IPL 2020 was one where Mumbai Indians showed the world that they indeed are the most dominant side in the tournament as they were crowned champions for a record fifth time. While the batsmen showed their prowess scoring runs aplenty, the MI bowlers too weren’t far behind. Despite not having the services of Lasith Malinga, the highest wicket-taker in the history of IPL, MI kept at it and with a new bowling combination, delivered the goods in the UAE.
The three-throng pace attack of Jasprit Bumrah, Trent Boult and James Pattinson were relentless throughout the season and with the likes of Rahul Chahar, Nathan Coulter-Nile and Krunal Pandya chipping in from time to time, MI hunted like a pack of dogs.
With the next edition of IPL likely to be held in India, Mumbai look like favourites to claim a hattrick of trophies. We take a look at the bowlers who made a difference in the recently-concluded IPL season and will also be forming the crux of Mumbai’s bowling attack in the upcoming edition.
Jasprit Bumrah 9.5/10:
MI and Jasprit Bumrah almost go synonymously. Since being discovered by the franchise in 2013, the paceman has risen from strength to strength. He owes his career to the franchise because of which he found a place in the Indian side in all three formats of the game and subsequently became the No.1 bowler in the world. This IPL season, Bumrah was once again the go-to man for Rohit & Co. On surfaces that have traditionally not favoured pacers, Bumrah brought batsmen to their knees time and time again hitting those hard lengths. He finished as the second-highest wicket-taker in the tournament only behind Kagiso Rabada, scalping 27 wickets in 15 innings at an average of just 15. His economy of a meagre 6.7 also stood out. Bumrah is a fantasy cricket player’s delight as you know he will give you points each time.
Trent Boult 9/10:
Sometimes it’s just the team and its atmosphere that rubs on to a player. Trent Boult looked toothless in IPL 2019 for Delhi Capitals, where he could not cause any significant damage and was let go by the franchise ahead of the 2020 season. But with Mumbai, he found a fresh lease of life around Bumrah and James Pattinson and the Boult thunderbolts were back. He got the ball to shape around and got Mumbai an early wicket or two almost every time. The bowler who had picked up just five wickets in the 2019 season ended the 2020 edition with 25 wickets in 15 matches averaging a terrific 18.3. Boult picked 16 of his 25 wickets in the Powerplay, comfortably the most for any bowler in the competition this season.
Rahul Chahar 8/10:
Rahul Chahar also has been a find for Mumbai Indians. Not many would have known of him earlier, but since being recruited in the MI setup, the leg-spinner has turned many heads. His performances in the 2019 season brought about a national call-up for Chahar and while he was not at his incisive best on the slow tracks of UAE, the leggie still picked up wickets. The one constant in almost every Mumbai fixture this season, Chahar returned 15 wickets in as many outings striking every 21.2 balls. While these aren’t figures that will blow the roof off, the fact that he often held one end up while the pacers were doing their bit was essential. With the next edition slated to be held in India, Chahar will be hoping for better returns on surfaces that are likely to aid his bowling style much more.
James Pattinson 7.5/10:
James Pattinson was one name that indeed sprung a surprise with not many people expecting the Australian pacer to go as well as he did in the recently-concluded IPL season. He did not play all of the games, but he bowled his heart out whenever he got his chance. With Boult operating at the other end, the duo made for a fine combination. One troubled the batsmen with pace, the other with swing, and there was only one beneficiary – Mumbai Indians. The most heartening thing was the amount of bounce and pace Pattinson generated from the slow UAE surfaces. In 10 innings that he played, Pattinson picked 11 wickets, striking every 9.4 deliveries. He returned a wicket in 8 of his 10 innings, which shows that he was also a pretty safe fantasy pick as well across the season.
Nathan Coulter-Nile 6.5/10
With the likes of Boult, Bumrah and Pattinson doing most of the damage up top, the need for a fifth bowler was rare and although Nathan Coulter-Nile does not have pretty numbers, he too did the job whenever he was picked. The Australian pacer mixed his deliveries well and kept the run-flow to a minimum when not picking wickets. He played only seven games with injury too taking a toll on him and returned five wickets. His economy rate of 7.9 can be termed as decent considering some of the scores that were amassed in the tournament. It is unclear whether MI will retain Coulter-Nile for the 2021 season but his recent returns in the Big bash League have been pretty good and that could tilt the scales in his favour. The surfaces in India will help Coulter-Nile’s pace variations and he could be a handful in the upcoming season.
So now you know five bowlers that make Mumbai Indians so strong. Next time you look for a cricket fantasy app, simply download the MPL app in a few steps and start playing fantasy cricket with these amazing bowlers in your team.