 100mph (99.86mph to be precise).
In these days of over-coaching I wasn't sure we'd ever see a 100mph ball again, so I was pretty surprised when I heard about it. Tait has always been quick, regularly over 90mph, but I wasn't aware he'd reached these heights. He won't ever be able to bowl regularly like that, his action is unorthodox and he has no follow through, the strain on his back must be phenomenal, but Twenty20 might just be his game.
Australia had some attack in the game today, Tait and Nannes took the new ball, both bowling over 90mph and then Mitchell Johnson came in first change, and he's no slouch either - his first over did go for 20 mind you (I suppose 88-90mph must seem pretty pedestrian after facing Tait).
There are a few guys around the world at the moment up around the 90mph mark, Steyn and Morkel for South Africa, Aamer for Pakistan, Kemar Roach of the West Indies, Malinga for Sri Lanka and Rubel Hossain for Bangladesh is pretty quick. England are notable by their absence from that list, which is a serious issue in my view.
As much as I love to watch a quality spinner toying with a quality batsman, or vice versa, there's not much that can beat a genuine thoroughbred quick doing battle with the best of batters. Holding and Boycott, Donald and Athers, even Steyn and Collingwood, its pure theatre and the more quality quicks there are on the international circuit the better in my opinion!
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