With the Lok Sabha Elections 2014 results being announced, the IPL 7 has taken a break of a couple of days. It is an apt moment to look at the best players in the event over the past month, as we head into the business end of the tournament. Here’s a look at the top five bowlers in IPL 7 so far.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar (Sunrisers Hyderabad): The medium pacer from India is the surprising name at the top of the list. He is a decent bowler, but he has proved in this event that even pace bowlers without much speed can succeed in this format. Accuracy has been the key to Kumar’s performance. He has kept the balls in the right areas, and has forced batsmen to commit mistakes. In fact, he used the lack of pace in his bowling to his advantage, not giving the batsmen anything to play with. In 10 matches, Kumar has claimed 18 wickets at a brilliant strike rate and average of 13. Kumar has also maintained a wonderful economy rate of under six, with a best of 4/14.
Mohit Sharma (Chennai Super Kings): Another surprise name in the list. Then again, there are a lot of similarities between Sharma and Kumar. Like the latter, he too depends on variations with the ball since he doesn’t have the pace to blow over batsmen. Sharma has shown amazing consistency in most of the games he has played, and has ensured that Chennai always get the early wickets at the top. In 10 matches, he too has claimed 18 wickets at a better strike rate than that of Kumar – 11.6. He has also maintained a wonderful average of 15. If anything, his economy rate of close to 8 is on the higher side.
Lasith Malinga (Mumbai Indians): Finally, an expected name. Mumbai Indians may have been ousted of the event, but the defending champions haven’t suffered due to lack of effort from their leading bowler. In fact, Malinga has almost single-handedly carried the responsibility of the team on his shoulders. In 10 matches, Malinga has claimed 16 wickets while maintaining a strike rate of 14.6. The Sri Lankan’s average has also been very good at 16. Malinga has maintained a decent economy rate of 6.45, with a best of 4/23.
Pravin Tambe (Rajasthan Royals): The fairy-tale that began last year for the 42-year-old has carried on. The leggie bowled Rajasthan to a sensational victory against Kolkata, by picking up that unbelievable hat-trick. In 11 matches, Tambe has claimed 15 wickets at a strike rate of 17. His average in the event is just under 20 while his economy rate is decent as well at 6.8
Sunil Narine (Kolkata Knight Riders): The mystery spinner hasn’t been at his deadly best this year, but he still features among the top five bowlers, which demonstrates his quality. In 10 matches, he has picked up 14 wickets, at a strike rate of 17 and an economy rate of 6. His average is under 18. Punjab’s impressive medium pacer Sandeep Sharma has also claimed 14 wickets in 8 games at a strike rate of 13, but his economy rate is on the higher side – 8.2
--By A Cricket Analyst