IPL7: Captains must realise the importance of 5th bowler



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The 7th edition of the IPL has entered it’s business end and the teams for the knock out stage are almost done. Mumbai Indians , Delhi Daredevils and Royal Challengers Bangalore have been the biggest upset of the tournament. There might be various reasons for that but I am pointing at a common problem of all the bottom placed teams i.e 5th bowler.Opposition teams tend to exploit the weak links and may well go after the 5th bowler , which in turn can cause the match.

It is necessary to have a decent batting line up but compromising with the bowling makes no sense. Teams may well get carried by this and in the process go with an average bowler who can bat. The success of Chennai SuperKings and Rajasthan Royals lies in the number of bowling options they have . They tend to have 5 regular bowlers and 1 or 2 part timers who can make up for someone having a rough day. In case of Rajasthan Royals, the options can be well imagined from the fact that Watson and Binny are perhpas their 6th and 7th bowler respectively.

It’s hard to believe that Bangalore didnot rectify this as it was a major reason of their failure in the past few IPls.

Lets look at some stats :

Chennai’s 5th bowler Jadeja  has taken 10 wickets in 10 matches at an economy rate of  7.54 . This gets even better for Rajasthan Royals where Shane Watson and Stuart Binny has gone for just above 6.

On the other hand, Sunrisers have been guilty of picking too many part timers in their squad. I don’t know how far it is right to call Irfan Pathan a part timer, but atleast his performance says that. Darren Sammy, Moises Henriques and Irfan Pathan have gone at an economy rate of 10.9 , 9.6 and 8.38 respectively. The fact that it has come on low scoring grounds make it even worse.

Delhi Daredevils experimented with Shukla and he went with an economy of more than 9 , picking up just 5 wickets in 6 matches. For Bangalore, Albie Morkel is a liability if he doesn’t score and was a better option if Bangalore went with Rampaul.

A 5th bowler can can make a difference of 10 to 15 runs , leaving apart the wickets column. This can be very decisive in the context of the match. I feel that teams must have atleast 5 regular bowlers , backed up by some part timers.


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