It is often said that T20 cricket is all about the big extravagant hits and booming strikes. The phenomena of T20 cricket is a paradise for the batsmen. The batters usually feast during the T20 game. But in order to win the matches, batting alone is not enough. The colossal sixes are not the only ingredient that is needed. The mixture of accurate bowling and efficient fielding is a massive factor as well. Acrobatic fielding can play the role of the “sixth” bowler and can easily save upto 20-25 runs. But more than anything else, bowling is the key for T20 games.
In the IPL, the death overs (conventionally from overs 16 to 20) are the most difficult overs to bowl at. In the death overs, the batsmen have the license to go for the full – monty (to borrow Ravi Shashtri’s phrase). With meatier bats; shorter boundaries and field restrictions, the batsmen are simply ruling the roost. But there are some bowlers, who are simply terrific. It is because of these bowlers that the batsmen cannot run away with the game in the death overs. Some bowlers make life incredibly hard for the batsmen, and hence maintain the much needed balance between the bat and the ball.
In this article, we have a look at the best bowlers during the death overs in IPL 8:
5. MITCHELL McCLANEGHAN:
This Kiwi pace sensation has been a sparkling addition for the Mumbai Indians. In his absence, the Mumbai Indians were struggling big time and their bowling was letting them down time and again. Before he donned the Mumbai colors, there was immense burden on Lasith Malinga and as a result, the Sri Lankan himself was not able to give his hundred percent. Once McClaneghan was given a run, he delivered the goods immediately. His arrival gave the Mumbai Indians a new purpose and direction. In five games, he has 9 wickets and has been simply outstanding.
4. TRENT BOULT:
Boult has been so vital for the Sunrisers Hyderabad that even Dale Steyn has had to warm the benches. Boult has been the backbone of the Sunrisers’ bowling along with Bhuvneshwar Kumar. With the new ball he is brilliant, but it is his accuracy with yorkers at the death, which is imperative for his side. His swinging yorkers are simply too hot to handle. Boult single handedly won Sunrisers the game against Kings XI due to his fine show at the death. He easily punctured their chase with his terrific stuff. A lot depends upon how Boult performs for the Sunrisers.
3. DWAYNE BRAVO:
The Trinidadian has been the answer for Chennai’s death woes. The Super Kings usually struggled in the death bowling department. But then skipper MS Dhoni played a masterstroke by assigning Bravo as the specialist death overs bowler. Bravo is usually introduced from the 12th over and from then onwards, he takes care of the death overs. A lot of credit must be given to Dhoni for completely utilizing Bravo’s talent. Bravo is a cunning bowler with several variations. The batsmen are often fooled by his slower one. The role of the specialist death bowler has suited Bravo big time.
2. MITCHELL STARC:
The leading wicket taker of the 2015 World Cup has spread the wings of his dominance even in the IPL. With 11 wickets in five matches, Starc has provided a new lease of life for the Royal Challengers. As of now, Starc has the best economy rate in the tournament of just 5.83. He strikes every 9.81 balls and those are the numbers of a magician for sure. In the death overs, the batsmen literally plead in front of Starc to spare them. His yorkers have ruined the stumps of several batsmen. The only reason he isn’t at the first spot is because of the number of games played. That’s the only reason which separates Starc from the desired position.
1. BHUVNESHWAR KUMAR:
The lad from Meerut has stolen the show in the death overs. Kumar has been a rampaging force in the death overs. His ability to execute the sucker ball has increased massively. Kumar earlier struggled while bowling at the death, but now, he simply relishes that prospect. The batsmen struggle big time against this humble seamer at the death. With 13 wickets in 9 games at an economy rate of 7.29, Kumar tops this list without second thoughts. 50% of the balls bowled by Kumar have been yorkers. This means three yorkers in an over. That is the mark of a genius and nothing else. Kumar has found success against every side and his outing against the Super Kings was fantastic indeed