The role of death bowlers is one of the most important ones in T20 cricket and especially in the Indian Premier League (IPL). Batsmen often target death overs to increase the scoring rate, and most games are decided by how teams bowl in these overs.
Over time, certain players have evolved to become specialists in bowling during the death overs and have a major role to play in any successful team.
Teams like Royal Challengers Bangalore and Kolkata Knight Riders have struggled to make an impact in the last few seasons owing to the lack of quality death bowlers in the side.
On that note, let's take a look at 5 death-over bowlers who will have the maximum impact in the 2020 edition of the IPL.
5 death-over bowlers who could make a significant impact in the 2020 IPL
#5 Dwayne Bravo (Chennai Super Kings)
Chennai Super Kings all-rounder DJ Bravo will be one of the death overs bowlers to watch out for this season. Having been with CSK since IPL 2011, Bravo has been a mainstay under MS Dhoni's captaincy and has been the player Dhoni has relied on to bowl in the death overs. Bravo is among the top five wicket-takers in the IPL and has 147 wickets from 134 matches at a decent economy rate of 8.39.
However, he has seen his overs getting reduced in the past couple of seasons as MS Dhoni has mostly been bringing him on after the 12th over. His wickets have also dried up a bit. He has only 25 wickets in the last 28 IPL matches he has played.
However, Bravo's experience and guile will be crucial for CSK to contain the opposition in the death overs, especially in UAE, where the conditions will favour batsmen more. His good form before the pandemic- when he represented the Windies national team- is a good sign, both for him and CSK.
#4 Mohammed Shami (Kings XI Punjab)
Mohammed Shami's comeback to the Indian team has been a remarkable one. The seamer has impressed in all formats of the game and is a mainstay in the Indian pace battery, along with Jasprit Bumrah.
Since January 1st, 2019, he has picked up 92 wickets in just 39 international games for India, 10 of which were Test Matches.
Shami was signed by Kings XI Punjab for ₹4.8 crores ahead of IPL 2019 and was the best bowler for the side that season. He picked up 19 wickets in just 14 games and did well as the main death bowler for the side. He also shares the death bowling duties with Jasprit Bumrah for the Indian team and has proven to be very consistent.
#3 Jofra Archer (Rajasthan Royals)
Jofra Archer has done well for Rajasthan Royals in his first two IPL seasons. He will be their main death bowler for the season, a responsibility which he took up in the previous seasons.
Archer had an economy rate of 6.76 last season, which is impressive for someone bowling so many overs at the death. He was unlucky not to pick up more than 11 wickets and was the victim of some dropped catches.
Archer was a part of the England Test side which hosted West Indies for the first post-lockdown international series and is also in the squad for the ongoing Test series against Pakistan. His early return to competitive cricket will give him an edge over other players who may not have featured in international games since March.
All in all, Archer will be a huge influence for RR, and youngsters like Oshane Thomas and Kartik Tyagi can benefit from his presence.
#2 Chris Morris (Royal Challengers Bangalore)
RCB finally seemed to have addressed their bowling concerns and have a well-rounded squad for IPL 2020. Chris Morris, who they signed for a whopping ₹10 crores, will be a solution to the death-bowling woes that have been plaguing them for the last couple of seasons.
Morris, who featured primarily for the Delhi Capitals, has done well in the IPL. The Proteas bowling all-rounder has picked up 69 wickets from 61 matches, at a good economy rate of 7.98. He's also a very handy batsman and has scored 517 runs at a great strike-rate of 157.62.
His acquisition adds a lot of balance to an RCB side that has been top-heavy for the last couple of seasons. While there are a couple of backup options in Kane Richardson and Isuru Udana, Morris will be the main death bowler for RCB, and he'll certainly look to stem the run flow and pick up some wickets for his new side.
#1 Jasprit Bumrah (Mumbai Indians)
This is a no-brainer. Jasprit Bumrah is the best death bowler in the league by some margin. The Mumbai Indians pacer has been very consistent at the death and has been a very reliable option for skipper, Rohit Sharma.
Bumrah has picked up 82 wickets from 77 matches at a great economy rate of 7.55. He's the main strike bowler for MI and has the knack of picking up wickets whenever needed.
He's one of the best bowlers in the world and can be very accurate with his yorkers. While there are plenty of quality overseas options like Lasith Malinga, Nathan Coulter-Nile and Trent Boult in the side, Bumrah will certainly be the main death bowler for them.