IPL 2021: Meet the top five bowlers of the season
The franchises will pin on their bowling hopes on these five in UAE.
The T20 format may have allowed the batsmen to take the centre-stage, but the bowlers with an uncanny ability to hit the right length also enjoy their fair share of glory.
The Indian Premier League (IPL), which was suspended in May due to a devastating second wave of the pandemic in May, will resume on September 19 with defending champions Mumbai Indians taking on Chennai Super Kings in the first game.
The slow pitches in UAE will not only keep the spinners in the game, but even the fast bowlers with an ability to reverse the ball can keep the batsmen on their toes.
So let’s take a look at the five top bowlers until the suspension of the IPL in May. The franchises will pin on their bowling hopes on these five in UAE.
Harshal Patel (Royal Challengers Bangalore)
The beauty of the IPL is that it keeps producing these great underdog stories. Harshal Patel’s meteoric rise this season is one such story. The 30-year-old Haryana medium pacer was never in the limelight until he produced a string of wicket-taking performances for the Royal Challengers Bangalore this season. It was on the back of his consistent bowling that the Virat Kohli-led franchise made a strong start to their campaign in 2021. Kohli will now hope to see the same form from Patel in UAE when the tournament resumes on September 19.
Avesh Khan (Delhi Capitals)
This 25-year-old pace bowler from Madhya Pradesh rose from obscurity to national fame in the 2021 season by outshining two world-class fast bowlers in the Delhi Capitals squad – Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje. Khan’s ability to move the ball both ways surprised the batsmen on dead Indian pitches and he even poses a nasty short ball. He will be back now in UAE, having returned from a thumb injury, to share the new ball with the legendary Rabada and keep Delhi in the hunt for their first-ever IPL title.
Chris Morris (Rajasthan Royals)
The most expensive player in IPL history, the giant South African fast bowler was under pressure to lead the Rajasthan Royals bowling attack in the absence of Jofra Archer. But Morris rose to the challenge, taking important wickets and scoring some invaluable runs in the lower middle order. He was a key player for the Royals in the first half of the season and the Royals’ fortunes in UAE now will depend on him even more in the absence of their talismanic English players Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes.
Rahul Chahar (Mumbai Indians)
The leg-spinner was simple outstanding as he came to the rescue of the defending champions after their batsmen had failed to fire in several games of the first half. Chahar showed great composure and accuracy while defending low totals. His spell of four for 27 against the Kolkata Knight Riders when Mumbai defended a modest total of 152 was arguably the best bowling performance of the IPL 2021 until the league was suspended by the pandemic. Chahar’s display even earned him a place in the Indian team for the T20 World Cup in UAE.
Rashid Khan (Sunrisers Hyderabad)
The Sunrisers Hyderabad were at the bottom of the table with just two points when the league was suspended in May. But Rashid Khan, the world’s finest leg-spinner in white-ball cricket, continued his mastery over the batsmen in the IPL. Khan was accurate from his end, but lacked support from the other as Hyderabad’s season suffered one blow after another. The team is unlikely to make a serious bid for the playoffs in UAE, but Khan will remain a big threat for the batsmen on the slow wickets here.
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