2009 A pace odyssey | cricket | Hindustan Times
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2009 A pace odyssey

While there has been a lot of talk about the success the spinners have had on the worn-out pitches here, the faster men have been the major force in IPL season 2, reports G Krishnan.

cricket Updated: May 07, 2009 01:36 IST
G Krishnan

Chennai Super Kings batsman S. Badrinath found the Deccan Chargers paceman Fidel Edwards a bit too fast. Though Edwards doesn’t top the wicket-takers’ list, he has rattled many an opposition batsman with his pace and played an important role in his team’s success in the first few matches.

Edwards is one of the many pacemen who have thrived in this edition of the IPL.

While there has been a lot of talk about the success the spinners have had on the worn-out pitches here, the faster men have been the major force.

“The seamers have a role to play here as the conditions normally assist them. That the leading wicket-takers are seamers shows how indispensable they are,” said former SA paceman and Mumbai Indians mentor Shaun Pollock.

The first four in the leading wicket-takers’ list —Yusuf Abdulla, R P. Singh, Lasith Malinga and Lakshmipathi Balaji — are quick bowlers while there are only two spinners in the top 10.

It seems that the Deccan Chargers and Kings XI Punjab had made the smartest moves at the auction in Goa by picking Edwards and Abdulla respectively.

With Edwards, it has been a matter of preparing for his opening burst with the objective of bowling straight, varying the length marginally with high bouncers and full tosses, low full tosses and sandshoe crushers. He has complemented the wicket-taker R. P. Singh well, by sustaining pressure.

Observers scorned at Mumbai Indians’ choice of Malinga last year when the injury-stricken Sri Lankan did not send down a single ball. But this season, Sachin Tendulkar’s team has thrived on Malinga’s success. He has picked 11 wickets at an average of 9.45 and has delivered at an economy rate of 4.83 (i.e before Wednesday’s clash against Deccan Chargers). Sheer pace, allied with swing, has been his forte.

“Lasith has been bowling well,” said Sanath Jayasuriya. “He did really well in the 2007 World Cup in West Indies. After that he got injured and I have not seen him for more than a year.”

Left-armer Abdulla, who currently holds the Purple Cap for most wickets, has bowled probing deliveries.

Among the others, Chennai’s Balaji has been deceiving the batsmen in the second half of the innings; Dillon du Preez and Amit Singh have had impressive debuts for Royal Challengers Bangalore and Rajasthan Royals respectively while Ashish Nehra has been a vital cog in Delhi Daredevils’ wheel.

(Stats updated till Tuesday’s matches)