IPL 2016: Top 10 Bowlers of Week 3 of Indian Premier League
We're three weeks into the Indian Premier League season, and the teams and players are starting to settle.
While there are clear front-runners—Gujarat Lions, Kolkata Knight Riders—nothing is quite certain just yet.
Kings XI Punjab are perhaps the only team we can say for certain will have an absolute stinker this season, as they have managed just two points from six fixtures. But Twenty20 cricket is a funny game and amazing things can happen, especially with a little bit of magic from the bowlers.
We've picked our top 10 bowlers of the week—do add yours in the comments.
Imran Tahir (Delhi Daredevils)
Imran Tahir played his first two matches of the Indian Premier League this week for Delhi Daredevils, and it didn't take him too long to find his rhythm.
Against Gujarat Lions, he took three for 24 in four overs, helping to restrict their total to 172 for six in 20 overs. But even Tahir's best efforts could not help Delhi to a win, and he had to settle for an agonising one-run loss.
Dhawal Kulkarni (Gujarat Lions)
Whatever Imran Tahir could do in the match where he bagged a three-for, Gujarat Lions' Dhawal Kulkarni could do better.
While Kulkarni's wickets didn't all come from exceptional balls, an economy rate of 4.75 is always useful. It's even more useful when it's coupled with three for 19 in four overs, which is exactly what Kulkarni managed.
Mustafizur Rahman (Sunrisers Hyderabad)
Sunrisers Hyderabad's Mustafizur Rahman, who just made his international debut last year, continues to shine on the big stage.
The 20-year-old Bangladeshi notched up the joint-best economy rate of the tournament so far when he took two for nine in four overs against Kings XI Punjab.
He is tied with John Hastings on 2.25, and his effort helped his side secure a five-wicket win in that match.
Praveen Kumar (Gujarat Lions)
Speaking of good economy rates, Praveen Kumar's effort of 3.25 for Gujarat Lions against the Delhi Daredevils was pretty decent, too.
Kumar did not take a single wicket in that encounter, but in a match where almost every single bowler got clobbered, Kumar saved the day.
He and Dhawal Kulkarni were the only Gujarat bowlers with an economy rate of below 8.50, which helped tremendously in a one-run victory.
Mitchell Marsh (Rising Pune Supergiants)
Rising Pune Supergiants' Mitchell Marsh also scored in the impressive economy stakes when he took two for 14 in four overs against Sunrisers Hyderabad.
His economy rate was just 3.50, and Pune notched up a 34-run victory on the Duckworth/Lewis/Stern method.
Ravichandran Ashwin (Rising Pune Supergiants)
Not to be outdone by good economy rates, the Supergiants' Ravichandran Ashwin continued to blood along steadily with his crafty spin.
Like Mitchell Marsh, Ashwin's economy rate in the fixture against Sunrisers Hyderabad was 3.50, with his overall figures being 4-0-14-1.
Umesh Yadav (Kolkata Knight Riders)
In the T20 format, you can't beat a bit of consistency. It helps having that one bowler a captain can turn to at the start or end of an innings and know that he will make an impact.
Umesh Yadav hasn't picked up bucket-loads of wickets this IPL for Kolkata Knight Riders (he has six in total), but he has an average of 16.83 and always delivers the goods when his captain throws him the ball.
Mohit Sharma (Kings XI Punjab)
Kings XI might be having a tough IPL season, but at least Mohit Sharma has something to smile about.
He took a bit of a beating during a 25-run loss to Mumbai Indians, but his bowling was on point. His figures of 4-0-38-3 might not look like much, but it's the way in which he bowled and used his variation, particularly the slower ball, at the death that earns him a spot on this week's best bowlers list.
Shakib Al Hasan (Kolkata Knight Riders)
Shakib Al Hasan hasn't quite found his groove yet, but he did bowl fantastically well against Rising Pune Supergiants to help KKR to a two-wicket win.
His figures of 3-0-14-1 helped restrict Pune to 160 for five in 20 overs. Most crucially, he picked up the wicket of Faf du Plessis early on with an absolute beauty of a ball that straightened from outside off. His economy rate of 4.66 was also the lowest of the match.
Ashok Dinda (Rising Pune Supergiants)
Not everyone will agree that Rising Pune Supergiants' Ashok Dinda should be in this week's top 10, simply because the three wickets he picked up against Sunrisers Hyderabad didn't all come from perfect balls.
But, then again, not all wickets do.
Considering it was his first match this season, dismissing David Warner with an edge off a short and wide ball can be forgiven. He more than made up for that by rattling Naman Ojha with a short ball before bowling him later on in the innings.