Javagal Srinath (born 31 August 1969) is a former Indian cricketer and currently an ICC Match Referee. He is considered among India’s finest fast bowlers and is the first Indian fast bowler to have taken more than 300 wickets in One Day Internationals.
He was a frontline fast bowler for the Indian cricket team until his retirement, being the second Indian pace bowler after Kapil Dev to take 200 Test wickets. After Kapil Dev, he led the Indian fast bowling attack for over 12 years. He is also the India’s 2nd highest ODI wicket taker with his 315 ODI wickets overall (2nd only to Anil Kumble’s 337 wickets overall) and the first one to take 300 ODI wickets for India. He was the fastest 100 wicket taker in ODI.
He took 44 wickets in the 1992, 1996, 1999 and 2003 editions of Cricket World Cups. He is the joint highest wicket taker for India across World Cups, the other being Zaheer Khan who took same number of wickets in 2003, 2007 and 2011 editions. Srinath is the fastest Indian bowler to take 200, 250 and 300 wickets in ODI and the second fastest Indian to reach 150 wickets. He is also the leading wicket taker at Sharjah Cricket Stadium where he had taken 39 wickets. He is one of the eleven bowlers who had taken 300 wickets in one day international cricket, and the only Indian fast bowler to take 300 wickets.
Srinath retired from international cricket after the 2003 World Cup in South Africa in which he performed poorly in the final against Australia. At the retirement, he was at the 8th place in ICC Player Rankings bowlers with rating 701 points at his retirement.
Srinath was born on 31 August 1969 in Mysuru district, Karnataka. He was attracted towards cricket right from an early age. He holds a Bachelor of Engineering degree in Instrumentation Technology from Sri Jayachamarajendra College of Engineering (SJCE), Mysore. He was married to Jyothsna in 1999 but mutually agreed to a divorce. He remarried in 2008 to Madhavi Patravali, a journalist.
It was in a club match that he caught the eye of former Indian Test batsman Gundappa Viswanath, then a selector for the state team. In 1989/90, Srinath made his first-class debut for Karnataka against Hyderabad, taking a hat trick in the first innings. He followed this with wickets off successive balls in the second innings. Srinath finished the season with 25 wickets from six matches, and took another 20 the following season. The second season involved a display of reverse swing against Maharashtra at the Nehru Stadium in Pune, taking 7/93 to dismiss the home team for 311 in response to a Karnataka total of 638 on a good batting track.
Srinath took over 500 first class wickets, playing for Karnataka he took 96 at 24.06. In 1995, he joined Gloucestershire, and took 87 wickets in his one and only season with them including taking 9-76 against Glamorgan. He has also played English county cricket with Leicestershire and Durham.
Following South Africa’s tour to India in late 1996, India traveled to South Africa where speed guns were in operation. That was the only series in Srinath’s career where authentic speed gun readings were available before his career-threatening rotator-cuff injury of 1997. Srinath made his One Day International debut in the Wills Trophy at Sharjah in 1991. He is also India’s most prolific wicket-taker at World Cups with 44 wickets from 34 matches. He remains India’s highest wicket taker in ODI matches as a fast bowler and only Indian pacer to surprass 300 wicket tally in ODI matches. Only other Indian bowler to achieve this feat is Anil Kumble who is a spinner. He played 11 ODI matches and 2 test matches in the debut year and took 14 ODI wickets at an average of 30.00.
Srinath then was selected to the Indian cricket team for the 1991/92 tour of Australia. Making his Test debut against Australia at Brisbane, he took 3/59 while playing as the third pace bowler. He finished the tour with ten wickets at 55.30. He was given an opportunity to take the new ball against South Africa in Cape Town, where he took an economical 4/33 in 27 overs. Srinath ended the tour with 12 wickets at 26.08. However, due to wickets in India being conducive to spin, he subsequently spent seven consecutive home Tests watching from the sidelines as India only fielded two pacemen.
It was not until three years after his international debut, in late 1994 and with the retirement of Kapil Dev that Srinath played his first home Test, against the West Indies. He took five wickets and scored 60 in the second innings to be named Man of the Match as India won by 96 runs. His increased opportunities also coincided with an improvement in his batting, scoring two half-centuries in the series.
