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The recently concluded IPL 2024 saw some outstanding performances from bowlers, making it a memorable season for cricket fans. Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) emerged as champions after defeating Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) in a thrilling final. This season, several bowlers impressed with their skill and determination, playing crucial roles in their teams’ successes. Let’s take a closer look at some of the most impressive bowlers who stood out in this exciting tournament.

● Key Bowlers Behind KKR’s Championship Triumph:

Two bowlers played a crucial role in making KKR the champions: Varun Chakravarthy and Harshit Rana.

Varun Chakravarthy, a mystery spinner, came into the spotlight when he helped KKR reach the finals of the 2021 IPL and later made his debut for India in the 2021 T20 World Cup. Although he didn’t start this IPL season in good form, he turned things around in the second half. He finished just three wickets short of winning the purple cap, even though KKR had two games washed out where he couldn’t bowl. Varun was KKR’s go-to wicket-taker during crucial moments, and batters had no answers to his tricks. In the key matches, like the first qualifier and the final, he choked the SRH batters in the middle overs, preventing them from breaking free. Varun ended the season with 21 wickets.

Harshit Rana also played an important role in KKR’s triumph. He made headlines for various reasons, but his performance on the field was just as significant. In KKR’s first game, he stopped Klassen in the last over when Klassen seemed unstoppable. This showed that Harshit had the ability to deceive batters with his slower balls, especially in the final overs. Harshit finished the season with 19 wickets in 12 games, with an average of 20.16.

● Andre Russell: The Surprise Bowling Hero for KKR

Andre Russell, widely known for his powerful batting and ability to dismantle any bowling attack, took on a different role for KKR this season. Instead of making a huge impact with the bat, he shined with the ball. Russell picked up 19 wickets, including a crucial three-wicket haul in the finals, which kept SRH from gaining momentum. His 19 wickets came at a strike rate of 9.26, meaning he took a wicket almost every two overs. In a season dominated by aggressive batting, Russell’s hard length deliveries and clever variations left batters struggling.

● Sandeep Sharma: The Unsung Hero of RR’s Bowling Attack

Sandeep Sharma impressed once again, despite the odds against him. Joining the Rajasthan Royals (RR) as a replacement, he revitalized their bowling lineup. Sandeep showcased his versatility by bowling in all phases of the game. At times, he opened the attack with Boult; in other matches, he bowled in the middle overs, and sometimes he took on the role of a death overs specialist. With his slightly round-arm action, Sandeep bowled with keen intelligence throughout the season. Batters struggled to handle his slower balls and fuller length deliveries. His standout performance was his 5 wickets for 18 runs against Mumbai, which was the best bowling figure in this year’s TATA IPL. Sandeep ended the season with 13 wickets in 10 games, consistently tightening the screws on batters. His impact wasn’t just about the numbers; it was about his versatility, skill, and finesse, all of which he displayed in abundance.

● Indian Yorker Specialists: Jasprit Bumrah and T Natarajan Shine Bright

This year’s TATA IPL saw two Indian yorker specialists light up the tournament with their exceptional bowling: Jasprit Bumrah and T Natarajan.

Starting with Jasprit Bumrah, his reputation in world cricket as a premier fast bowler was further solidified by his performance this season. Bumrah consistently delivered in every phase of the game, whether it was the powerplay, middle overs, or the death overs. His ability to bowl pinpoint yorkers and mix them with deceptive slower balls made him a nightmare for batters. Bumrah was always Hardik Pandya’s first choice when Mumbai Indians needed a breakthrough. Despite Mumbai Indians’ overall struggles this season, Bumrah was the lone shining light, ending with 20 wickets in 13 games. His disciplined and impactful bowling was a key factor in keeping MI competitive in many matches, showcasing why he is considered one of the best in the world.

T Natarajan, on the other hand, played a different yet equally crucial role for Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH). Pat Cummins rarely used him with the new ball, instead deploying him in the middle overs and at the back end of the innings. Natarajan’s main role was to unsettle the opposition batters and secure key breakthroughs for his team. This is a challenging task, especially when the ball offers little assistance to the pacer, but Natarajan’s brilliance shone through. His repertoire included slower balls into the wicket, wide yorkers, and quick bouncers, making him SRH’s most reliable and successful pacer this IPL. Natarajan ended the season with 19 wickets, earning the admiration of fans in Hyderabad and living up to his franchise’s expectations, which had steadfastly supported him during his injury phase.

The TATA IPL 2024 was a season filled with remarkable bowling performances, showcasing the talent and versatility of some of the best bowlers in the game.

From Varun Chakravarthy’s match-winning spells that led KKR to their triumph, to Harshit Rana’s deceptive slower balls, each bowler brought something unique to the table. Andre Russell surprised everyone with his effectiveness as a bowler, while Sandeep Sharma demonstrated the value of versatility and intelligence. Jasprit Bumrah reaffirmed his status as a world-class bowler, and T Natarajan’s clever variations made him a standout performer for SRH. These bowlers not only impressed with their wicket-taking abilities but also played crucial roles in their teams’ strategies, making this IPL season a memorable one for cricket fans around the world.


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