In T20 cricket teams need a potent bowling unit in addition to an explosive top order despite the format being considered built for batsmen. Most successful teams in the IPL have had great bowling lineups and some top-notch bowlers in their side.
The demand and price paid for signing bowlers have increased phenomenally in the auctions. Pat Cummins, a fast bowler, was the most expensive player at this season's auction as he was bought for a whopping ₹16 Crore by KKR.
Let's now take a look at the bowling lineups of each team to try and rank them.
#8 Rajasthan Royals
The Royals possess a good pace battery, but most of that strength is derived from their overseas pacers like Jofra Archer, Tom Curran, and Andrew Tye. However, their overseas combination is such that they can field only one overseas pacer, and that significantly reduces their strength. The Indian options they have, except for Unadkat, aren't that reliable, especially in foreign conditions.
Their spin bowling attack is also one of the weakest on paper. Shreyas Gopal is the only experienced spinner in a side that contains no overseas spin-bowling option. With spin set to play an important role in the UAE, the lack of reliable spinners could hurt the Royals this IPL.
#7 Kings XI Punjab
Kings XI Punjab bolstered their bowling unit with some smart acquisitions in the IPL auction but their bowling line-up doesn't seem to be as strong as some of the other teams. They have a decent pace attack which Mohammed Shami and Sheldon Cottrell are expected to spearhead. They also have some able backup in Chris Jordan and Ishan Porel.
Their spin bowling line-up though, lacks big names, and someone to lead the attack. While Mujeeb will be a great option, it'll be tough to accommodate him regularly on the side. The likes of Gowtham and Ravi Bishnoi show great promise but haven't done enough to be called reliable.
So while the Kings can certainly exceed expectations with the ball in the IPL, they aren't as strong as most of the other teams, at least on paper.
#6 Royal Challengers Bangalore
RCB have certainly strengthened their bowling unit, but it still isn't up to the level of some of the top teams in the IPL. Part of the reason is the lack of a reliable Indian pacer. Navdeep Saini could take up that role this season, but he's a bit inexperienced.
Coming to the spinners, they do have a couple of world-class options in Yuzvendra Chahal and Moeen Ali. Fitting Moeen Ali into the team would be a challenge considering that they need overseas players in other roles in the team. The other options don't strike me as reliable, and Pawan Negi especially hasn't done enough to justify his retention.
All in all, RCB have a couple of great options and a decent bowling attack but lack depth in spin bowling options and reliable Indian pacers for IPL 2020.
#5 Sunrisers Hyderabad
Sunrisers Hyderabad were one of the best bowling attacks in the league till IPL 2018 but the 2019 IPL saw a dip in their performances. Their pace attack, though filled with Indian options, looks a bit weak, especially if you consider that the lead pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar has been ousted from the national side after his injury. The likes of Siddharth Kaul and Basil Thampi have been average at best in the domestic season and didn't do well in the last IPL season.
Their spin bowling line-up looks good mostly because of the Afghan duo of Rashid Khan and Mohammad Nabi. They must look to accommodate both of them on the side as they don't have too many reliable Indian options. Shahbaz Nadeem should be the third spinner alongside the two, but he wasn't able to replicate his DC success in the IPL at SRH.