Mumbai Indians’ pacer Trent Boult attends a practice session in Dubai on Wednesday. Courtesy: Twitter
Mohammad Abdullah, Staff Reporter
Nothing can be more tormenting for a batsman than facing a ferocious pacer, dishing out the bouncers regularly at him with a fierce pace that zooms past his ears.
The raw pace itself can be the most intimidating factor for any batsman, who is still trying to find his feet at the crease.
Serious injuries like broken noses, bruised heads, swollen eyes, sometimes concussions and even deaths have been caused by these hostile fast bowlers around the world. With cricket’s biggest extravaganza just around the corner, these rowdy pacers are also busy sharpening their skills to leave an indelible mark on the tournament with a barrage of bouncers and toe-breaking yorkers.
Gulf Today picks seven pacers, who will most likely wreak havoc on the batsmen at the upcoming IPL in the UAE.
Dale Steyn: Popularly known as the ‘Steyn Gun,’ the South African pacer returned to the Royal Challengers Bangalore after a three-year hiatus in the IPL, replacing injured Nathan Coulter Nile in the squad. With a classic front-on action, furious pace to match it, and a clever mind to complement the robustness, he is considered as one of the most complete fast bowlers of his generation.
Steyn, who hits the deck at 140km/hr regularly, has been a key bowler for his all his franchises, churning out wonderful bowling spells, first with Bangalore and later for the Hyderabad franchise.
With a total of 92 wickets in the IPL, Steyn Gun is all geared up to add more wickets to his tally.
Trent Boult: Ahead of the 2020 IPL auction, Trent Boult was traded to Mumbai Indians (MI) from Delhi Capitals. His is an exciting addition to the squad as being a senior international cricketer, he brings a wealth of experience. When he teams up with Jasprit Bumrah, MI will have two truly world-class fast bowlers sharing eight overs between them and negotiating their spell will not at all be easy.
Dwayne Bravo: He is one of the most entertaining players in the world. He brings in Caribbean swagger to the IPL. Bravo recently became the first bowler to take 500 wickets in the T20s across all competitions.
Bravo is a not a spearhead like Lasith Malinga, Jaspreet Bumrah, or Mitchell Starc but can produce a phenomenal effect with his slower ones to dodge the batsmen in the shortest format of the game. He can play a vital role in CSK’s title push.
Jasprit Bumrah: No other cricketer has made as much progress as him with an unorthodox action. Breaking all myths and stereotypes, Bumrah has emerged as India’s No. 1 bowler across all formats. His transition from white-ball cricket to red ball has been seamless and he now has five-wicket hauls in almost all parts of the world.
Bumrah’s stature has grown rapidly and he is a vital cog in MI’s wheel. Bowling alongside Sri Lanka great Lasith Malinga has helped Bumrah tremendously.
Mohammed Shami: The Indian pacer has revived his limited-overs career with some stellar performances in India colours in recent months and was picked by Kings XI Punjab for a hefty price tag. Shami will spearhead the KXIP pace attack and his experience will be vital. He has the skills to be effective both at the start of the innings and also in the death overs.
His progress has been terrific and he is now a complete bowler. He finished the 2019 season as KXIP’s highest wicket-taker with 19 wickets from 14 games.
Kagiso Rabada: The lanky South African pace sensation is set to make a lethal combo with fellow countryman Anrich Nortje, who was called up as a last-minute replacement for Chris Woakes.
After making a mark in the Under-19 World Cup a few years ago, Rabada’s stock in international cricket has risen sharply, so much so that he is now the spearhead of his national team’s bowling attack. The speedster was retained by Delhi Capitals for 2019, the move paid dividends as he picked up 25 wickets during their run to the semi-finals. He will once again be the key for the Delhi side in the IPL 2020 as they bid for their maiden title.
Jofra Archer: The English pacer would have missed the IPL due to a niggling injury, had it not been postponed due to pandemic.
Archer was bagged by Royals for a whopping one million dollars. He can whack the ball clean and hard, and when he puts on the bowling shoes, he can clock speeds in excess of 150 kph. He brings in the Caribbean flavour, which reminds one of the great West Indian quartet of Andy Roberts, Joel Garner, Michael Holding and Colin Croft.
Kings XI Punjab captain KL Rahul expressed his delight on hitting the turf after a period of almost five months.
In a major blow to Chennai Super Kings, veteran batsman Suresh Raina will not be available for the upcoming edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) slated to be played in the UAE from Sept.19.
Royal Challengers Bangalore’s (RCB) coach Simon Katich is amazed to see how soon batsmen have got back to the groove after long lay-off. The RCB batsmen seemed to have found their rhythm
Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) and Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) will look to take early advantage with a win in their first match of the Indian Premier League (IPL) at the Dubai International
Tadej Pogacar became the first Slovenian to win the Tour de France after he retained the yellow jersey in the 21st stage on Sunday, a day after he pulled off a major coup to take the overall lead.
A rampant Delhi Capitals defeated Kings XI Punjab in the Super Over to register their first win of the season at the Indian Premier League (IPL) in Dubai on Sunday.