T20 cricket is a fast-paced format. Batting is characterized by power-hitting, slogs and innovative shots like the scoops and the reverse-sweeps, and the bowling has also seen a revolution in recent times.
Mystery spinners and a bucket load of slower-ball variations have come into the picture. The emphasis is on death bowling and the ability to restrict the opposition batting.
But time and again it has been proved that cricket in any form is more about doing the basics right, irrespective of the format. A batsman batting with the right technique can still be as effective as a batsman with typical T20 shots.
On the same lines, a fast bowler bowling tight lines and swinging the new ball to pick up wickets early in the innings is probably a bigger match-winner than a specialist death bowler. And in the modern game, new ball bowling is not limited to pacers; spinners have also mastered the art of bowling in the powerplays.
On that note, let us have a look at three franchises with the best set of new-ball bowlers in their squad.
3. Kolkata Knight Riders
Kolkata Knight Riders have a perfect mix of international experience, proven IPL experience and young talent in the new-ball bowling department.
Pat Cummins: All eyes will be on Pat Cummins, the star of the IPL 2020 Auction. An important factor that led to a bidding war for the No. 1 Test bowler is that he was instrumental in Australia's historic series win against India in 2019. The Indian batting was ripped to shreds by Cummins, who picked up 14 wickets in 5 matches on flat Indian pitches. The right-arm pacer has great control with the new ball.
Lockie Ferguson - The menacing Kiwi speedster Lockie Ferguson is known for his raw pace, and he picked up 10 wickets in 6 T20Is last year. He was a part of the KKR setup in 2019 but did not get many chances.
Shivam Mavi and Kamlesh Nagarkoti - The two young Indian pacers can consistently clock speeds in excess of 140 kph. Both make good use of the wrist while releasing the ball, enabling them to swing the new cherry.
Sunil Narine and Andre Russell - Sunil Narine has opened the bowling for KKR on many occasions, and has been effective too. Andre Russell has great death bowling skills but the KKR skipper Dinesh Karthik did try giving him the new ball last year; maybe it's time to experiment with that in 2020?