IPL 2018 - 5 Pacers Who Can Delight Their Captain in the Slog Overs

Kagiso Rabada celebrates another Test wicket against Australia
©Reuters
 

Here is a list of five quick bowlers who are crafty enough to get the better of the batsmen, even in the last few overs of the innings.

Why is it that pacers like Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami and Umesh Yadav work very well for India in Test matches but as soon as the limited-overs leg begins, they are found warming the benches? It is their very pace and wicket to wicket bowling which is imperative in five-day cricket but proves to be their nemesis in the shorter formats of the game.

Gone are the days when fast bowling was all about physical strength. Now it has as much to do with your intellect, if not more, as it’s about your physique. In line with the same, pacers have now come up with several variations to fox the batsmen and succeed in the T20 circuit.

As far as the IPL is concerned, bowling in the middle overs is still relatively easier but when it comes to the slog overs, the batsmen are well prepared to go hammer and tongs at each delivery. Still, there are some quick bowlers who are crafty enough to get the better of the batsmen even in the last few overs of the innings.

Here is a list of five such pacers who would be captains' delight in the slog overs in this year’s IPL.

#5 Kagiso Rabada

Kagiso Rabada is one of the few tearaway pacers left in world cricket, a breed which is close to extinction. After Dale Steyn became injury prone and his performance started waning, it was Rabada who shouldered the responsibility as the leader of the Protea attack.

KG would continue to represent the Delhi Daredevils this year and would bowl alongside either Mohammed Shami or Trent Boult in the slog overs. Rabada not only has searing pace but also has the ability to hit hard lengths which are very difficult to get underneath. He also has a quick yorker which can hurry the batsmen.

With the pace that the South African has, his slower ones also catch the batters off guard. This is part of the reason why Right to Match card was used by DD for him in this year's IPL auction.

#4 Bhuvneshwar Kumar

When Bhuvneshwar Kumar made his international debut in December 2012 against Pakistan, he was touted as India’s next Irfan Pathan. This was euphemism for the fact that Kumar may have had great control over swing but lacked pace.

In the years to come, he worked very hard to gain a few yards of pace but lost his swing in the process and was dropped from the national team.

However, following his association with the Sunrisers Hyderabad, he became a much-improved bowler, so much so that he clinched two purple caps in successive years- 2016 and 2017.

Currently, Bhuvi not only has gained some pace but also makes incredible use of the slower deliveries - cutters and the knuckleball. Kumar has also developed a slippery bouncer which leaves the batsmen guessing and does not allow them to commit on the front foot. 

#3 Mitchell Starc

Many believe that Mitchell Starc is currently the best fast bowler in the world across formats. Starc possesses a tremendous wicket-taking ability and most of his dismissals are either bowled or LBWs. This shows that the left-arm pacer bowls wicket to wicket and believes in the famous adage- You miss, I hit.

Starc last played in the IPL in 2015 when he was a part of the Royal Challengers Bangalore. The season went quite well for him as he bagged 20 wickets at an average of under 15 with an economy of 6.76.

However, the Australian pace bowler missed the entire 2016 season recovering from a foot fracture while he decided to pull out of the IPL in 2017. Starc would bring in his in-swinging deliveries from round the wicket and rocket yorkers as he returns to the league after two years and would play for the Kolkata Knight Riders.

#2 Andrew Tye

One of the greatest exponents of the knuckleball – which seems to be the order of the day – Andrew Tye would be crucial for the hopes of Kings XI Punjab to overturn their miserable IPL record this year.

Playing for the Gujarat Lions in 2017, Tye impressed one and all with figures of 5-17 against the Rising Pune Supergiant on his IPL debut but a dislocated shoulder saw him ruled out of the season. His fifer was part of the reason that he was picked by KXIP for a whopping Rs. 7.2 crores this year.

The Aussie comes in with a rich experience of the Big Bash League and would come in handy for his franchise in the slog overs.

#1 Jasprit Bumrah

It is the quick learning ability of Jasprit Bumrah that has led him to great heights in such a short span of time. It was only in 2013 that Bumrah made his IPL debut for the Mumbai Indians and soon became Rohit Sharma’s go-to bowler. History repeated itself a few years later when the 24-year-old became Virat Kohli’s go-to man, soon after making his international debut.

There have been a lot of bowlers with awkward actions but most have not even come close to the success that Bumrah enjoys. The prime reason for his success, more than his unorthodox action, is the control with which he bowls. His yorkers and slower ones are mostly on point and it is his ability to read the mind of the batsmen which makes him the most effective bowler in the slog overs.