T20 World Cup 2021: Rating the bowling performances of the Super 12 teams
While some bowlers exceeded expectations, a few of them strained to find any kind of rhythm.
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The 7th edition of the T20 World Cup officially ended after Australia were crowned as the champions. The World Cup witnessed some extravagant matches and special innings from some players. Bowlers are the pillars of any team and there have been many bowlers who have emerged as the match winners for their sides.
In a challenging tournament like this and with the increasing equipment for the development of batters, the bowlers, just with the same ball and with their inherent techniques, have excelled well.
The number of variations possessed by the bowlers are a long-time learned process but if they fail to execute properly in a match, they are hit out of the parks at ease.
In the shortest format of the game, it has been a harsh reality for most of the bowlers. Here we will concentrate on all performances of all the bowlers, who have excelled, and also the ones, who were not efficient for their team.
In the article, let’s rate the bowling performances of the Super 12 teams in the T20 World Cup:
Scotland is a team, which has better reliable bowlers when compared to the batters. When they played in the qualifying stage, the team successfully restricted the superior Bangladesh team for a score of 140. The Scottish bowlers played a crucial role in the triumph of the team in the three matches by making the opposition all out on two of the occasions.
Josh Davey, the right-arm-fast-medium bowler, was their star performer in the qualifying stage. He picked 8 wickets in three qualifying matches and missed some matches due to a niggle in his first Super 12 match. He was their highest wicket-taker in the tournament with a total of 9 scalps.
The bowlers found it difficult to bowl in the super 12 stage. Their remaining bowlers Alasdair Evans, Brad Wheal, and Chris Greaves were expensive. The left-arm-orthodox bowler Mark Watt was economical and he grabbed 7 wickets in 8 matches.
Namibia, the newbies of the tournament, performed to their fullest in their maiden appearance in the T20 World Cup. It was evident from the batting and bowling average stats that the bowlers performed well a bit more than their batters.
Jan Frylinck, their left-arm-fast-medium bowler, was their highest wicket-taker by taking 9 wickets in 8 matches. When we analyse the bowling performance of the team overall, they all managed quite well and all the regular bowlers like David Wiese, Trumplemann, Frylinck, and Scholtz were economical.
The team managed to win just one match in the Super 12 match but the bowling performance throughout the tournament was decent. The line and length bowled were up to the mark and this exposure would make their cricket better in the future.
3. West Indies-5/10
The tournament, on the whole, was a failure for the two-time trophy holders West Indies. The team tried various combinations to find a winning way but they couldn’t achieve more than a single victory. The campaign started off with bad news of injury of their young pacer Obed McCoy.
The bowling was led by the highest T20 wicket-taker Dwayne Bravo, but he himself failed to pick wickets and contain the batters. The experience of Ravi Rampaul also went in vain. The team in whole just managed to take 14 wickets in the full tournament. Their spinner Akeal Hosein took 5 wickets and he was their highest wicket-taker.
The team looked incomplete without a properly designated bowler. The exclusion of Sunil Narine proved to be costly. All the others bowlers including Russell, Holder, Walsh were extremely expensive and their performance was definitely sloppy.
The Bangladesh team is a side with a mixture of experienced and young players. The bowling attack was led by the experienced all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan and the left-arm-fast-medium bowler Mustafizur Rahman.
Shakib displayed splendid bowling performance from the qualifying stage and he is the highest wicket-taker for their side. Just after playing 6 matches combined in both stages, he grabbed 11 wickets with an average economy of 5.59. Thereafter, he couldn’t render his services to the team due to his injury and was ruled out.
Their prime bowler “The fizz – Mustafizur” managed to take just 2 wickets in the super 12 stage after taking 6 wickets in the qualifiers. He was expensive and much was expected from him but his failure to take early wickets and to bowl well in the death overs hit their team very hard. The team failed to register a win in the Super 12 match as the bowlers and batters couldn’t contribute much.
5. Sri Lanka-6.5
The Sri Lankan team had to play the qualifying group stage prior to entering the Super 12. The team’s bowling performance has been decent in both stages. Particularly in the qualifiers, Sri Lanka was the only side to defeat the teams in all three matches by making the opposition all-out.
The Lankans had the service of their young mystery spinner Mahesh Theekshana in the qualifying stage where he picked 8 wickets just in 9 overs. Thereafter, he was injured and he came back in the super 12 match against Australia. But he was not in his prime after his injury. Another star bowler of the team was Hasaranga who became the highest wicket-taker in the tournament by taking 16 wickets in 8 matches along with his hat trick.
The Sri Lankan bowlers successfully defended the score against the star-studded West Indies line-up. They won 2 matches in the super 12 stage and the performance of the bowlers were to be praised. However, apart from Hasaranga and Theekshana, the performance of pace bowlers like Lahiru Kumara, Karunaratne, and Chameera was not up to the mark.
Afghanistan has evolved as a country that produces efficient young spinners such as Rashid Khan and Mujeeb Ur Rahman. They have been best in the spin department but the pace bowlers have always undersupplied.
The spin duo Rashid Khan and Mujeeb Ur Rahman troubled the batters initially in a spiffing way. Mujeeb grabbed 7 wickets in 3 matches including a fifer but was suffering from an injury, and hence he couldn’t play all the games. Rashid Khan didn’t perform to his best and he took 8 wickets in 5 matches with his best spell of 4 for 9.
