TimesofIndia.com here brings you a list of bowlers who have performed extremely well in the shortest format of the game in the year 2022 till date. Incidentally, the list includes four pacers and a spinner.
(All statistics in this article are up to the ongoing T20 World Cup)
Bhuvneshwar Kumar (M: 24, Inns: 23, Wkts: 32, Best: 5/4, Economy: 7.20)
A natural swing bowler, Bhuvneshwar will now have to shoulder the huge responsibility of leading the Indian bowling attack in the 2022 T20 World Cup in the absence of the injured Jasprit Bumrah.
He is India’s leading wicket-taker in this format this year. He is spot on with the new ball as he can swing the ball both ways but his death bowling which has traditionally been one of his strengths is currently a concern.
Bhuvneshwar has taken 32 wickets in the 24 matches he has played so far this year. His best is 5/4 with an economy rate of over 7. He picked up just 2 wickets after bowling 6 overs in the two warm-up matches against Western Australia XI.
His figures of 2/20 in 3 overs against Australia in a warm-up match augur well ahead of India’s mammoth opener against Pakistan on October 23.
Harris Rauf (M: 16, Inns: 16, Wkts: 23, Best: 3/28, Economy: 7.85)
Haris Rauf has undoubtedly been one of the best death bowlers in the world and will be one of Pakistan’s best men in this World Cup.
The 28-year-old, who has often bowled two overs in the showdown and two at the end, impressed one and all with his ultimate control and raw pace. Rauf has a deadly yorker in his armory apart from a powerful slower delivery.
He has picked up 26 wickets, with best figures of 3/28, in the 16 T20Is played so far in 2022 with an economy of 7.85 in the build-up to the T20 World Cup. Rauf will definitely come out against Indian batsmen in their opening clash of the T20 World Cup.
Harshal Patel (M: 21, Inns: 20, Wkts: 22, Best: 4/25, Economy: 9.39)
Harshal Patel recently returned to the Indian T20I team after recovering from a rib injury. The pacer, who has become an effective weapon in the middle as well as the death overs in the T20Is, is still a bit rusty as he went for a lot of runs against Australia in the home series.
Another worry for Harshal, who is yet to play T20I cricket in Australia, is that his slower balls may not be an effective tool to restrict batsmen on fast and bouncy Aussie pitches.
The 31-year-old, who was smashed on a flat pitch earlier this year and gave away 54 runs in Ireland, has conceded more than 9 runs per over in 2022.
He took 22 wickets with his best 4/25 this year. While there may be many ifs and buts for Harshal, the team management supports his skills and wicket-taking ability.
Josh Hazlewood (M: 13, Inns: 13, Wkts: 21, Best: 4/12, Economy: 7.29)
Veteran Australian seamer Hazlewood will be looking to dominate again in home conditions at the T20 World Cup.
All eyes will be on Hazlewood as he is not only the number one ranked T20I bowler in the world but his performances speak for him ahead of the tournament.
The defending champions struggled with the ball in the death overs during the recent series against India and Hazlewood believes the conditions in Australia could favor the hosts.
Hazlewood played 13 T20Is in 2022 and took 21 wickets at an economy of 7.29 with best figures of 4/12. With Australia losing their opening game against New Zealand and that too by a huge margin, Hazlewood will have to shoulder a lot of responsibility to try and get the hosts and defending champions’ campaign back on track.
Yuzvendra Chahal (M: 19, Inns: 18, Wkts: 21, Best: 3/20, Economy: 7.60)
After missing out on last year’s edition, leg-spinner Chahal has been included in the Indian squad for this year’s 2022 T20I World Cup. In the recently concluded series against Australia, the leggie took 2 wickets in 3 matches at an average of 38.0 and an economy of 9.12.
Chahal, who has time and again proved his worth for India in the middle overs, has already taken 21 wickets with best figures of 3/20 at an economy of 7.60 this year.
He played the first warm-up match against Western Australia XI where he took 2 wickets conceding only 15 runs at an economy of 3.8. He took 1/28 in 3 overs in the warm-up match against Australia. He could be one of the big game changers for India in the T20 World Cup this time as the Men in Blue are eyeing their first title in this tournament since the first edition in 2007.