In the 1997/98 series against Australia, Srinath’s with one particular delivery measured at 149.6 km/h. The Zimbabwe captain Alistair Campbell revealed that Srinath was recorded at 157 km/hr on 27 January 1997 in the game at Paarl between India and Zimbabwe. He said about this game: “We then moved on to our second game against India, at Boland Bank Park. In all 236 was quite a decent score, as it wasn’t the easiest of pitches to bat on, and Srinath I think bowled the quickest that any of our guys had ever seen. He bowled a really quick spell early on, even quicker than Allan Donald; he was timed at 157 km/h, a good 10 km/h faster than Donald was bowling throughout the tournament. Grant Flower was hit on the thigh pad, and when he came off he said he thought he had broken his leg”. (See paragraph 7 of the article by clicking on the below link).
Alistair Campbell’s was another testimony from a person who also faced Lance Klusener and Alan Donald at their peak, along with Srinath and found Srinath to be quicker. Alistair Campbell and Grant Flower had also faced Waqar Younis at his peak, and Wasim Akram and the Pakistani pace battery before this. They had in fact played a full 3-Test series in January 1995, when they had won their first Test match, thrashing Pakistan by an innings and 64 runs and scoring 544/4 declared in their only innings. But even they said that they had never faced anyone as quick as Srinath.
Srinath’s fastest ball recorded was thus not even 155 km/hr. It was even faster at 157 km/hr. For many years, Srinath was India’s only regular pace bowler, and the workload is often believed to be the partial cause of injuries, which forced him to undergo an operation on his right shoulder in 1997.
Srinath had a more successful career against South Africa than any other Indian player, he took more than 60 test wickets with an average of 24.48 against South Africa, during the South Africa tour of India he had taken 17 wickets in 3 test matches and during India tour of South Africa he had taken 18 wickets in 3 test matches. Only during the tour of November 1996 – January 1997 he had taken 35 wicket in 6 test matches with an average of 24.94.
His rotator-cuff injury diagnosed in March 1997 kept him away from cricket till November 1997. Until that time, he was a real express bowler. This injury was very serious (caused due to overload of bowling) and Srinath at that time had 92 Test wickets from 27 Tests- only 46 in his first 18 Tests, but 46 in his last 9 games. It was wondered if Srinath would ever be able to bowl again, let alone be ranked among the fastest bowlers in the world. After he announced his retirement in Nov 2003, Srinath revealed that he feared his career was over when he was trying to recover from the rotator-cuff injury. (See para 14 of this article).
The desperation and seriousness of that injury can be seen from this article of September 1997 in weekly India Today. The below article dated 5 Sept 1997 also reveals that Srinath was a real express bowler before that injury. None other than Australia legendary quick Denis Lillee called him ‘a genuine fast bowler’.
Some critics argue that Srinath’s average and strike rate suffered as a result of bowling on the predominantly dry and spin-friendly wickets in India; however, his average at home was in fact superior to his average away from India: Srinath knew how to reverse swing the ball.
Due to injury problem Srinath missed the 3rd Test against Australia in Bangalore in March 1998, the immediate next one after the one in Kolkata where he had been the man-of-the-match. India played only 5 Tests in 1998, and Srinath ended up playing 4.
Post 1992 World Cup
Srinath got his first man of the match award in ODI & test cricket in this year against South Africa in test match at Cape Town and against Sri Lanka in ODI at Kanpur. He had played 18 ODI matches and taken 34 wickets at an average of 19.00. He had taken 5 wickets in an ODI match two times in the year 1993 & India won many matches with Srinath’s excellent bowling spells. He played 3 test matches in the year 1993 and had taken 9 wickets at an average of 18.00 .
Srinath played 4 test matches and 23 ODI matches in the year 1994, he had taken 13 test wickets and 33 ODI wickets at an average of 25.00, Srinath got his second man of match award in test cricket against West Indies in Bombay after he scored 60 runs of 72 balls coming at 9th place and he had taken 4 wicket in the second innings.
