CHENNAI: It’s rather the unremarkable bunch of KP Appanna and Parvinder Awana who have vindicated the merit of Indian bowlers than the more recognised horde of Pragyan Ojha and Umesh Yadav in this edition of the Indian Premier League. The brigade of India’s most promising young bowlers on the radar, especially the faster men are struggling to even retain their spot in their respective franchisee.
Whether it’s fatigue or the brunt of overseas losses, their effectiveness has tapered off, so much so that most franchisees are heavily relying on their overseas counterparts to furnish the job. A cursory glance at the chart-toppers would signify this worrying decline.
Only Munaf Patel, jettisoned out of the first-choice bracket, is in the top five wicket-takers’ chart. But all those have come in his first three matches, mostly due to the pressure Lasith Malinga had imposed at the other end, and ever since the Lankan’s departure he has not only been ineffective but also profligate. Piyush Chawla is ninth on the list, with nine wickets from eight matches, but hasn’t ever looked penetrative or assured. Mumbai Indians duly carted him for 27 runs to swing his match in their favour.
Unfortunately, Ashok Dinda’s seemingly promising season was put paid by an inopportune injury, like Delhi Daredevils pacer Varun Aaron. The injury would see Dinda almost out of the series and R Ashwin has been assigned a constrainer’s role which he has manfully donned.
However, fellow spinners on the national radar — Pragyan Ojha, Amit Mishra and Harbhajan Singh — have been largely inconspicuous, especially Harbhajan, who has eked out only a wicket in seven fixtures, apart from an economy rate that borders on eight an over. Mishra’s economy rate is even worse (8.28) and he is no longer an automatic choice.
So has been speedster Umesh Yadav, whose raw pace unnerved batsmen in the previous campaign. But the subsequent edition hasn’t been rewarding as he looked rusty and wayward, often culpable of bowling either too short or too full.
Even worse was Vinay Kumar, who doesn’t seem to have the ammunition to thrive in the format. Neither pacy nor armed with enough variations, he has become far too predictable that batsmen just pick his length and hit him through. He though is better off than Praveen Kumar, wicketless in first seven matches and two wickets coming in the eighth. With the T20 World Cup trailing the IPL, there is too much to ponder over for the selectors on the bowling front.