In this era of T20 cricket and the opulent Indian Premier League, it’s the batsmen who hog the limelight more often than not with willow-wielders being darling of the crowd. Very rarely, do we come across a headline, which glorifies the performance of a bowler in an IPL game. The rules in cricket these days have been entirely biased in favour of the batsmen. The batsmen seem to be the favoured breed of cricketers. From chunky bat sizes to small boundaries to field restrictions – literally everything favours the batsmen. But under such vulnerable circumstances, the bowlers have found a way to make a mark and create an impression. With almost every rule against them, the bowlers still manage to trouble the batsmen in the IPL.
One such team in the IPL, which regularly troubles the batsmen, is none other than the team, emerging from the Land of the Nawabs – Sunrisers Hyderabad!
The Sunrisers Hyderabad by far, have the deadliest bowling attack in the IPL. They have names in their ranks, who can strike fear within the heart of any batsman. It was solely the due efforts of their bowling, which led them till the playoffs of the 2013 IPL edition, which was also their debut. In the 2015 IPL player auctions, the Sunrisers’ management played their cards extremely wisely, and ensured that they bought personnel, who could amplify the effect of their bowling. The side from Hyderabad has the following names in their deadly bowling attack – Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Dale Steyn, Trent Boult, Ishant Sharma, Praveen Kumar, Karn Sharma.
These bowlers spearhead their respective national sides. Just imagine the consequence when these spearheads will team up together for the Sunrisers Hyderabad! Complete misery for the batsmen, that’s for the taking. These bowlers are so skillful at their work that they never let the batsmen get away with their game. These bowlers have the knack of picking wickets frequently. Having names like Boult, Bhuvneshwar and Steyn gives the Sunrisers Hyderabad a massive psychological advantage, even before the game commences. That is almost half the battle won even without getting on to the field. The mindset of the batsmen changes completely against these star bowlers. Rather than thinking of going for the offensive and attacking, the batsmen will go into their shell, and think of survival and nothing else.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar is the revolving figure around the Sunrisers Hyderabad bowling attack. Bhuvneshwar, will have the onus of making the new ball count, and count big time. In the previous edition of the IPL, Kumar was simply phenomenal for the Sunrisers Hyderabad. It was his first season for the side then. His new ball spells were way too thorny for the batsmen to negate. His show with the new ball was simply terrific. He even went on to outshine his new ball partner, and South African sensation Dale Steyn. The swing generated by Kumar, and the control over the new ball was like a coaching lesson for all the aspiring bowlers.
Bhuvenshwar’s accuracy was the highlight of his sensational campaign. His ability to swing the ball into the right hander, and away from the left hander simply seems to be God gifted! The Sunrisers got off to a poor start in the previous IPL, as they lost their opening two games. But then, Bhuvi, with his stellar display turned the fortunes around for the Sunrisers, with his brilliance. The numbers also reiterate the brilliance of Kumar in the previous edition. In 14 games, the swing sensation got 20 wickets, at an average of 17.70 and an economy rate of 6.65, with a wicket every 15.95 balls. These are the numbers of a champion, and nothing else! Kumar was so emphatic that even Dale Steyn said that he was learning the art of controlling the new ball from Kumar. Now that is some compliment from the world’s best pacer!
Dale Steyn is a profusely lethal weapon which the Hyderabad based franchise have. His credentials as a wicket taking bowler are well known. Steyn was a major contributor for the Sunrisers, when they qualified for the playoffs in 2013. Steyn is so accurate with the ball that the pitch condition rarely has an influence on his performance. Provide Steyn with a green top or a flat lifeless pitch, he will make the batsmen dance to his tunes everywhere. The most fascinating aspect about Steyn has been his ability to pick wickets at crucial intervals. Steyn’s premier strength lies in his ability to swing the ball in excess of 145 km/hr. His sheer pace is hostile enough for the batsmen. When sharp swing is added to that pace, then it becomes a complete nightmare for the batsmen. The previous edition was a disappointing one for Steyn, as he was expensive and not among the wickets. Eventually, the Sunrisers too struggled in their campaign. With a new edition around, expect Steyn to be back at his best and deliver the goods for his side.
Trent Boult, has been a revelation for New Zealand. He was simply fabulous in the recently concluded ICC World Cup 2015. Boult was the tournament’s leading wicket taker with Mitchell Starc. Boult’s strength lies in getting the ball to move into the right handed batsman. He is an extremely cunning and sharp left arm pacer. His pace, like Steyn is usually above the 140km/hr mark. In the death overs as well, Boult has the capability of bowling the toe crushing yorkers. Boult can form an annihilating partnership with Steyn and Bhuvneshwar. These three world class bowlers have a unique set of skills. They have different individual strengths. The three can integrate, and make life incredibly tough for the batsmen.
The Indian trio of Ishant Sharma, Praveen Kumar and Karn Sharma complete the deadly bowling lineup of the Sunrisers. Praveen can viciously swing the ball both ways. His control is fantastic as well. His secret weapon is his deceiving slower one. Praveen Kumar is more often than not economical. Ishant Sharma’s main asset is his lanky body structure. He delivers the ball from a height of almost 8 feet! Now that’s some trouble for the batsmen! If Ishant gets his consistency right, then he can be among the wickets for sure. Karn Sharma, the wrist spinner has been great for the Sunrisers ever since he made his IPL debut for them. His trajectory and accuracy are the key reasons behind his success.
All in all, the Sunrisers bowling looks extremely intimidating. Facing these bowlers will be a mammoth task for the batsmen. It shouldn’t come as a surprise, if the Sunrisers dismiss a side for less than 100 in this IPL. Their bowling has all the ingredients, which are needed to lift the trophy. Only the question of performing on the big day remains.