The Indian Premier League (IPL) 2018 has reached its midway amidst plenty of excitement and action with several players staking their claim to be amongst the top. Some fresh faces have come up, besides several regulars upping the ante in getting wickets freely. Half way through, who are the most influential bowlers in IPL 2018?
The IPL, over the years, has maintained its strength with several new spinners coming into the fore besides pacers ruling the roost. If one looks at the Purple Cap winners, it is the pacers that have dominated the show. But that does not take anything away from the spinners, who play an equally vital role.
To have said the same, it has been a mix of experience and freshness that has bode the results till now.
IPL is known for bringing players to the fore and let’s see which bowlers have impressed the most.
IPL 2018: Most Influential Bowlers
Siddarth Kaul (Sunrisers Hyderabad)
With Bhuvneshwar Kumar recovering from injury, Siddarth Kaul has taken over the role of the premier pace bowler for Sunrisers Hyderabad. With 11 wickets to his name, Siddharth Kaul has been on top in almost every game. A bowler that has been knocking on the selectors’ door off late, Kaul will push for a place in the Indian team soon.
Direct, accurate and abundance of variety, the right-arm pacer has given Kane Williamson plenty of joy. The striking factor was against Mumbai Indians when SRH were defending 118 runs. Kaul came in and picked three wickets besides getting Hardik Pandya stuck at the crease where the latter scored three of 19 deliveries.
In the next game against KXIP, he tied the batsmen down with crucial dot balls and that helped Rashid Khan and Co. to build on from the pressure. Against RR too, his 2/23 in a low score helped SRH clinch the match.
Trent Boult (Delhi Daredevils)
The Kiwi international was rock solid in the home Test series against England, ripping apart every batsman with an abundance of swing. Come the IPL, and his confidence has taken a boost. Considered as one of the best left-arm bowlers in the world the DD ace is proving to be a consistent performer.
Boult has been Delhi’s mainstay with 13 wickets and is the Purple Cap holder. He was eccentric against the Rajasthan Royals after bowling a stellar three-over spell that included an intelligent final over to get his side past the line at the Kotla. He has been excellent atop and it was seen against KKR at home when he removed the top-order that included Sunil Narine and Robin Uthappa.
Mayank Markande (Mumbai Indians)
The leg-spinner started with a bang against Chennai in the Opener. The prized wicket of MS Dhoni was the highlight of his IPL debut. His variations have been the key in the middle-overs for MI. In the two games that MI have won so far, Markande has played a huge role.
Against RCB earlier at home, he never allowed Virat Kohli’s side to breathe easy despite when the skipper scored an unbeaten 92. Against CSK in Pune, he did not get a wicket, but the three-over spell in super batting conditions did not allow MSD’s unit to race off.
He has 11 wickets in eight matches with an economy rate of 7.73. Markande has been the leading spinner for MI after they did not go for big names in the auction. MI’s campaign hasn’t been going good, but the spinner’s performances have given them something to cheer upon.
Rashid Khan (Sunrisers Hyderabad)
What makes him stand out is the economy rate in the eight matches he has played. Rashid has an economy rate of 7.25 after eight games. Interestingly, he has 76 dot balls to his name. SRH are second in the table and the leg-spinner has been the bowler, a captain could trust besides the 10 wickets he has collected so far.
Rashid bowled really well to put brakes on the Mumbai Indians twice earlier. Figures of 1/13 followed by 2/11 were two standout performances. Against MI he bowled 32 dot balls in eight overs. His 3/19 against KXIP was stupendous as he eked out a match-winning show yet again.
When RR was chasing against SRH, his wicket of Jos Buttler put brakes on them. These crucial moments have served the Orange Army.
Mujeeb Ur Rahman (Kings XI Punjab)
The 17-year-old is following the footsteps of his country-man Rashid and is a special name to have come out off the blocks. Neat and tidy, Mujeeb is handy in the middle-overs and is loved by one and all in the KXIP set-up.
His best match-defining game was against DD at Mohali. Mujeeb got both in-form Shreyas Iyer and Rishabh Pant out in a spell that read 4-0-25-2. Defending 144, KXIP won the tie.
Skipper R Ashwin’s go to man, the teenager who was bought at the auction for a whopping Rs 4 crore, is making the right noises. He has seven wickets in seven matches at an economy rate of 6.51.
Umesh Yadav (Royal Challengers Bangalore)
Playing for a new franchise, Umesh has come out like a man on a mission. He has looked purposeful and has banged in with pace in IPL 2018. 11 wickets and 78 dot balls, the right-arm pacer has been the rock for Virat Kohli’s side. If RCB is to have a sniff at the top four, Umesh is their hope when wickets are at concern.
One should not forget the impact he created against MI at the Wankhede. RCB lost the game, but Umesh’s two wickets in first two deliveries were just superb. Against the same opponents at home, Umesh once again removed Suryakumar Yadav atop, before dismissing Rohit Sharma. RCB won the tie this time with two MI stars failing.
In the win against DD too, he had Gautam Gambhir on the mat and got his prized wicket with the southpaw trying something flashy.
These are the instances that make these bowlers stand out.