The doctrine that T20 is a batsman’s game was rejected at IPL 2020 where bowlers dismantled teams with acclaimed batting superstars.
If Royal Challengers Bangalore paceman Mohammad Siraj bowled two consecuttive maiden wicket overs in one game — a feat unheard of in the shortest form of cricket — Varun Chakravarthy, an achitect turned leg-spinner, picked up five wickets, a rare achievement in T20 matches.
And then there was the Fab Four. Consistently Fast. Always Menacing.
Archer. Boult. Bumrah. Rabada.
And then there were the Sultans of Spins. Full of Guile. Wizards with their wrist.
Harish Kotian picks his top 10 bowlers in IPL 2020:
Arguably, the best bowler in IPL 2020 even though Rajasthan Royals failed to advance to the play-offs.
With not much support at the other end, Archer had to alone carry the Rajasthan bowling attack on his young shoulders and he certainly didn’t disappoint.
The England fast bowler took 20 wickets from 14 games. What stood out was his impressive economy rate of 6.55. No other Rajasthan bowler managed more than 10 wickets.
Rashid enjoyed another fruitful season for the Sunrisers Hyderabad.
The Afghan leg-spinner was not only among the wickets, but batsmen found it hard to score against him even though he bowled the difficult overs.
Rashid failed to pick a wicket in his first game in IPL 2020, but went from strength to strength after that game onwards.
Who will forget his sensational spell of 3/7 in four overs against Delhi Capitals which helped Sunrisers register a huge 88 run win to boost their chances of making it to the playoffs.
He also picked 3/14 in the other league game against Delhi and 3/12 against a strong Kings XI Punjab batting line-up.
Rashid was the most economical bowler in IPL 2020 conceding runs at a miserly rate of 5.37, along with a rich haul of 20 wickets from 16 games.
In fact, Rashid’s economy rate of 6.24 (from 62 games) is the best ever in IPL history, ahead of greats like Anil Kumble, Glenn McGrath and Muttiah Muralitharan.
Rabada was instrumental in Delhi Capitals’s best-ever finish in an IPL season.
He started off the tournament with a bang, as he bowled Delhi to victory against Kings XI Punjab in the Super Over.
The South Africa pace bowler took the wickets of K L Rahul and Nicholas Pooran off successive deliveries to bowl out KXIP for just two runs — the lowest ever score in a Super Over in the IPL.
He then took 4/25 to send Royal Challengers Bangalore crashing to defeat and then bagged 4/29 against Sunrisers Hyderabad in the second qualifier to steer Delhi to the final.
Rabada finished as the top wicket-taker in IPL 2020 with 30 wickets from 17 games at an average of 18.
Boom Boom was Mumbai Indians’s star performer with the ball as they stormed to their fifth IPL title.
Bumrah took time to get going as he went for a lot of runs in the first three games while picking up three wickets.
The turning point came in the fourth game against Kings XI Punjab when he took 2/18. From that point on, there was no stopping the Mumbai fast bowler.
Bumrah was at his lethal best when he took 4/20 against the Rajasthan Royals before he bowled a brilliant spell of 3/24 against KXIP. The game was tied and went into the Super Over, where he gave away just five runs, but it was matched by his India team-mate Mohammed Shami for Kings XI before the latter edged home in the second Super Over.
Delhi Capitals also suffered against Bumrah’s fiery pace as he destroyed their batting by taking 3/17 and 4/14 in successive games.
He finished with a rich haul of 27 wickets — the second-most in the IPL at an economy rate of 6.73.
Yuzi was a rare bright spot for the Royal Challengers Bangalore this season.
RCB made it to the playoffs for the first time in three seasons and it was all down to Chahal’s brilliance with the ball.
He started off on the right note with 3/18 in four overs and continued to pick wickets consistently throughout the tournament to emerge as the most successful spinner in the IPL.
Chahal was the fifth highest wicket-taker overall with 21 wickets in 15 games.
Boult played a starring role in Mumbai Indians’s IPL triumph.
His most crucial spell was the 3/30 in the IPL 2020 Final against the Delhi Capitals — incidentally, the same team which had made the surprising decision to trade him to Mumbai.
Left-armer Boult’s best showing of the season was the 4/18 against Chennai Super Kings to power Mumbai to a 10 wicket win.
Boult and Bumrah formed a lethal new ball attack for Mumbai as they consistently picked early wickets.
Boult was the third most successful bowler with 25 wickets from 15 games.
Natarajan was one of the finds of the IPL 2020 season.
His excellent performances with the ball for Sunrisers Hyderabad in the death overs made him a standout bowler. His ability to bowl yorkers consistently at the death saw many commentators referring to him as the yorker king.
The left-arm pacer was picked by Sunrisers in 2018, but played his first game for them only this season.
He was the best among the pacers for an injury-hit Sunrisers with 16 wickets from as many games, which also earned him the call up to the Indian T20 team for the Australia tour as the replacement for the injured Varun Chakravarthy.
Chakravarthy was the knight in shining armour with the ball for Kolkata Knight Riders.
The mystery spinner claimed the best figures in IPL 2020 when he took 5/20 against Delhi Capitals to bowl KKR to a 59 run victory.
Overall, he claimed 17 wickets in 13 games at an economy rate of 6.84 despite bowling with a shoulder injury which saw him being ruled out of the T20I series in Australia.
The Kings XI Punjab pacer began the tournament in smashing fashion as he took 3/15 in the opening game against Delhi Capitals, but his team choked at the end, to lose in the Super Over.
Even though Kings XI hit a lull in the middle with five losses in a row, Shami continued to be consistent as far as taking wickets was concerned.
One of his notable performances was his showing in the Super Over when he defended five runs against Mumbai Indians, before Kings XI triumphed in the second Super over.
Shami enjoyed his best IPL season as he finished with 20 wickets in 14 games.
Holder was key in Sunrisers Hyderabad’s late renaissance in IPL 2020.
Holder, who was an injury replacement for Mitch Marsh, made an immediate impact as he took 3/33 in his first game against the Rajasthan Royals.
Holder took; at least a wicket in all the seven games he played, with his best 3/25 coming in the crucial game against Royal Challengers Bangalore.
Overall, he finished with 14 wickets at a strike rate of 12.
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