Dec 29, 2016
By MI Media
We have all heard the saying that bowlers win matches and there is no truer saying in cricket. No matter how many runs the batsmen put on the board, unless you have incisive bowling which can take 20 wickets in Tests, or which can take wickets at crucial times in the limited over formats, you will come a cropper more often than not.
At MI, we are lucky to have some great Indian and international stars who have done well for their team with the ball in international cricket in 2016. Here we take a look at 5 of the best instances.
Hardik Pandya- IND vs PAK, T20I, Asia Cup, Shere Bangla National Stadium, Mirpur, 27th February 2016.
Any match between the 2 arch rivals is a pressure cooker and a good performance in these contests cements the player’s reputation as one who can absorb the pressure and perform in crucial situations. Prior to this match, Pandya had bowled for India and was quite expensive on some occasions but on this day he picked up 3 crucial wickets as well as stifling the run flow. Dhoni brought him on after the field restrictions were removed and he struck in his very first over when Shoaib Malik edged a delivery to Dhoni. In the next 2 overs he bowled very economically conceding just 1 run. In his last over he took the wickets of Mohammad Sami and Mohammad Amir to help India skittle Pakistan for 83. He has the ability to swing the ball and bowls at deceptive pace and he will be an asset for India with the ball for many years to come.
Jasprit Bumrah- IND vs AUS, 1st T20I, Adelaide Oval, Adelaide, 26th January 2016.
Bumrah was making his T20I debut in this match and the pitch was flat and was not offering any assistance to the bowlers. Bumrah has a different action which is difficult to pick and also has the ability to bowl yorkers almost at will. He claimed a wicket off the first ball of his 2nd over with a quick bouncer to David Warner who could only find Virat Kohli at mid-on. Bumrah’s ability to beat the batsman for pace is one of his biggest assets. In the 18th over he dismissed the dangerous James Faulkner with a trademark yorker. In the last over of the innings he deceived Boyce with a slower one and Hardik Pandya completed the catch. India won by 37 runs. Bumrah deceives batsman with pace and if he maintains his ability to bowl accurate yorkers and slower balls he will have a long and prolific career ahead of him.
Bowling stats: Overs: 3.3 Maidens: 0 Runs: 23 Wickets: 3
Lasith Malinga- T20I, SL vs UAE, Asia Cup, Shere Bangla National Stadium, Mirpur, 25th February 2016.
Malinga has played just 1 match for Sri Lanka in 2016 as he has been side lined due to injury but he showed just what he is capable of by winning the Man of the Match award. Some cynics might point out that it was against UAE but Sri Lanka had posted just 129 batting first and UAE were in with a chance. Even when on song it is not often that a bowler takes 4 wickets in a T20I. Malinga struck with the very first delivery of the innings with a fast, inswinger to get Rohan Mustafa out LBW. He bowled Mohammad Shahzad off the last delivery of the 1st over and UAE were straight away on the back foot. He took 2 more wickets as Sri Lanka emerged victorious by 14 runs. Malinga’s ability to bowl yorkers, slower ones and the occasional short ball is what makes him difficult to pick. He is considered the greatest Twenty20 bowler of all-time due to his consistency.
Bowling stats: Overs: 4 Maidens: 0 Runs: 26 Wickets: 4
Mitchell McClenaghan- WT20, New Zealand vs Australia, Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium, Dharamsala, 18th March 2016.
New Zealand were defending a total of just 142 and Australia had got off to a quick start scoring 42 for no loss off 5 overs. In his 2nd over McClenaghan struck by getting Shane Watson caught off a slower delivery by Kane Williamson at mid-off. Australia needed 22 runs off 2 overs with 5 wickets in hand when McClenaghan was given the ball once again. He had Mitchell Marsh caught by Adam Milne off a slower delivery at long on and put the match beyond the reach of Australia when he dismissed Ashton Agar off the penultimate ball. The bowling figures may not seem much to look at but were invaluable in the context of the match as New Zealand triumphed by just 8 runs.
Bowling stats: Overs: 3 Maidens: 0 Runs: 26 Wickets: 4
Tim Southee- 2nd Test, NZ vs PAK, Seddon Park, Hamilton, 25th-29th November 2016.
Tim Southee has always been a bowler who swings the ball at good pace and is quite a handful in conditions where there is some assistance for bowlers. New Zealand batted first and scored just 271. However, Southee broke the backbone of the Pakistan innings with the new ball with some accurate swing bowling at decent pace. Pakistan were reeling at 17/3 due to his hostile bowling. Just when it looked like they were staging a recovery, Southee returned to clean up the tail and give the Kiwis a valuable 55 run first innings lead. His ability to move the ball both ways at pace is what sets Southee apart from other bowlers. Due to Southee’s efforts New Zealand won the match by 138 runs.
1st Innings- Overs: 21 Maidens: 4 Runs: 80 Wickets: 6
2nd Innings- Overs: 24 Maidens: 6 Runs: 60 Wickets: 2
All our fans will hope that our bowlers replicate their efforts in the international arena in 2016, in the IPL in 2017.