Two of India's best, 3 tearaway overseas quicks: Top 5 seamers to watch out for in IPL 2021
- Kagiso Rabada (30) and Anrich Nortje (22), from runners-up Delhi Capitals, finished first and fourth in the tally, respectively. Jasprit Bumrah (27) and Trent Boult (25), from the championship-winning side Mumbai Indians, finished second and third respectively in last year's IPL. What will be the story in IPL 2021?
It's that time of the year again! The Indian Premier League (IPL 2021) is back and this time, just less than six months after the previous season.
While batsmen tend to dominate the T20 format and have the potential to play a deciding role in a match's result, bowlers too with pace, spin, variations, and deception have the ability to turn a twenty-over game on its head single-handedly.
In IPL 2020, which was played in the UAE due to the coronavirus pandemic, the pacers topped the bowling charts. Kagiso Rabada (30) and Anrich Nortje (22), from runners-up Delhi Capitals, finished first and fourth in the tally, respectively. Jasprit Bumrah (27) and Trent Boult (25), from the championship-winning side Mumbai Indians, finished second and third respectively.
IPL is back to India and with matches slated to take place at six venues--Mumbai, Chennai, Ahmedabad, Kolkata, Bengaluru, and New Delhi--- expect the spinners to have a bigger say but the pacers continue to hold the aces.
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Before the action begins, let's take a look at top bowlers to watch out for:
1) Jasprit Bumrah
The leader of Mumbai's bowling pack is Jasprit Bumrah. The right-arm pacer has finished as the defending champions' highest-wicket taker for the last two seasons with 19 and 27 wickets, respectively. In 2017, he finished second in the list with 17 wickets, just one behind Hardik Pandya. Bumrah's pace and movement up front and pin-point accuracy at the death makes him one of the most dangerous bowlers in the league. His companion Trent Boult finished with 25 wickets in 2020, making the duo even more lethal. Mumbai will hope to see Bumrah find his rhythm at the earliest as he will be playing his first game after a month-long break. He didn't feature in the T20I and ODI series against England due to personal reasons. In 92 IPL matches, Bumrah has picked 109 wickets at an economy of 7.41.
2) Kagiso Rabada
Delhi Capitals reaching the final in the UAE in 2020 was largely possible due to Proteas pacer Kagiso Rabada. The speedster bagged 30 wickets and won the Purple Cap. Interestingly Rabada was retained by the Delhi side in 2019 despite not featuring in a single game during the previous season. However, Delhi struck gold with the decision as Rabada went on to take 25 wickets and finish the season as the team's highest wicket-taker. Rabada left the ongoing Pakistan-SA ODI series midway, during which he picked up two wickets in two matches, to join his IPL franchise on time. Twenty-six-year-old Rabada 61 wickets from 35 IPL games. He will once again be the key for the Delhi side in the IPL 2021 as they look to go one better than last year and finally win the elusive trophy.
3) Bhuvneshwar Kumar
He is the kind of figure you need to lead your bowling attack. A calm, composed, and focussed individual who quietly goes about his business-- that is to take wickets--but creates maximum noise and buzz around him. Bhuvneshwar Kumar was the Purple Cap winner in the 2016 season with 23 wickets as Sunrisers Hyderabad lifted their first IPL title. A dangerous swing bowler who is often called one of the most skillful white-ball bowlers in the world, Bhuvi, simply put, just a difficult bowler to put away. He may not be the quickest of the lot but he's definitely got enough trick up his sleeves to cause damage towards the end of the innings. He featured in the recently-concluded white-ball leg of the India-England series. He started off slow but began to increase his wicket-tally pretty quickly towards the end and his pristine economy rate only made his team's life easier
4) Kyle Jamieson
We are going to talk about three massive talking points of the IPL 2021 auction, who all happen to be pacers, but let's begin with New Zealand Kyle Jamieson. Standing tall at 6'8", the Kiwi speedster entered the auction at a base price of ₹75 lakh but came out with a ₹15 crore contract from the Royal Challengers Bangalore. While he started off his career in Test cricket, Jamieson has also been inducted into the white-ball sides in the last few months. He's played six Tests, five ODIs, and eight T20Is and it is interesting to note he only made his T20I debut months after making his Test debut. In all T20s, the 26-year-old has pocketed 55 wickets in 42 matches and his height and bounce will come in handy for RCB.
5) Chris Morris
On February 18, 2021, Chris Morris became the most expensive player in the history of the league when he was bought for ₹16.25 at the auction. In 2020, he represented RCB, picking 11 wickets and scoring 34 runs in nine matches. He was bought for ₹10 crore from the Delhi franchise ahead of the 2020 season. The all-rounder is 34 now and it will be important for his workload to be managed properly. He has faced multiple layoffs due to injuries in the past and Rajasthan Royals wouldn't want to see such a player on the sidelines. He is an experienced campaigner in this league, having played 70 matches with 80 in his kitty at an economy rate of 7.81. Now that Jofra Archer has been ruled out of the first half due to a hand injury, the onus will be on Morris to spearhead the pace attack