IPL 2018 | Talking Points : Sunrisers’ pace-bowling riches and Mayank Makrande’s terrific run

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IPL 2018 | Talking Points : Sunrisers’ pace-bowling riches and Mayank Makrande’s terrific run

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Bastab K Parida

04/12/2018

Mayank Markande proved his performance in the match against Chennai Super Kings was no fluke as he dismantled the Sunrisers top-order with his terrific googlies. On the other hand, the match was also a reaffirmation of the fact how Sunrisers’ continue to be well stacked with pace-bowling riches.

Sunrisers and their terrific pace-bowling arsenal

Sunrisers Hyderabad and defending champions Mumbai Indians had completely contrasting starts to their campaigns this year as the hosts cruised to a nine-wicket victory over returning Rajasthan Royals without breaking a sweat, while Chennai Super Kings pulled off a grand heist in the last over to hand Mumbai a heart-breaking one-wicket loss at the latter’s home venue.

So, coming into the match, it were the Sunrisers, who were flying high and with good reason. That victory against the Royals was one of the most comprehensive victories as they ticked most of their boxes; their disciplined bowling was complemented by some excellent ground fielding and top-order batting brilliance.

And with the victory, it was also established that the team’s strength lies in their brilliant bowling. While their batsmen, especially the top-order, have been consistent over the years, it was their bowlers who made the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium a fortress for them and the match today just confirmed that. 

Siddharth Kaul, who returned 2 for 17 in his four overs against Rajasthan, did an encore today by conceding only 19 runs in four overs. In the absence of their spearhead Bhuvneshwar Kumar, others needed to step up to the plate and Sandeep Sharma did that beautifully to pick up two wickets at an economy rate of 6.25.

Kaul consistently hit the deck hard on the good length spot on a surface where bounce was available, and along with his pace variations, put the fear of the god among Mumbai batsmen. While Sandeep and Billy Stanlake got some movement early on, Kaul kept a mid-on and mid-off and bowled full deliveries outside off, which really helped the team strangle Mumbai completely. 

Has India unearthed another leggie for ages

Leg-spin has always been a very rare art in international cricket and it is only in recent times that leg-spinners have started becoming a dominant force in the world cricket. And looking at Mayank Markande - Mumbai’s latest scouting star - it is distinctly visible how leg-spinners in the country of Bedi, Chandra and Prasanna have sent the finger-spinners down the pecking order.

In the art of pottery, the most important part is when the clay has maximum moisture content and hence is malleable. This is the only condition in which the potter gives the clay the shape he desires and in that count, Mumbai's scouting has sent a message loud and clear.

While the Mukesh Ambani-owned franchise have been known for relying on their core team instead of making wholesome changes to their squads, the most impressive thing that stood out was the way they have done their scouting over last few seasons. While covering a Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 match between Mumbai and Karnataka in January 2016, I had the honour of discussing the importance of the same with John Wright himself and he had then highlighted the importance of having good Indian bench strength. 

While many seemed to drifting the ball the right away, the Punjab youngster seems to possess a fine googly at his disposal. The way he managed to move the ball away to the right-hander, it would have made any leg-spinning legend proud of him. It should have been a happier day for him had the Mumbai batsmen managed to score some more runs for the bowlers to defend. However, no matter the result, the youngster should be proud of the way he picked those four wickets today and being an important member in pushing the run-chase to the last ball.

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