IPL 2020: Strong contenders to win the Purple Cap

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New Delhi: The 13th season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) is knocking at the door with the opener next week on September 19 with prediction, analysis and teams coming into discussion. With big hits and tipsy innings it is as much a bowlers’ game as it is for batsmen. As pacers and the spinners have become the center of all attention for the fans and franchises, let’s have a look at five contenders for the Purple Cap this season.

Jasprit Bumrah (Mumbai Indians)

The man needs no introduction. Bumrah has been with the Mumbai Indians since 2013. He finished the 2018 season as the third-highest wicket-taker with 20 scalps, bowled the second-most number dot balls (122) leading to Blues third title. Breaking all myths and stereotypes, Bumrah has emerged as India’s No. 1 bowler across all formats and finished with 19 wickets in 16 matches last season. 

The right-hander pacer gives all the credits to Sri Lankan legendary pacer Lasith Malinga for mastering the ability to bowl yorkers in pressure circumstances. He is obviously one of the finds of the IPL. Though he has never won the Purple Cup he is always among the wickets and has the potential to deliver at any situation.

However, with almost a year out of action — firstly, because of a stress fracture in his back and the subsequent COVID-19 break — it remains to be seen if he can bring his mojo back as soon as he returns to the field on the opening day.      

Rashid Khan (Sunrisers Hyderabad)

The ‘Afghan sensation’ Rashid Khan is a nightmare to the opposition. He started his IPL career in 2017 and took the tournament by storm (17 wickets) capping his best performance in the following year when he became the second-highest wicket-taker with 21 wickets. Last year also he was among wickets taking 17 wickets in 14 matches.

Rashid belongs to a country that wasn’t even a Test-playing nation before 2017 but he established himself as one of the best T20 bowlers in the world. With an ability to deliver at any situation, anywhere in the world, he is a sort of a bowler whom a captain consistently tends to turn to when wickets are needed and he never fails to fulfill those expectations.

Imran Tahir (Chennai Super Kings)

The South-African wrist-spinner is one of the deadliest bowlers in the world. Although he retired from international cricket last year after the World Cup in England, the 41-year-old is still as effective as he was in his younger days. Tahir, who has been playing in the IPL since 2014, had his best year in 2019 when he bagged 26 wickets from 17 encounters. 

His positivity and never-say-die attitude have been his success mantra all through these years, which is on display, every time he takes to the field. From his customary sprint, after he picks up a wicket to the roars, Tahir’s enthusiasm has kept him going.

After representing Delhi Daredevils (now Delhi Capitals) for two seasons, Tahir was included in the Rising Pune Supergiants squad for two seasons. The tenth edition of the league saw some match-winning performances by Tahir as he ended up picking 18 wickets in that season. 

Bhuvneshwar Kumar (Sunrisers Hyderabad)

Bhuvaneshwar is the only one bowler in the IPL who has won two Purple Caps and the only one to achieve the feat on consecutive seasons — 2016 and 2017. While he bagged 23 wickets from 17 matches in 2016, the next year he took 26 wickets from 14 games. Bhuvi is a player who makes sure that he doesn’t give away many runs when he is not picking wickets.

He can accurately hit the right spot in any given circumstances on any given day. With an exceptional control on line and length and swing bowling, Bhuvneshwar is one of the top threats for opening batsmen across the circuit. Along with Rashid Khan, he is sure to provide many headaches for opposition think tanks like every year.

 

Umesh Yadav (Royal Challengers Bangalore)

The right-arm medium-fast bowler is an asset to the team. Although he didn’t perform well in the last season, his stats in the other editions prior to 2019 speaks for himself. The 2018 edition was the best for Umesh as he picked up 20 wickets from 14 games. He has also played for Delhi Daredevils and Kolkata Knight Riders in this lucrative tournament.

Popularly known as ‘Strong man’, Umesh Yadav is an extremely tough built guy with major fitness and excellent skills. Son of a coal miner, Umesh actively pursued joining the police forces before turning to cricket in an attempt to make ends meet and can clock speeds in the high 140s and swing it at the same time. 

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