T20 is becoming a batsman’s game big time now and has very less to offer for the bowlers. Last IPL season in the UAE, we had good surfaces offering even chances for both the batsmen and the bowlers. But this time, the T20 extravaganza is to be played in India where most of the grounds are batting paradises.
Kagiso Rabada was the top wicket-taker last season, where he picked 30 wickets in the tournament. There were even other bowlers who made their mark, Jasprit Bumrah, T Natrajan, Yuzvendra Chahal and Trent Boult to name a few. It will be interesting to see if the dynamics change this year or will the same bowlers continue to dominate.
Here we try to pick one bowler from each team who might end up as the top wicket-taker in IPL 2021:
Mumbai Indians – Jasprit Bumrah
The champion bowler played a key role in getting MI the trophy last year. His toe-crushing yorkers and slower balls are very difficult for the batsmen to play. This variety in his bowling helps him get wickets in quick succession.
Jasprit Bumrah got 27 wickets last season and missed out on the purple cap by just 3 wickets to Kagiso Rabada. His bowling average was just 14.96 and had a very efficient economy. His best bowling figures came in one of the most important matches, i.e, in Qualifier 1 against the Capitals.
He seems as lethal even this year. Although MI boast of many other excellent bowlers, Jasprit Bumrah might still end up as the top wicket-taker for the side and even the tournament possibly.
Royal Challengers Bangalore – Yuzvendra Chahal
The wrist-spinner has only grown in stature ever since he was picked by RCB. He even got his place in the Indian side because of his consistent performances for RCB. While their bowling has always been their weak point, Yuzvendra Chahal has been the only bright spot in this department.
Last season Chahal was among the top 5 wicket-takers of the season where he picked a total of 21 wickets at an average of 19.29. He was the only spinner in top 5 as well. His smartness with the ball and a lethal googly make him a fine wrist spinner.
This year RCB has invested in bowling, picking up Kyle Jamieson and retaining Kane Richardson and Adam Zampa. Despite that, Chahal is the frontrunner to be the best bowler for RCB on skills and experience basis. His performance is very important if RCB wants to succeed this season.
Chennai Super Kings – Shardul Thakur
The speedster from Mumbai might emerge as CSK’s top wicket-taker. He has improved his bowling ability big time as he did not have a good start to his career. Shardul Thakur also impressed in the recent India tour of Australia in both the Tests and ODIs.
Last IPL season, he did not play many matches at the start of the tournament. But when Shardul got the chance, he definitely made it count, by picking a lot of wickets, both at the start and in the death. He is still improving with his economy but his ability to scalp wickets is lethal.
In most probability, CSK will play him from the start of this season, unlike last time. He will surely be among the wickets. If he improves his economy a little bit more, he can be dangerous for the opposition teams.
Delhi Capitals – Kagiso Rabada
The Proteas seamer was breathing fire in the last season of the IPL. He was one of the major reasons for DC reaching the finals. He formed a lethal pair with Anrich Nortje and the rest was done by the spinners.
Kagiso Rabada went on to take 30 wickets by the end of the season at an average of just around 18. He was economical too, conceding runs at 8.34 per over. The sheer pace and variations with the ball make him unplayable for the batsmen.
If DC want to repeat their last season’s heroics, Rabada will have a major role to play. He possibly will end up as DC’s best bowler if not of the tournament.
Rajasthan Royals – Jofra Archer
Jofra Archer has garnered attention from the time he started playing for the Hobart Hurricanes in the BBL. After that, he played for RR and even went on to play for the English National side. Last season he was the lone warrior for the Royals.
The Royals had a rough season last year, going down after winning the first two matches convincingly. Despite that, Archer had a wonderful season. He was the Most Valuable Player of the tournament picking a total of 20 wickets with 175 dot balls. Had he got support from the other players, RR would have had a better season.
This time, RR have changed their tactics and have also gone for the heavy buy of Chris Morris to strengthen their bowling department. Having said that, by all means, it looks that Archer will once again be their most successful bowler because of the skill sets he possesses. RR will hope for him to repeat his performance this season too.
Sunrisers Hyderabad – Rashid Khan
Rashid Khan is always in the reckoning in the IPL, with the ability he possesses. Last year he had a decent season but was overshadowed by the pacers who did a great job. This year the IPL is going to be held in India, so his performance is definitely going to improve.
He took 20 wickets in the season and was among the top 10 bowlers of the season. This time he is expected to further get better and be among the top 5. His quick action and pacy leg-spin deliveries with a googly in between is a lethal combination. This creates a doubt in the mind of the batsman which eventually leads him to pick wickets.
SRH already has a strong bowling unit, with the likes of Bhuvneshwar Kumar, T Natrajan and Sandeep Sharma. But Rashid might pip them all to become the leading wicket-taker for the Sunrisers.
Punjab Kings – Jhye Richardson
Punjab let go of many foreign bowlers which gave them both overseas slots and a good budget. As a result, they went for the costly buy of Jhye Richardson to power up their fast bowling unit. This is Richardson’s debut IPL season and a lot is expected from him.
He had an exceptional BBL season recently which led to him bagging a huge IPL contract. He got the most number wickets in the league, scalping 29 wickets in 17 matches. He has a good variety in his bowling, combining it with cutters and faster deliveries.
Punjab’s bowling attack is a decent one, but the only experienced bowler is Mohammed Shami. Richardson will have to bring in all his experience to make Punjab win and might end up as their most successful bowler.
Kolkata Knight Riders – Shakib Al Hasan
The veteran all rounder is back in action for the IPL after a year of ban. He is now a legend in modern day cricket and has loads of experience. He also has a lot of IPL experience which will help him even more.
KKR got Shakib Al Hasan for quite a reasonable amount, which surprised many because of the class he has. After his comeback, he has played wonderfully in international cricket, in the two series at home. KKR’s bowling is still young and an inexperienced one. Shakib’s place in the team will really help them.
With IPL being played in India and that too at limited venues, it will definitely help the spinners. Thus Shakib will have a good tournament and also will be KKR’s best bowler.
Source: The source of this content is our cricket news platform Crictracker.
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