New Delhi, Oct 27 (IANS) Every year, Indian Premier League (IPL) captains make surprising bowling changes, most of which are about spinners bowling first up or in the power-play. This year, too, the captains have changed their plans or tweaked them to give their bowling added advantage. But unlike in previous IPL seasons, seam-friendly pitches have also forced captains to surprise batsmen, not just with spinners but also by bringing seam bowlers first-up.
Here is a look at some examples:
Mumbai Indians open with Jasprit Bumrah:
After Trent Boult had shaken the Chennai Super Kings with an early wicket in the October 23 game, Mumbai Indians’ stand-in skipper Kieron Pollard brought in Jasprit Bumrah in the second over and the pace bowler vindicated the decision, getting rid of Ambati Rayudu who had previously scored runs against the Mumbai franchise. Pollard had initially planned to give either a spinner or Nathan Coulter-Nile the second over but changed the plan after taking a look at the pitch.
Glenn Maxwell opens for KXIP:
Hard-hitting Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) batsman Glenn Maxwell was struggling to perform with the bat but he has another dimension to his cricket, spin bowling. KXIP skipper KL Rahul had found leg-spinners Ravi Bishnoi and M Ashwin useful in the middle overs on slowing surfaces, but he needed another one to take the pace off the ball early on. So, he brought in Maxwell with the new ball. Although the Aussie hasn’t picked wickets, he has managed to keep run-rate in check in a few games.
Axar Patel open the bowling:
Axar Patel was asked to take the new ball by Delhi Capitals (DC) skipper Shreyas Iyer against Chennai Super Kings on September 25 and he got rid of Shane Watson early on to help his team take charge of the game. Patel has quite often been used in the power-play. In a game against KXIP on October 20, he got rid of KL Rahul after he was brought in to bowl the third over. It was a rare failure for Rahul, who is the leading the race for Orange Cap, presneted to the batsman with the highest tally.
RCB bring on Mohammed Siraj:
Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) skipper Virat Kohli handed the new ball to pacer Mohammed Siraj for the first time since he joined the Bengaluru franchise in 2018. Siraj had last taken the new ball for SunRisers Hyderabad in 2017. The seam bowler vindicated the move, bowling two maiden overs — a first time in IPL history, and then taking three wickets. Kohli had opened with Washington Sundar but on seeing a hint of swing in the wicket, he handed the ball to Siraj.