World’s biggest T20 tournament (IPL) kicks in just over 2 months and the excitement amongst the people is rising with each passing day. Almost all the teams would have been happy with their purchases in the recently concluded auction. Ben Stokes became the most expensive player for the 2nd year running, as numerous others international stars were left disappointed with no team going for them.
With the squads almost complete, the teams can look forward to fine-tuning their strategies and tactics as the time to the opening game comes closer. The Purple Cap in the IPL is presented to the bowler who is the leading wicket-taker of the tournament. Bhuvneshwar Kumar is the current holder of the Purple cap from the 2017 IPL season. Here, we look at the 5 bowlers who are most likely to compete for the Purple Cap in the upcoming IPL season 11.
5 Players in the race to win Purple Cap in IPL season 11:
Jasprit is probably the best limited-over bowler in the world currently. He is specialist when it comes to death bowling and it wasn’t surprising to see Mumbai retaining him for the upcoming seasons. The 24-year-old picked up 20 wickets last season with an average of 22.20.
If Bumrah can manage to replicate his form from 2017, there is no doubt that he will amongst the top wicket-takers in the 11th season as well. With Lasith Malinga no more in the Mumbai set-up the main responsibility for picking up crucial wickets in the death overs will fall on the shoulders of Bumrah.
The Purple Cap holder from past 2 seasons Bhuvneshwar Kumar will enter the IPL season 11 as the favourite to pick up the cap once more. Given his performances in the past few years, Sunrisers Hyderabad didn’t hesitate even for a moment before retaining the 27-year-old. He has taken 111 wickets in just 90 matches at an average of 21.07.
With Afghanistan youngster Rashid Khan also in the SRH squad, one can expect Bhuvneshwar and him to compete fiercely to become the leading wicket-taker for the side.
The fact that there was a massive bidding war for Andrew Tye shows the level the excitement he has managed to generate with his performances in the past year. The 31-year-old is a limited over specialist bowler, who has the most lethal knuckleball in the world, something which the audiences will be waiting to see in the IPL season 11.
He has done well for his national team in the past one year and has picked up wickets in huge numbers in whichever league he has played till now. Kings XI Punjab will be delighted to have such an experienced and skilful bowler in their line-up for the upcoming season. Tye has also picked up two hat-tricks in two consecutive seasons of the Big Bash League.
The last few years have been pretty surreal for the Jaydev Unadkat. He ended the last season as the second highest wicket-taker, having taken 24 wickets in 12 matches at an average of 13.41 with an economy rate of 7.02. Which is why, it was not surprising to see the majority of the teams fighting tooth and nail for his signing in the auction, in the end Rajasthan Royal managed to bag him with an INR 11.5 crore bid, which made him the most expensive Indian player in the IPL auction of season 11.
Unadkat will be looking to repay the faith shown in him by Rajasthan by helping win their 2nd IPL title.
Mitchell Starc was the most expensive bowler bought on day 1 of the IPL auction. After a lot of back and forth, Kolkata Knight Riders managed to secure his signature with a bid of INR 9.4 crore for the IPL season 11. Starc hasn’t had the best of times in the IPL over the past seasons but that has also been due to the various injuries he has had to encounter in his career.
KKR will be hoping that their prime bowler stays fit for the duration of the tournament in IPL season 11, a lot of fans will be counting on him to give his side the early breakthroughs that are so essential to this T20 game.
Currently playing for the Australian national team, Starc looks fully fit and in the form of his life, which is why we think that he could be amongst the top wicket-takers from the IPL season 11.
Special Mentions – Rashid Khan, Yuzvendra Chahal, Umesh Yadav, Axar Patel and Sunil Narine