Sportskeeda Cricket Awards 2018: T20I Bowler of the Year
We have come a long way from the perception of T20 cricket being the batsmen’s game. Over the years, bowlers have reinvented the wicket-taking ways and have clawed back to regain footing in the 20-over cricket. While all kinds of bowlers have tried best, there’s one breed that has outperformed others.
The wrist spinners ushered in a new era of dominance in T20 cricket with their spin wizardry. Almost every nation at present possesses a leg-spinner who is able to bowl the wrong ones. While the Australian fast bowlers Andrew Tye and Billy Stanlake were two of the top three wicket-takers in 2018, it was the leg-spinners who averaged better than them.
Three Asian spinners, in particular, hogged the limelight this year with their exploits in the shortest format. Here are the top T20I bowlers of 2018.
#3 Shadab Khan
The young all-rounder burst on the scene with his exploits in the Pakistan Super League. It did not take long for Shadab Khan to replicate his form in the national colors. In a span of 35 days, the leg-spinning all-rounder made his debut in all three formats for the nation. In 2018, he was a top performer in white-ball cricket and reaped success in T20Is.
Playing in 19 matches, Shadab Khan picked up 28 wickets in total. He conceded only 17.42 runs per wicket and gave away as little as 6.62 runs per over. The leg-spinner was extremely efficient in delivering his leg breaks and a well-disguised googly. The 20-year old not only chipped in with wickets but tied down the batsmen by not giving away runs.
Shadab ended up wicket-less only two times of 19 outings and conceded more than eight runs per over on only four occasions. He was adjudged the Man of the Match Award twice for his spells of 2/19 and 3/19 in four overs.
Matches: 19, Wickets: 28, Bowling Average: 17.42, Economy-rate: 6.62, Best bowling figures: 3/19