IPL 2020: 5 bowlers to look out for in the auctions
With the evolution of the game and almost every team equipped with firepower, it is the bowlers, especially during the powerplay and the death overs, who decide the course of the match.
Pundits within the T20 circuit follow the formula that it is not always that all 6 or 7 of your batsmen will get a hit. But, more often than not, you will end up bowling 20 overs in a T20 game.
Hence, it only makes sense to strengthen your bowling attack with at least 6 proper bowling options to give the captain some variety to choose from.
While run fests are exciting for the crowds, the real action is when the bowlers stand up to the onslaught and outfox the batsmen.
Here are the five bowlers to look out for in the IPL 2020 auctions.
One of the greatest bowlers, if not the greatest, of our times, Dale Steyn has had a frustrating few years with one injury following another. The most heartbreaking of all saw him miss this year's ODI World Cup. That led him to retire from Test cricket, ending as the highest wicket-taker for South Africa in the format.
However, Steyn's comeback looks promising this time around. He is currently second in the wicket charts of the Mzansi Super League 2019 with 15 wickets from 8 matches at an average of 15.13 and an economy of 7.09 with best match figures of 3-10.
Steyn has been one of the premium pace bowlers in IPL history with 96 wickets from 92 matches at an average below 25 and a super impressive economy of 6.76.
His services were called on midway by Royal Challengers Bangalore in the last season. However, another injury cut down his stint.
If fit, Steyn will be one of the prime pace bowlers in the auctions. However, he may fetch a relatively lesser amount due to his injury-prone body at this stage of his career.
Rajasthan Royals picked Oshane Thomas in the last season and the tearaway pacer did a fine job for them with a bowling average of 15 and an economy of under 8 while also taking five wickets. However, the franchise may have expected more out of him which is why he finds himself back in the auctions.
Thomas belongs to a rare breed of fast bowlers who can clock it in excess of 150 kmph when in full swing. Like many players plying their trade in T20 leagues around the world, Oshane Thomas is a product of Caribbean Premier League where he had a breakout season last year.
In this year's edition, he played only 6 matches for Jamaica Tallawahs in which he picked up 9 wickets, including a 4-wicket haul.
Hayden Walsh Jr
Hayden Walsh caught the eye of the cricketing world when he finished as the highest wicket-taker in the last edition of the Caribbean Premier League. This is when he played only 9 matches and bowled a total of just 33.4 overs. Walsh picked up 22 wickets at an impressive average of 12.68 and a strike rate of 9.1. This included one 4-wicket haul, one 5-wicket haul and best match figures of 5-19.
It was on the back of some of his bamboozling leg spin that Barbados Tridents won this year's CPL title. His performances saw him getting selected in the white-ball leg against Afghanistan. Walsh did a decent job by picking up four wickets in three ODIs and two wickets in two T20Is.
Kane Richardson has now been performing consistently for over a year. He was the highest wicket-taker for Melbourne Renegades in Big Bash League 2018 with 24 wickets from just 14 innings at an average of 17.70 and an economy of 7.75.
In the recently concluded Australia One-day Cup as well, Richardson picked up 10 wickets from just 7 games at an economy of 5.20 and performed exceedingly well in the T20Is against Sri Lanka and Pakistan. He has played IPL on and off with a few matches in 2013, 2014 and 2016 and has a decent record but it is this year that he might come of age in the league.
Anrich Nortje had picked up 8 wickets from just three games in the last edition of the Mzansi Super League, playing for Cape Town Blitz. But, was ruled out of the remaining tournament due to an ankle injury. However, in that short burst, he impressed KKR coach Jacques Kallis so much that he found himself in the Kolkata camp for IPL 2019.
With ravaging speed being his USP, Nortje was picked by KKR at his base price of 20 lakhs but suffered a shoulder injury before the beginning of the tournament and had to miss out. He has been released by KKR for this season.
In his young 19 match T20 career, the pacer has a bowling average of 19.76 and an economy of 7.52. His presence in the India-South Africa Test series a couple of months ago will also help to keep him fresh in the memory of the franchises and might land him a rewarding gig.
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