IPL 2016: Top 10 Bowlers of Week 4 of Indian Premier League
Kolkata Knight Riders and Gujarat Lions continue to tussle for top spot in this year's Indian Premier League (IPL). Delhi Daredevils and Mumbai Indians are on their heels, though, and things looked to be shaping up to be quite exciting as teams begin to ponder the possibility of a play-off place.
The last week or so wasn't too great for the bowlers, but we've still given picking 10 of the week's best a bash. Add your own in the comments.
Andre Russell (Kolkata Knight Riders)
Andre Russell played a key role in helping Kolkata Knight Riders to a seven-run win over Kings XI Punjab.
With the visitors needing 165 runs to win, Russell ripped into the top order, taking two wickets in his first two overs to leave Kings XI reeling at 13 for two after three overs. He also chipped in with two more wickets (included that of David Miller) at the death.
Axar Patel (Gujarat Lions)
Axar Patel's four for 21 in four overs was not enough to help Gujarat Lions avoid a 23-run defeat against Kings XI Punjab. Still, three wickets in one over (two in two balls) and then a hat-trick on his return over takes some doing.
Patel claimed the first hat-trick of the IPL 2016, and while his team might have lost, Patel certainly got everyone's attention.
Shivil Kaushik (Kings XI Punjab)
In the same match in which Axar Patel impressed, Shivil Kaushik did so first. The 20-year-old has hardly played any Twenty20 cricket (three matches in total at the time of writing) but took three for 20 in four overs, including the wickets of Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell and Murali Vijay.
Not bad scalps to bag for your first time out.
Rajat Bhatia (Rising Pune Supergiants)
Rajat Bhatia played a key role in helping Rising Pune Supergiants to a seven-wicket win with his spell against Delhi Daredevils.
His figures of 4-0-22-2 and economy rate of 5.50 helped Pune keep a tight lid on the run rate and ensured that the pressure kept on building on the opposition.
Umesh Yadav (Kolkata Knight Riders)
This season's Indian Premier League hasn't always been kind to the fast bowlers, but when they can pull things back, they do deserve some credit.
Delhi Daredevils struck Umesh Yadav for 33 runs in three overs, but he managed to take three wickets in the process with some cunning bowling. His use of the slower ball was particularly impressive despite Delhi's 23-run victory over Kolkata Knight Riders.
Jasprit Bumrah (Mumbai Indians)
Consistency and bouncing back when you have a dip is key in T20, and that's something Jasprit Bumrah has done really well. He was whacked for 42 runs just two weeks ago but has bounced back this week.
He played just one match this week but took three for 29 in his four overs in that game. Mumbai Indians claimed a convincing eight-wicket win with nine balls to spare over the Rising Pune Supergiants, and if Bumrah can keep this up, he's going to be key for Mumbai going forward.
Amit Mishra (Delhi Daredevils)
It's that stage of the competition where the bowlers who arrived with a bang are hitting a few blips.
After taking one for 11 and four for 11 in his first two IPL matches, things settled down a bit for Amit Mishra. Still, he managed a wicket in every game he played this week, and the most runs he conceded in a single innings was 36. Such consistency is vital at this stage of the competition.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar (Sunrisers Hyderabad)
You can't exactly call Bhuvneshwar Kumar a "new" prospect for India—he's played almost 60 ODIs—but since making his international debut in 2012, he just keeps on getting better.
His ability to swing the ball in all conditions is key. On Friday, he put in a fine spell of swing bowling with his two for 28, taking two wickets early on in his spell. Taking wickets early and keeping a throttle on the flow of runs makes him a key asset in the Sunrisers Hyderabad setup.
Mustafizur Rahman (Sunrisers Hyderbad)
Mustafizur Rahman continues to mesmerise whenever he steps on to a cricket field. He is by far one of the most consistent bowlers in this year's tournament, and barring a slight blip against Royal Challengers Bangalore—where he took one for 34—he is one of the go-to bowlers.
On Friday, against title contenders Gujarat Lions, he took two for 17 in two overs, giving him an economy rate of just 4.25. That ability to keep things tight and take wickets puts him streets ahead of many bowlers 10 years his senior.
Dhawal Kulkarni (Gujarat Lions)
Dhawal Kulkarni recorded one of the lowest economy rates in the competition so far with figures of 4-1-17-2 against Sunrisers Hyderabad.
His economy rate of 4.25 wasn't enough to help Gujarat Lions to a win, but it was the lowest of all of the team's bowlers, which was quite impressive considering Sunrisers needed just 127 to win.