The T20 World Cup 2021 is finally on its way after a hiatus last year due to covid and this time, it’s going to be happening forthwith the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021. When the Indian team announced their squad, it received some overwhelmingly positive response from the fans particularly on the return of Ravichandran Ashwin and MS Dhoni as the team’s mentor.
Concurrently, the news was also received with negative responses on the exclusion of some quality players like Yuzvendra Chahal and Shikhar Dhawan and choosing youngsters like Rahul Chahar and Varun Chakravarthy, who have minimal international exposure.
With all that being said, let us try and analyze our bowling department for the upcoming World Vup. This time, India is going with a 9 men bowling attack with 4 pacers and 5 spinners, 3 of whom are finger spinners. They have also taken in Shardul Thakur and Deepak Chahar as reserves. Let us breakdown each bowler’s record by using some KPIs (Key Performance Indicator).
- Economy Rate – It is number of runs conceded to the total numbers of overs bowled
- Bowling Average – It is the average number of runs conceded per wicket taken
- Balls Per Boundary (BPB) – It is the average number of balls bowled per boundary conceded
- Dot percentage – It is the percentage value of the number of dot balls bowled to the total number of bowls delivered
Here I have considered the IPL data of 2020 and 2014 season, which were played in UAE (over 80 matches).
We will also be focusing on Dubai and Abu Dhabi since India are playing all their World Cup matches in these two venues.
There were a lot of eyebrows raised when Axar Patel got selected for the World Cup albeit his minimal T20I experience. But looking at his numbers in UAE, we can see that he has some impressive stats in the middle overs and powerplay. He has taken 4 wickets in 78 balls in the powerplay overall (in UAE) but what stands out is his inexpensive economy of just 5.98 in the powerplay
He has also been a very effective bowler In the middle overs by taking 11 wickets overall (in UAE) at an economy of 6.12. More than his wicket taking ability, his potential to bowl consistently on the tight line and lengths is an added advantage to his skill set.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar has been the backbone of the pace bowling attack for Indian in the last 7 years. Here we can see that he is a stupendous bowler in the powerplay especially in Dubai where he has conceded only 28 runs in the 52 deliveries he has bowled and taken 2 wickets. His death bowling ability is also no less as we can see in Sharjah that he has an economy of 6 and a high BPB of 14. His high dot percentages also suggests that he can set-up the batsman with variations and bowl tight lengths.
Varun Chakravarthy is known to be one of your infrequent “mystery” spinners who has the capability to trouble the batsman with his pace and variations. He had a sensational season in 2020 and was the standout bowler for KKR. The above chart shows us that he is generally an impressive powerplay and middle overs bowler. He has taken 14 wickets in the middle overs in Dubai and Abu Dhabi at an economy of 5.58.
These facts are also backed by his very high balls per boundary, high dot percentage and also a low bowling average in both the venues
Jasprit Bumrah has been the best bowler for India in the last few years. His ability to bowl well in almost all phases of the innings is a huge boon for the team. In the above chart, we can see that his stats in almost all the phases are phenomenal in today’s T20 form of play. He has 14 wickets in the middle overs in both Dubai and Abu Dhabi at an astounding economy of 5.41. He also has 7 wickets in the powerplay at an economy of 4.32 in both the venues and the stats are further backed by his high dot percentages and BPB value. He is also extremely impressive in the death picking 8 wickets at an economy of 8.3 owing to his deceptive variations and bowling predominantly in the blockhole.
Mohammed Shami is considered to be one of if not the most improved bowler in the current Indian team. As shown in the above stats, he has a good economy in the powerplay and middle overs but an interesting fact to note here is that almost 50 percent of his wickets have come in the death overs albeit at a very high economy rate. He has an overall of 9 wickets in the powerplay at an economy of 7.02. Though he has a high economy rate in the death overs, he is still a very effective bowler with his expertise to execute pinpoint yorkers to perfection.
Ravichandran Ashwin has to be one of the smartest bowlers in the world and this mainly owes to the fact that he can deceive any batsman under any condition. He is back with a bang to the Indian T20 squad and let us analyze a few points. One of the main reasons for him being picked is his ability to bowl solidly in the powerplay. He has 9 wickets in this phase in Dubai and Abu Dhabi at an economy of 7.26 and this stat especially stands out in Dubai where he has taken 7 out of those 9 wickets at an economy of 5.54, thus slotting in as a like to like replacement for Washington Sundar.
Though Jadeja’s inclusion is mostly because of his batting traits, it doesn’t change the fact that he is still a very useful bowler in the middle overs. He had taken 11 wickets in the middle overs at an economy of 7.37. He also has a decent value of BPB and a decent bowling average in the middle overs. He is one of those bowlers who may get belted away at times but will also provide extremely crucial breakthroughs.
Rahul Chahar has been one of the most impressive leg spinners in the last few seasons of the IPL and he has got the nod ahead of the experienced Yuzvendra Chahal. Rahul has been predominantly used in the middle overs in UAE since he has bowled 88.9 percent of his deliveries in this phase.
He has taken 13 of his 15 wickets in the middle overs at an economy of 8.17 but what makes him impressive is his ability to turn the ball and bowl quicker at the same time to the batsman which is probably why he got the nod.
Shardul Thakur isn’t a part of the 15 men squad but he is a part of the reserves. Another one of those bowlers who has improved significantly in the IPL and started showing promise in the international sector as well. In UAE, he was generally used more in the middle overs and death overs but at times, he is generally given an over in the powerplay and then onto middle and death. Here, 6 out of his 11 wickets have come in the middle overs at an economy of 7.94 and the remaining in the death overs at an economy of 9.18 which is impressive for a pacer.
Deepak Chahar has so far had a very impressive T20I career and an IPL career but this time, he is a part of the reserves. So far, he is known to be a phenomenal powerplay bowler but off late, he has been transitioning into a death bowler as well. In UAE, 7 out of his 12 wickets have come in the powerplay at an economy of 7.5 while 4 out of his 12 wickets have come in the death overs. He has an average IPL in 2020 but made a strong statement in the 2021 IPL which led to his selection.
There is some buzz going around in the news of Yuzvendra Chahal being dropped and Rahul Chahar being preferred over him. Let’s also do some analysis on Chahal in UAE.
Chahal, similar to Rahul Chahar, has predominantly bowled in the middle overs with 85 percent of his deliveries in this phase. Here, 25 out of his 28 wickets have come in the middle overs at an economy of 5.78 and his phenomenal bowling average and high BPB value also speaks a lot about his contribution in this phase.
But ever since the 2020 IPL, he underwent a sluggish form from being belted away by batsman in Australia to a mediocre 1st leg of the 2021 IPL. He took 6 wickets In 10 matches in the T20s at an economy of 7.9 and 8 wickets in 7 matches in T20 Internationals at an economy of 9.11.
But has India missed a trick by not picking Chahal in the upcoming World Cup? Only time will tell.