Srinath became the main bowler in 1995, after the retirement of Kapil Dev, but due to injuries he played only 3 test matches and 12 ODI for the Indian team. With Srinath’s spell of 3/24 New Zealand were all out for 145 in the 1st innings and India won the test match by 8 wickets, the remaining 2 matches was stopped because of rain, and in ODIs he had taken 17 wickets. He received his second ODI man of the match at Mumbai against New Zealand.
Srinath along with Venkatesh Prasad used to open the match with a new ball, Srinath for the second time was selected for World Cup as a main pace bowler. He had a successful career in the year 1996; he had taken 33 test and 33 ODI wickets in this year. He received his 3rd man of the match in test match with his excellent performance of 6/21 against South Africa. He was used as a pinch hitter in the Titan Cup by then captain Sachin Tendulkar which paid off by scoring a fifty. India eventually won the Titan Cup.
During the 1996-97 season he had taken 35 wickets against South Africa in 6 test matches, and in the year 1997 he had taken 22 test wickets and 15 ODI wickets, and 5 wickets against South Africa in Johannesburg in January 1997. But he spent a good 9 months away from cricket, after February 1997 next played in November 1997, due to his rotator cuff injury. Missed 5 Tests in the West Indies in March-April 1997, 2 Tests in Sri Lanka in August 1997 and the one-dayers in West Indies, the Independence Cup in May 1997, the Asia Cup in Sri Lanka, the one-dayers versus Sri Lanka in Sri Lanka, the Sahara Cup in Toronto in September, and the 3 match one-day series in Pakistan in September-October 1997.
In the year 1998, he had taken 17 wickets in test matches and 37 wickets in 19 ODI matches at an average of 22.00. Srinath had taken highest ODI wickets in this year. He achieved his career best bowling in this year.
With the change in Indian captain from 2000 year Srinath was given less overs compared to Kumble in test matches, he was mostly taken into team for ODI matches and for abroad test matches, he has taken 21 test wickets and 15 ODI wickets. He had taken 9 wickets in a test match against Zimbabwe at Delhi. He received his last Test man of the match in this year .
Srinath was out of the team for many days during this year, with the emerging bowlers like Zaheer Khan, Ajit Agarkar, he stayed out of the team for few matches, he played 8 test matches and 15 ODI matches in this year, even though he played few matches he was successful in getting 33 test wickets in this year at an average of 27.00. Srinath’s test career ended in 2002, when he only played against the West Indies and Zimbabwe, taking 20 test wickets. He also took 20 ODI wickets with an excellent spell of 4/23 and against New Zealand, he took 7 wickets for 87 runs.
Srinath wanted to retire even from ODI, but at the request of Indian captain Sourav Ganguly he agreed to play until the World Cup, and gave consistent performances in the World Cup, which helped the team reach the final. In the season leading to the world cup, he participated in India tour of New Zealand in January, a few weeks before the world cup, where he took 18 wickets in 7 matches.
Cricket World Cups
Srinath is the only Indian fast bowler to appear in 4 World Cups.
Srinath was selected for 1992 Cricket World Cup, even though Indian team had a poor performance in the world cup Srinath had taken 8 wickets at an econ 4.68. He continued to play for national team as a third bowler in both formats of game from the year 1992. He played 6 test matches and 19 ODI for the national team. He was selected for Zimbabwe tour in 1992. Srinath took 3/35 against Zimbabwe team, who were all-out for 209 and India won the match by 30 runs.
Srinath was selected for the third time to world cup, he has a record of 11 Maidens in this world cup and his economy rate was 4.26 during the world cup season, he had taken 11 wickets in the World Cup, Srinath has the world’s best bowling figures (13 wickets for 132 runs) in a test match against Pakistan 8/86 &5/46. He had taken 44 test wickets and 34 ODI wickets in this year . He received two-man of match awards in Test matches at Kolkata one in March 1998 against Australia and the next in February 1999 against Pakistan.
Srinath played his last ODI in the World Cup in 2003, he was the leading Indian wicket taker. In the final, he was hammered all around the park by Ponting & Co., without taking a single wicket, conceding 87 runs and was the chief cause of India’s loss in the finals along with Zaheer Khan, as Australia coasted to 359/2. He took 16 wickets in the World Cup at an average of 23.06 and Econ of 4.04.
