IPL 2020: Bowlers to Watch and Bet On
By BET Contributor
Right from its inception, T20 was tipped to be the batsman’s game. However, the bowlers have found ways to emerge out of their shadows and evolve. They say, batsmen win you games but bowlers win you tournaments. Even in the Indian Premier League (IPL), the bowlers have found ways to be successful.
The 13th edition of the IPL is just around the corner and some bowlers will take the spotlight. Thus, here are five bowlers to watch out for in the upcoming 2020 season of the IPL.
Rashid Khan – Sunrisers Hyderabad
Ever since Rashid Khan has come on to the big stage, he has troubled almost every batsman and has bamboozled almost every team he has played against. Despite being around for five years now, the Afghan leg-spinner is still a huge threat and batsmen find it tough to cope with his variations. Hence, teams have started playing him out.
It is no different in the IPL. Yet, he has found ways to pick up wickets regularly. Since the Afghan superstar made his IPL debut, only Jasprit Bumrah (56) has registered more wickets than Rashid’s 55 scalps in the IPL. Moreover, Rashid’s economy pf 6.55 is the second-best as well among bowlers who have bowled at least 25 overs.
In the three seasons, he has taken 17, 21 and 17 wickets respectively. With the conditions in the UAE likely to be spin-friendly, he will be the one to watch out for once again.
Yuzvendra Chahal – Royal Challengers Bangalore
Yuzvendra Chahal has been around the IPL scene for almost a decade now. However, it wasn’t before 2014 that he came to the fore. For three years, he was at Mumbai Indians (MI) but played just one game. However, ever since he moved to the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in 2014, he has been the lead spinner and has been brilliant.
The Haryana leg-spinner has picked up a staggering 100 wickets for RCB in six seasons. Moreover, a large chunk of these wickets have come at the Chinnaswamy Stadium which is a batting paradise. Thus, this time around, Chahal will enjoy the slow, low and spin-friendly conditions in the UAE. He has a good record there and might just go on to dominate the upcoming edition of the IPL.
Jasprit Bumrah – Mumbai Indians
Like his Mumbai Indians (MI) skipper Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah has never gone on to dominate an IPL season. However, he has been amongst the wickets consistently and has picked up 15 or more wickets in each of the last four seasons. In fact, in this period (since the start of 2016), no other bowler has taken more wickets than Bumrah’s 71 wickets (Bhuvneshwar Kumar is equal with 71).
The Gujarat speedster has been a big reason why MI have been so successful in the IPL over the last few years. He has been the silent assassin in the line-up and goes about his job without too much fuss. This year hasn’t been the best for Bumrah. Before the pandemic forced the world to go into lockdown, Bumrah returned from a long injury lay-off and didn’t exactly look in his zone. The rhythm seemed slightly off. Therefore, the premier Indian fast bowler will want to return to his wicket-taking best and might be the pacer to bet on.
Imran Tahir – Chennai Super Kings
Here is another leg-spinner who could be worth betting on. Not a lot of people talk about Imran Tahir that much but he is one of the top spinners going around in T20 cricket at the moment. Even at 41 years of age, the South African leg-spinner is among the top wicket-takers in various T20 leagues. He topped the wicket charts in the Mzansi Super League (MSL), picking up 17 wickets.
In the Pakistan Super League (PSL), Tahir took 10 wickets and was the joint fourth-highest wicket-taker. In the recently concluded Caribbean Premier League (CPL), he picked up 15 wickets and finished as the third-highest wicket-taker. He won the Purple Cap last season in the IPL, taking 26 wickets. Thus, with UAE likely to dish out some spin-friendly and slow tracks, Tahir could come to the fore once again and be the standout.
Kagiso Rabada – Delhi Capitals
Last season, Kagiso Rabada showed exactly what he is capable of. He took 25 wickets in just 12 games, averaging 14.72 and striking at 11.28 with the ball. And if not for an injury towards the fag end of the season, Rabada would’ve ended up with the Purple Cap.
Thus, Rabada could be a big player to bet on this time around. He bowls with great pace, has a fine yorker and can change it up with a bouncer or a slower one very well too. The South African fast bowler is going to lead the Delhi Capitals attack this year again and will be one of the top overseas stars to watch out for.