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Born to a family which was opposed to cricket, Patel first gained prominence in 2003 at the age of 20 before he had even played first class cricket for Gujarat, when he was invited to the MRF Pace Foundation in Chennai by the Indian chairman of selectors Kiran More. There he attracted the attention of visiting Australian captain Steve Waugh, and the director Dennis Lillee, a former Australian fast bowler with his raw pace. However, with the backing of Sachin Tendulkar, he was captured by Mumbai in a transfer deal, in late 2003, without ever representing his native Gujarat.

In the 2005-2006 Test Series against West Indies, Munaf proved he was arguably the fastest bowler in India, bowling regularly at speeds of over 87 mph and has produced balls at a pace over the 90 mph mark. However, more impressive than his ability to bowl at a very quick pace has been his control, a skill lacking in recent Indian fast bowlers. In the West Indies, however, Munaf suffered the ignominy of being hit for 6 fours in an over by Ramnaresh Sarwan. Patel fell short of the record of conceding the most runs off an over by 3 runs.

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Munaf Patel
India (Ind)
Munaf Patel
Batting style Right hand bat
Bowling type Right arm medium fast
Tests ODIs
Matches 7 17
Runs scored 32 6
Batting average 5.33 3.00
100s/50s -/- -/-
Top score 13 15*
Balls bowled 1500 814
Wickets 25 22
Bowling average 29.00 28.68
5 wickets in innings - -
10 wickets in match - N/A
Best bowling 4/25 4/49
Catches/stumpings 4/- 1/-

Munaf Patel

India

Player profile

Full name Munaf Musa Patel
Born July 12, 1983, Ikhar, Gujarat
Current age 23 years 251 days
Major teams India, Gujarat, Indian Board President's XI, Reebok XI
Batting style Right-hand bat
Bowling style Right-arm medium-fast


Few medium-pacers had generated as much hype before bowling a ball in first-class, let alone international cricket as Munaf Musa Patel, the young boy from the little town of Ikhar in Bahruch, Gujarat did in early 2003. Kiran More, now chairman of selectors, had seen him bowl in the nets and sent him straight to the MRF Pace Foundation in Chennai to train under TA Sekhar and Dennis Lillee. Soon he was being hailed as the fastest man in Indian cricket. Then, even as Baroda and Gujarat vied for his services, Patel chose Mumbai, after Sachin Tendulkar had taken special interest in him and had a word with the authorities in the Mumbai Cricket Association. Even then Patel's first-class career was anything but smooth as he spent more time recovering from various injuries than actually playing.

Strongly built though not overly tall, a wild mane flowing behind him as he bustles up to the bowling crease, gathering momentum before releasing the ball with a windmill-whirl of hands, Patel's priority is to bowl quick. And it was this that first caught the eye about three years ago. Now he has added reverse swing to his repertoire and has troubled batsmen with a well-directed yorker. After plenty of speculation and close calls he finally received a call from the national selection panel for the second Test against England in March 2006, after an impressive performance for the Board President's XI saw him pick up 10 English wickets for 91 runs. Things just got better a couple of weeks later against England at Mohali when he ended with 7 for 97, the best performance by an Indian fast bowler on Test debut. A consistent series against West Indies later that year meant he had established himself as a regular member of the side.
Anand Vasu (July 2006)

In the 2005-2006 Test Series against West Indies, Munaf proved he was arguably the fastest bowler in India, bowling regularly at speeds of over 87 mph and has produced balls at a pace over the 90 mph mark. However, more impressive than his ability to bowl at a very quick pace has been his control, a skill lacking in recent Indian fast bowlers. In the West Indies, however, Munaf suffered the ignominy of being hit for 6 fours in an over by Ramnaresh Sarwan. Patel fell short of the record of conceding the most runs off an over by 3 runs.