Though his batting average was not impressive, he has played quite a few scintillating innings and won matches for India with his batting. In October 1996, Javagal Srinath along with Anil Kumble helped India to win a scintillating ODI match against Australia in Bangalore in Titan Cup, thus securing a berth in the finals for India. The duo added 52 runs for 9th wicket partnership, after Sachin Tendulkar got out at 88 when India was 164/8, chasing a target of 216 runs. He scored a vital 30 runs off 23 balls. Srinath’s innings included 2 fours and a six. In the same series, he also scored a 50 against South Africa in Rajkot. India eventually went on to win the Titan Cup.
Srinath had a good Test batting average of 20.00 when Mohammad Azharuddin was Indian captain. Srinath scored 3 half centuries and 76 runs against New Zealand. During 1994-1995 his test batting average was near to 35.00. Azharuddin promoted Srinath to being a top order batsmen, in many matches he came to bat as third and fourth batsman along with top order batsmen Azharuddin, Ajay Jadeja and Rahul Dravid.
Srinath was the second bowler after Kapil Dev who took 200 wickets in Test Cricket and with his 236 test wickets; he is among the top wicket takers. He has taken 8 wickets in second innings Kolkata 1999-2000 test match India vs Pakistan and his destructive spell of 6/21 against South Africa in 1996, not only saved India’s certain defeat but bagged the victory too and he had taken 35 wickets against South Africa out of 6 test matches in 1996 – 1997 .
When the Indian opener Sadagoppan Ramesh tried to catch a Pakistani player, he was causioned by Javagal Srinath not to try and take a catch because Anil Kumble should take all 10 Wickets. This was revealed by S.Ramesh in an interview via 10 Sports; about the particular match “Anil Kumble’s 10 wickets against Pakistan at Feroz Shah Kotla, New Delhi in 1999. When Kumble was looking to take his tenth wicket in the India-Pakistan test in 1999, Srinath, who was bowling from the other end, was trying to bowl way outside the off stump to avoid taking the final wicket in order for Kumble to get to the record. Anil Kumble always gives full credit to him for his perfect 10 against Pakistan as Srinath bowled consecutive wide balls in test match to avoid taking wicket”.
Srinath counts among the few fighter cum gentlemen in Indian cricket in the same league as Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Anil Kumble, and Robin Singh. Among his best friends was former teammate Anil Kumble. Srinath and Kumble got married on the same day. When Kumble was looking to take his tenth wicket in the India-Pakistan test in 1999, Srinath, who was bowling from the other end, was trying to bowl way outside the off stump to avoid taking the final wicket in order for Kumble to get to the record. Kumble always gives full credit to him for his perfect 10 against Pakistan as Srinath bowled consecutive wide balls in test match to avoid taking wicket.
He toured England with the famous Lashings World XI team in the summer of 2005 and also served as a commentator for the India-England Test series in 2006. Once in an interview, 1992 World cup winning Pakistan captain Imran Khan said that after watching him bowl 150 km/h speed on Indian pitches, he considered Srinath to be the most grossly underrated bowler in the world. It was Courtney Walsh who recommended Srinath to the county when he got injured and was asked to recommend someone. Javagal Srinath is still a familiar face to cricket viewers across the world. He has become a reputed commentator and is also an ICC match referee. In 2010, he and his former team mate, Anil Kumble, ushered in the winds of change to Indian cricket administration by fighting the Karnataka State Cricket Association elections. They won by huge margins and Javagal Srinath became the secretary of the Association, helps promote upcoming young cricketers in Karnataka.
In April 2006, he was selected as a match referee by the International Cricket Council and served during the 2007 World Cup. So far, he has officiated as ICC match referee in 35 Test matches, 194 ODIs and 60 T20Is.
- Srinath has the world’s best bowling figures (13 wickets for 132 runs) in a test match (sum of both innings) while ending up on the losing side.
- Highest number of wickets in world cups by an Indian bowler.
- Highest number of wickets in ODIs among Indian fast bowlers.
