Bowlers are becoming increasingly important in T20 cricket. This article will rank teams on the basis of their bowling lineup.
#8 Chennai Super Kings
Chennai have an experienced set of spinners. The problem with them is that they are so experienced, they aren’t much of a threat to the batsmen. Jadeja has been left out of the Indian team and he has a point to prove there. Bhajji has played for Mumbai all 10 years and may have trouble adjusting to yellow. Tahir is their only match-winner with the ball but he might not even get to play most of the matches.
They have only three pacers in Mark Wood, Junior Dala and Shardul Thakur. None of these players would be a frontline attacking bowler and the thought of Dwayne Bravo leading the pace bowling attack is unsettling.
#7 Kings XI Punjab
The spin duo of Axar and Ashwin are set to play all the matches. They don’t have a good leg spinner but that is true of many teams.
The pace attack is where the actual problem lies. Andrew Tye is their main bowler but this is only his second season in the IPL. He should not be entrusted with such a task. Mohit Sharma and Barinder Sran are the Indian fast bowlers. They need to fire for the team to perform well.
#6 Rajasthan Royals
Rajasthan don’t have even one experienced spinner in their ranks. Even though Krishnappa Gowtham and Shreyas Gopal have had good domestic seasons, they don’t have much IPL experience and RR would have liked if they weren’t their frontline spinners.
There is not much to worry about in this department for Rajasthan. Unadkat and Kulkarni form a formidable Indian pace bowling pair. Stokes and Archer are the English frontline bowlers.
#5 Mumbai Indians
They don’t have good spinners in their squad. Akila Dananjaya will not play most of the matches. Rahul Chahar is an unknown player but he has the potential to become big. Krunal Pandya, a part timer will be spearheading the spin attack and he won’t even bowl full quota of 4 overs.
Their pace attack is probably the best of all teams . They have the top T20 bowlers in Jasprit Bumrah, Pat Cummins, Mustafizur Rahman and Mitchell McClenaghan. They will be the key to MI’s success.
#4 Delhi Daredevils
They have kept their two old warhorses – Amit Mishra and Shahbaz Nadeem for themselves. Both of them have continued to perform well for the Daredevils and will surely continue to do so.
They have a world-class bowler in Rabada and a like-to-like replacement in Trent Boult. Mohammed Shami needs to play all the matches for the team to do well as they don’t have a good replacement for him.
#3 Royal Challengers Bangalore
The best spin duo in all of the teams belongs to RCB. Washington Sundar is one of the few spinners who bowl well in the powerplay. Chahal will handle the middle overs with the attacking mindset he has always had.
There are no superstars in the fast bowling lineup. Umesh Yadav will spearhead the attack. Chris Woakes will be trusted to bowl in the death overs. Colin De Grandhomme will bowl some overs in between.
#2 Kolkata Knight Riders
They have three of their spinners who have consistently performed in Kuldeep Yadav, Piyush Chawla and Sunil Narine. Yadav and Narine are set to play in every match. Chawla may get a chance on a spinning pitch like Chennai.
They have invested in Kamlesh Nagarkoti and Shivam Mavi. Both of them can blossom under the right guidance.Mitchell Johnson will have to spearhead the attack following Mitchell Starc’s injury. Vinay Kumar will provide the seniority and mentorship to the junior players.
#1 Sunrisers Hyderabad
They have no Indian spinners but have made up for it with three overseas spinners – Rashid Khan, Shakib Al Hasan and Mohammad Nabi. If Rashid is out of form or injured, then they don’t have a replacement for him.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar will be leading a young group of fast bowlers who have performed well domestically and in the IPL. Basil Thampi, Sandeep Sharma, Siddharth Kaul and T Natarajan will form the core of fast bowlers. If Bhuvneshwar doesn’t perform well, then the bowling attack looks slightly weak but if he fires, they are bound for glory.