IPL 2018: Ranking teams based on their bowling lineup
IPL is set to begin in three weeks from now with the first match scheduled to be played in Mumbai. A team is considered good or bad on the basis of their batting strengths but it is often the bowling line-ups which determine the winner of the competition.
Sunrisers Hyderabad are the best example of how a good bowling unit makes a team unbeatable. The Hyderabad team won the 2016 IPL on the back of impressive performance by Bhuvaneshwar Kumar. The history of IPL winners also displays a similar picture.
Kolkata team of 2012 and 2014 had the likes of Sunil Narine and Piyush Chawla, the Chennai team of 2010 and 2011 had Ravichandran Ashwin and Dougie Bollinger in their ranks and the inaugural winners had the legend, Shane Warne himself.
Let us now look at where the eight franchises stand in terms of bowling strength on paper.
#8 Rajasthan Royals
Rajasthan Royals are returning to the IPL fold after a gap of two years. The team has an excellent batting order but don't possess a great bowling line-up. They have Ben Stokes, Jofra Archer, Jaydev Unadkat, Dhawal Kulkarni, K Gowtham, and Shreyas Gopal as their premier bowlers.
The bowling is extremely brittle as Unadkat leaked runs abundantly in the recently concluded Nidahas Trophy and cannot be relied upon to bowl for the team in the death overs. The team has to rely on Stokes and Archer to bowl in the last few overs. The fact that the team would have to rely on the all-rounders to bowl in the end overs is an indication of the bowling strength of the Rajasthan team.
The team also has extremely inexperienced spinners in Gowtham and Gopal and they are untested at this level. Deploying inexperienced spinners in Sawai Mansingh Stadium where the ball doesn't turn much is a huge risk.