- 3rd Highest wicket taker among Indian fast bowlers in test matches after Kapil Dev and Zaheer Khan.
- 2nd Indian to take 300 ODI Wickets.
- One of the 11 bowlers who has taken more than 300 ODI Wickets.
- Second highest number of notouts in Cricket World Cup history- a total of 9, second only to Steve Waugh.
- Arjuna Award – 1999
Test 5 Wicket hauls
|1||6/21||22||South Africa||Sardar Patel Stadium||Ahmedabad||India||1996|
|2||5/104||27||South Africa||New Wanderers Stadium||Johannesburg||South Africa||1997|
|3||5/95||35||New Zealand||Seddon Park||Hamilton||New Zealand||1999|
|6||6/45||39||New Zealand||PCA IS Bindra Stadium||Mohali||India||1999|
|7||5/60||48||Zimbabwe||Feroz Shah Kotla||Delhi||India||2000|
|8||5/114||53||Sri Lanka||Galle International Stadium||Galle||Sri Lanka||2001|
|9||5/140||54||South Africa||Mangaung Oval||Bloemfontein||South Africa||2001|
|10||6/76||55||South Africa||St George’s Park||Port Elizabeth||South Africa||2001|
Test 10 Wicket hauls
ODI 5 Wicket hauls
|1||5/41||33||England||M Chinnaswamy Stadium||Bangalore||India||1993|
|2||5/24||43||Sri Lanka||Green Park Stadium||Kanpur||India||1993|
|3||5/23||130||Bangladesh||Bangabandhu National Stadium||Dhaka||Bangladesh||1998|
International match referee statistics
As of the 17 June 2017:
|Tests||Sri Lanka v South Africa at Colombo, 27 Jul 2006||New Zealand v Bangladesh at Christchurch, 20 Jan 2017||35|
|ODIs||New Zealand v Sri Lanka at Napier, 28 Dec 2006||Scotland v Zimbabwe at Edinburgh, 17 Jun 2017||199|
|T20Is||New Zealand v Sri Lanka at Wellington, 22 Dec 2006||New Zealand v South Africa at Auckland, 17 Feb 2017||60|
One Day International Cricket
Man of the Match awards
|1||Sri Lanka||Green Park Stadium, Kanpur||7 November 1993||6.4-1-24-5, 1 Ct. ; DNB||India won by 7 wickets.|
|2||New Zealand||Brabourne Stadium, Bombay||29 November 1995||6-0-22-2, 1 Ct. ; DNB||India won by 6 wickets.|
|3||Sri Lanka||Padang Cricket Ground, Singapore||3 April 1996||28* (32 balls: 1×4, 1×6) ; 10-0-35-4||India won by 12 runs.|
|4||Bangladesh||Bangabandhu National Stadium, Dhaka||10 January 1998||10-4-23-5 ; DNB||India won by 4 wickets.|
|5||Sri Lanka||New Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg||10 March 2003||DNB ; 9-1-35-4||India won by 183 runs.|
|Table: Man of the match awards in Test cricket|
|Javagal Srinath has won seven Man of the Match awards in Test cricket.|
|1||South Africa||Cape Town||02 Janunary 1993||25.0 – 06 – 51 – 2
27.0 – 10 – 33 – 4
|2||West Indies||Bombay||18 November 1994||13.0 – 05 – 37 – 1
20.0 – 08 – 48 – 4
60Runs ( 72 balls) 4 * 6, 6 * 1
|3||South Africa||Ahmedabad||20 November 1996||19.1 – 07 – 47 – 2
11.5 – 04 – 21 – 6
|4||Australia||Kolkata||18 March 1998||17.0 – 01 – 80 – 3
19.0 – 06 – 44 – 3
|5||Pakistan||Kolkata||16 February 1999||19.0 – 04 – 46 – 5
27.0 – 06 – 86 – 8
10+ Wicket Match, 8 / 86 & 5 / 46
|6||New Zealand||Mohali||10 October 1999||22.0 – 09 – 45 – 6
31.0 – 09 – 63 – 2
|7||Zimbabwe||Delhi||18 November 2000||35.0 – 09 – 81 – 4
24.1 – 06 – 60 – 5