The pace bowlers were not as efficient as their spin bowlers. The other bowlers Naveen-ul-Haq, Karim Janat, and Mohammad Nabi were expensive. Hamid Hassan and Gulbadin Naib were economical but failed to take more wickets.
Coming into the tournament with the favourites tag, the bowling attack of the Indian team wasn’t up to the mark. Having played a lot of matches in the IPL before the world cup, they looked too tired and couldn’t put their best effort in this tournament but, the batters are to be blamed equally for not putting up a competitive total for the bowlers to defend.
The new ball was shared between Bhuvneshwar and Shami against Pakistan but they were not in their groove with a lot of freebies in the powerplay. Bumrah was the only bowler who was doing his bit but had no support from the other bowlers. With two consecutive losses, India was almost out of the tournament with 3 games to go. The bowling performances of much expected Varun Chakravarty and Shardul Thakur were poor.
There is nothing to point out about death bowling as there was no opportunity to exhibit the variety. Experienced Ashwin did his best in the last 3 games chipping in with 2-3 wickets and being economical. Jadeja returned back to his best in the last 2 games against Scotland and Namibia with 3/15 and 3/16 which won him the Man of the Match awards. But it was too late when the bowlers found their rhythm.
8. South Africa-8/10
South Africa was one of the teams which had the best bowling line-ups on paper with the pace bowling options of Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje and they had the number 2 ICC ranked T20 bowler Tabraiz Shamsi in their squad.
The team after putting up a low total in their first match against Australia almost defended it but the result didn’t go in their favour. Their bowling performance was good right from the start. They trusted and backed the same bowling combination for all the matches.
Nortje and Pretorius shared 9 wickets each and they were the highest wicket-takers for their team. As the expectations from bowlers like Rabada and Shamsi were massive, they failed to perform up to the standards but they took 8 wickets each in which Rabada claimed a hat trick against England. Keshav Maharaj took just 3 wickets in 5 matches.
England had a good bowling line-up but it was not as great as their batting lineup. The team lost the services of their star players Jofra Archer, Sam Curran, and Ben Stokes in this tournament, But the replacement of Tymal Mills was effective in a few matches.
In the absence of their premium bowlers, the pace bowling was led by Chris Jordan. Adil Rashid was their highest wicket-taker as he grabbed 9 wickets in 6 matches and his spell of 4 for 2 against West Indies was his best. The team had the advantage of having, all-rounders Liam Livingstone and Moeen Ali as they took 6 and 7 wickets respectively.
Mark Wood was expensive and he was benched after playing two matches. Tymal Mills took 7 wickets in 4 matches but had to leave the tournament midway due to an injury. But the Chris duos Woakes and Jordan managed their best and took 7 and 6 wickets respectively. But whatsoever, the mainstream pacers Archer, Sam, and Stokes were terribly missed.
10. Australia- 8.5/10
The mighty Aussies lifted their maiden T20 World Cup trophy in this edition. In the five Super 12 league matches, the bowlers were awarded the Man of the Match thrice in which Adam Zampa alone bagged it twice.
Adam Zampa is the second-highest wicket-taker in the tournament. He has picked 13 wickets including a fifer. Josh Hazelwood, after coming from the experience in the successful season of IPL, has taken 11 wickets and is the 5th highest wicket-taker.
Pat Cummins and Mitchel Starc took 5 and 9 wickets respectively but they were expensive and not as efficient as before. The other all-rounder options of Maxwell, Stoinis, and Marsh were not effective as they were expensive. But the team managed to bag the trophy with the performance of distinct players in each match.
The Pakistan team was unbeaten in the Super 12 and the only time they lost was against Australia in the most important semi-final match. The team’s performance particularly in bowling has been glorious throughout the tournament.
Unlike the other teams where there were only one or two-star bowlers, the bowling unit, on the whole, put up a fearless performance till the end. Each player had understood their roles faithfully and executed them right from the beginning.
Shaheen Shah Afridi, with his left-arm angle, took crucial early wickets which changed the course of the games. The bowlers Shadab Khan, Haris Rauf, Afridi, Hasan Ali, and Imad Wasim took 9, 8, 7, 5, and 4 wickets respectively. The two bowlers, who were not as efficient and who bowled expensive overs, were Mohammad Hafeez and Hasan Ali.
12. New Zealand- 9/10
One of the most consistent teams in world cricket, New Zealand has been too good with the ball in this world cup. They’ve mostly ticked all the boxes in the bowling department. They have done well with the new ball, with Southee and Boult picking up early wickets but their only setback was injured Lockie Ferguson. However, Milne covered it up with his pace and variety.
With Sodhi and Santner controlling the middle overs, the three pacers contained the death overs eminently. The spin duo picked up crucial wickets against India and won the game for them. They did a reasonable job against Pakistan too but it didn’t go their way. Milne was exceptional in the middle overs too.
In the death overs, it was Boult, the 3rd leading wicket-taker in the tournament with 13 wickets at a terrific average of 13.31, and Milne who did the maximum damage. They were good at mixing it up and also bowled the Yorkers to perfection. It was in the final where they looked a little ordinary with their execution after their batters did a fairly decent job.