IPL 2020: 5 death bowlers to look out for in the auctions
Several teams such as Kings XI Punjab, Sunrisers Hyderabad, Delhi Capitals and not least of all, Royal Challengers Bangalore are looking for quicks or pace bowling all-rounders who can bowl well at the death and hence, pacers with slog over skills will be at a premium in the upcoming auctions.
Mitchell Starc would have been one of the top picks but with him having opted out of the auctions, it presents an opportunity for the other players to bag a fat paycheck.
With the batsmen getting more and more adventurous, variations have become critical in the modern game. IPL franchises will be desperately looking for pace bowlers with a big repertoire.
Here's a look at 5 death bowlers to look out for in the IPL auctions.
It is now for back to back seasons that Blair Tickner has delivered in New Zealand's domestic T20 competition, Super Smash. Tickner returned with 21 wickets from 11 innings at an average of 10.15 and an economy of 8.07 in the 2017-18 edition of the Super Smash. He repeated his performance with 16 wickets from 9 innings at an average of 15.93 and an economy of 7.72 in the next edition.
He went under the hammer in the last IPL auction as well with the base price of 20 lacks but went unsold. The fact that he made his T20I debut against India and did a decent job, conceding just 34 runs from his four overs at an economy of 8.50 in a high scoring game may also help to keep him fresh in the memory of franchise analysts.
Mohit Sharma first burst onto the scene with a breakthrough Ranji Trophy season in 2011-12. Next year, he ended as the fifth-highest wicket taker in the domestic tournament and caught the eye of the IPL scouts. He was picked by Chennai Super Kings in IPL 2013 and was given the new ball.
After 20 and 23 wickets in 2013 and 2014 respectively, his returns began to decline. He was then picked by Kings XI Punjab. The last time, he was back in Chennai Super Kings but got to play only one match and has been released this season.
Notwithstanding his form, Sharma is still a great exponent of death bowling among the domestic medium pace bowler. His back-of-the-hand slower ones and cutters can be deceptive and teams looking for an Indian death bowling option can go for him.
Behrendorff was picked by Mumbai Indians in IPL 2019 but got only 5 matches due to the presence of senior bowlers like Lasith Malinga and Mitchell McClenaghan. The bowler sports a T20 average of 22.05 and an economy of 7.24, which makes him a handy option at the death.
Playing only his 2nd T20I, Behrendorff picked up four wickets in a match against India in Guwahati. Behrendorff did well for Australia in the limited opportunities that he got in the World Cup and will be one of the leading death bowling options in the auctions.
Jaydev Unadkat hogged the limelight when he starred in the 2017 edition of the IPL, picking up 24 wickets at an average of 13.41 and an economy of 7.02, with best match figures of 5-30. On the back of his impressive death bowling, he was snaffled by Rajasthan Royals for a whopping Rs 11.5 crores in 2018 and 8.5 crores in 2019.
Having failed to live up to the expectations in both the seasons, returning with 11 and 10 wickets respectively while conceding runs at an economy of around 10, the medium-pace bowler has been released by the Royals this time around.
One of the biggest criticisms of Unadkat is that he has just one change of pace delivery, which he keeps using. He has been working on his bowling and has added some variety to it.
Unadkat picked up 12 wickets from 7 matches in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy this year, playing for Saurashtra . He bowled at an average of 12.91 and an economy of 5.74, with best match figures of 4/5. With new weapons in his armoury, Unadkat is one of the leading domestic death bowlers going under the hammer.
Alzarri Joseph is a name that sees heads turn in West Indies cricket circles. His smooth action and a heavy ball has meant that a lot of x-cricketers and experts have recognized him as the next big thing in the West Indian pace battery.
Joseph gave a glimpse of his ability by claiming best-ever IPL figures on debut - 6/12. Unfortunately for him, he picked up a serious injury soon after and could only return to full fitness a couple of months back. He was straight away drafted into the ODI, T20I and the Test squads for the series against Afghanistan which shows the trust that the player commands.
Joseph will interest teams like Royal Challengers Bangalore and Kings XI Punjab, who are looking for an overseas death bowler.
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