With the IPL just around the verge, there will be plenty of exciting and action-packed days ahead. On March 26, Chennai Super Kings (CSK) will face Kolkata Knight Riders in the first match of the tournament (KKR). It will be even greater this season, with the addition of two new clubs, the Gujarat Titans and the Lucknow Super Giants.
A total of 74 matches will be contested over the course of two months, utilizing a ‘Group format’ similar to that used in the 2011 event.
T20 cricket is mostly a batter’s game, although the bowlers have had their say over the years. They have vastly improved and have responded to the adjustments admirably.
Harshal Patel earned the Purple Cap last year after matching Dwayne Bravo’s 32 wickets in a single season. With two additional teams entering the tournament, the race for the Purple Cap will be even more fierce, and it won’t just be about winning the award; it’ll also be about striking at the right time when it matters most.
Here are five bowlers to keep an eye on ahead of the tournament:
Patel, Harshal (RCB)
Harshal Patel of Royal Challengers Bangalore had a breakthrough season in 2021. He was moved from the Delhi Capitals to the Royal Challengers Bangalore and amazed everyone with his yorkers and variations. He made his IPL debut with RCB in 2012, but it wasn’t until last year that he made a significant impression with the bat.
Last season, Patel earned the Purple Cap after taking a record-equaling 32 wickets. Only CSK’s Dwayne Bravo, who won the Purple Cap in 2013, recorded a higher number of wickets in an IPL season.
Harshal will try to maintain the momentum and solidify his credentials for the national team in the face of stiff opposition. This season, he’ll undoubtedly be a player to keep an eye on.
Kagiso Rabada is a South African cricketer who is currently playing for South Africa (PBKS)
Kagiso Rabada of South Africa has established himself as a formidable danger on paper and on the field throughout the years. Rabada won the Purple Cap with the Delhi Capitals in 2020, when he took 30 wickets in the IPL for the first time.
Rabada has 76 wickets from 50 IPL games, with the best statistics of 4/21.
Rabada’s presence, though, is critical not just in terms of on-field performance, but also in terms of providing an opportunity for the Indian youngsters in the squad to learn from the seasoned pacer.
Bishnoi, Ravi (LSG)
Ravi Bishnoi, a leg-break googly bowler, had a fantastic season with the Punjab Kings in IPL 2021, taking 12 wickets from nine matches at an economy rate of 6.34.
Bishnoi was released by the franchise, but he found a new home with the Lucknow Super Giants (LSG), who bought him for Rs 4 crore in the draught ahead of the IPL 2022 mega auction.
Bishnoi will try to use the IPL as an opportunity to impress and further establish his claim for the multi-national event in 2022, which is another T20 World Cup year. Keep an eye out for those perplexing googlies.
Rashid Khan (GT)
Rashid Khan, an Afghanistan mystery spinner, has wowed audiences wherever he has appeared, be it in the Indian Premier League (IPL), Australia’s Big Bash League (BBL), or even for his country.
Gujarat Titans acquired Rashid Khan as a draught pick for a whopping Rs 15 crore as part of their core, and the star spinner will have a lot of pressure on his shoulders.
When the tournament advances and the tracks slow down, spinners will be anticipated to play a key role, and Rashid Khan might be at his dangerous best.
Rashid Khan’s arsenal is diverse, and when combined with his quickness, he creates a lethal combination. He’ll undoubtedly be a key player to keep an eye on.
Avesh Khan (LSG)
Avesh Khan was purchased by Lucknow Super Giants for a whopping Rs 10 crores at the IPL 2022 auction in February. Going into the 2018 IPL season, a lot will be expected of him.
Avesh Khan has been playing in the IPL since 2017, but his opportunities were restricted in the early seasons. Only in 2021 did he have a breakthrough season with the Delhi Capitals, where he took 24 wickets in 16 games.
Avesh is a good bowling option for LSG at both the start and finish of an innings, and his ability to bowl yorkers in the death overs makes him even more dangerous.