TimesofIndia.com here brings you a list of bowlers who performed exceedingly 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 till before the ongoing T20 World Cup)
Bhuvneshwar Kumar (M: 24, Inns: 23, Wkts: 32, Best: 5/4, Econ: 7.20)
A natural swing bowler, Bhuvneshwar will now have to shoulder the big responsibility of leading the Indian bowling attack in the 2022 T20 World Cup in the absence of injured Jasprit Bumrah.
He is India’s top 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 this year so far. 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 games against Western Australia XI.
His figures of 2/20 in 3 overs against Australia in a warm-up game is a good sign ahead of India’s blockbuster opening clash against Pakistan on October 23.
Haris Rauf (M: 16, Inns: 16, Wkts: 23, Best: 3/28, Econ: 7.85)
Riding on his sheer pace Haris Rauf has undoubtedly been one of the best death bowlers in the world and will be one of Pakistan’s go-to men in this World Cup.
The 28-year-old, who has often been bowling two overs in the powerplay and two at the end, has impressed one and all with his ultimate control and raw pace. Rauf has a lethal yorker in his armoury apart from a potent slower delivery.
He has picked up 26 wickets, with the best figures of 3/28, in the 16 T20Is played so far in 2022 with an economy of 7.85 in the preparation of the T20 World Cup. Rauf will surely come out all guns blazing against Indian batters in their opening clash of the T20 World Cup.
Harshal Patel (M: 21, Inns: 20, Wkts: 22, Best: 4/25, Econ: 9.39)
Harshal Patel recently returned to the India T20I side after recovering from a rib injury. The pacer, who has mushroomed into an effective weapon in the middle as well as the death overs in T20Is, is still a little 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 might not be an effective tool to restrict batters on pacy and bouncy Aussie pitches.
The 31-year-old, who was smashed on a flat pitch and gave away 54 runs in Ireland earlier this year, has conceded runs at over 9 per over in 2022.
He has taken 22 wickets with his best being 4/25 this year. Though there may be a lot of ifs and buts for Harshal, the team management is backing his skillset and wicket-taking ability.
Josh Hazlewood (M: 13, Inns: 13, Wkts: 21, Best: 4/12, Econ: 7.29)
The veteran Australian seamer Hazlewood will once again look to dominate 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 feels conditions in Australia might favour the hosts.
Hazlewood has played 13 T20I matches in 2022 and has got 21 wickets to his name at an economy of 7.29 with best figures of 4/12. With Australia having lost their opening match vs NewZealand and that too by a heavy 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, Econ: 7.60)
After missing out on the last year’s edition, leg-spinner Chahal was included in the India squad for this year’s 2022 T20I World Cup. In the recently-concluded series against Australia, the leggie took 2 wickets in 3 games at an average of 38.0 and an economy of 9.12.
Chahal, who has time and again proved his worth for India during 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 game against Western Australia XI where he picked 2 wickets conceding only 15 runs at an economy of 3.8. He got 1/28 in 3 overs in the warm-up game against Australia. He might be one of the big game-changers for India in the T20 World Cup this time, as the Men in Blue eye their first title in this tournament since the inaugural edition in 2007.