Such has been the evolution of cricket, especially with the advent of the Twenty-20 format, that batsmen generally remain at the forefront while the bowlers often go unnoticed. With the demand of the time, grounds have been shortened and wickets are prepared such that it rains boundaries all throughout the match.
Bowlers get little assistance from the tracks in T20 cricket. But time and again we have seen how a little influence from them can turn the game upside down. Especially in the deciding moments of the game, the skills that the bowlers put into display make the ultimate difference.
Jasprit Bumrah, Rashid Khan, Sunil Narine, all of them became a household name after their heroics with the ball in T20 cricket and are rated as highly as the best T20 batsmen of the world.
But here, we take a look at three lesser-known and uncapped Indian bowlers who can take the world by storm with their brilliance and emerge as contenders for the purple cap:
1. Harshal Patel
Though not much of an unknown face in IPL, Harshal Patel is not very famous either. But he is an experienced campaigner when it comes to IPL, having been a part of the tournament since 2012. He moved to Delhi in 2018 after a stint of five years with the Royal Challengers Bangalore came to an end.
A right-arm medium-pacer with a natural outswinger, Patel is in the middle of exceptional form at the moment. Appearing for Haryana, Patel was the joint second-highest wicket-taker in the domestic T20 competition of Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy in 2019. He took 19 wickets from 12 matches.
If one’s wondering if he will be able to sustain his form or not, he is currently the second-highest wicket-taker of the ongoing Ranji Trophy with 40 scalps from 6 matches. Also, his IPL numbers of 43 wickets from as many matches at a strike rate and average of 19.44 and 28.26 respectively, makes him a real threat on any given day.
2. Shreyas Gopal
Another experienced player when it comes to IPL, Shreyas Gopal can well and truly be a challenger for the purple cap in the upcoming edition of the IPL. Despite not getting much attention from the national selectors, Gopal has been producing consistent performances in the domestic circuit and looks prepared for the IPL.
Along with Harshal Patel, he was the second-highest wicket-taker in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, held between November and December last year. He also owns brilliant IPL figures of 38 wickets from 31 matches at an average of 19.37 added with the strike-rate of 15.5.
However, he is not gaining much success in the current Ranji season with only five wickets in five matches. But more than the red-cherry, he loves throwing the white one and T20 format is his forte. While his first-class average is 26.19, it gets better to 20.28 and 17.35 in List A and T20 respectively.
3. Darshan Nalkande
A relatively little-known figure in comparison to the other two, Darshan Nalkande is a 21-year-old right-arm medium-pacer from Vidarbha who made his debut in the domestic season of 2018-19 before he was roped in by Kings XI Punjab in 2019.
Though he did not play any match in IPL 2019, he is unlikely to sit out in the 13th edition of the tournament. Nalkande took 16 wickets in the six Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy he played in 2019, while the highest wicket-taker took 20 wickets in 12 matches.
Yet to attain success in the first-class level, the youngster has impressive figures in overall white-ball cricket. In nine T20 matches so far, he has notched 19 wickets at an astonishing average of 12.94 and an even brilliant strike-rate of 10. His List A numbers are 15 wickets from eight matches at an average of 17.66.
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