T20 as a game has brought a revolution in cricket. It has not just managed to increase the fan base, but also made the game more interesting with the addition of new tactics and skills.
ICC T20 Cricket world cup, 2007 marked the beginning of T20 Cricket in India. Winning the tournament gave Indian cricket a huge boost, which led to the formation of one of the biggest sporting events in the world, the Indian Premier League.
So, it has been almost 12 years since India started playing International cricket. In this period, 46 bowlers debuted for India with the latest being Deepak Chahar, who debuted in the year, 2018. This is my attempt at identifying the Top 3 most impactful bowlers for India in T20 Internationals to date.
Methodology & Criteria:
The methodology behind the analysis considers all the factors that can be a part of a bowler’s record such as wickets, strike rate, average, consistency, man of the match, man of the series, etc.
Secondly, the entire data was pooled into two groups, viz. Subcontinent and Non-subcontinent
For fast bowlers, performance in subcontinent was given a higher weightage whereas low weightage was given to their performance in other pace friendly conditions
For spinners, performance in subcontinent or spin friendly conditions was given a lower weightage whereas higher weightage was given to their performance in other pace friendly conditions.
The bowlers should have played at least 10 matches on subcontinent and non-subcontinent pitches.
Kindly note that this is a statistical comparison and the end result is to understand the impact rating on the scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the highest.
Right then, all's said and done, now let us look at the top 3 most impactful bowlers for India in T20 Internationals.
At the third position, we have the world cup winner, and the man of the match awardee of T20 World cup final, 2007.
3. Irfan Pathan
This may come as a surprise to some people, but Irfan Pathan was a brilliant T20 bowler for India. His memorable performance came against Pakistan in World cup final 2007 where he was awarded the man of the match for his spell of 3/16 in 4 overs; he took the most crucial wicket of Boom Boom Afridi.
Overall, Irfan Pathan was really good on subcontinent pitches having taken 14 wickets in 9 matches at a decent strike rate of 8.23 and a scintillating average of 17.64.
For his performances, Irfan Pathan gets an impact rating of 5.7 out of 10, with a rating of 8.3 on subcontinent pitches and 3.3 on non-subcontinent pitches.
Next up we have India's spearhead and India's best fast bowler in limited overs cricket.
2. Jasprit Bumrah
I guess no one would argue the fact that even without numbers, one can easily tell that Jasprit Bumrah is India’s best T20I fast bowler.
Overall, he has been really good on subcontinent pitches, and that gave him a higher rating. Consistency wise, he is one of the best on non-subcontinent pitches.
His notable performance came in his debut match against Australia where he took 3 wickets for 23 runs. He has never looked back since and went on to become a limited overs specialist.
For his performances, Jasprit Bumrah gets an impact rating of 6.5 out of 10, with rating of 8.2 on subcontinent pitches and a rating of 4.8 on non-subcontinent pitches.
Alright, we've been talking about pace until now. The best impactful bowler for India currently is a spinner and is one of the best leg spinners to have played for India.
1. Yuzvendra Chahal
Yuzvendra Chahal was first spotted in Indian Premier League playing for Royal Challengers Bangalore; his leggies and wrong-ones were extremely difficult for batsmen to pick.
His record on subcontinent pitches has been excellent having taken 31 wickets in 16 matches including India’s best T20 figures of 6 for 25 against England in 2017.
His record on non-subcontinent pitches has been above average with 11 wickets in 10 matches at an economy rate of 8.57.
Kuldeep Yadav has been exceptional so far and could certainly replace one of these in the future. For his performances, Yuzvendra Chahal gets an impact rating of 6.9 out of 10 with a rating of 7.2 on subcontinent pitches and 6.6 on non-subcontinent pitches.
Other bowlers who form the top 5 are Harbhajan Singh and Bhuvneshwar Kumar.