In a tournament where playing surfaces have been getting slower and drier with every passing day, it remains a surprise that the most successful bowlers in the Indian Premier League so far have been the pacemen.
According to Delhi Capitals’ pace bowler Kagiso Rabada, the surfaces in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have aided swing, helping pace bowlers get something out of the wickets.
The list of top wicket-takers — considering the top 15 — reads more like the who’s who of fast bowling with Kagiso Rabada, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Jofra Archer, Anrich Nortje and Trent Boult jostling for top honours. These names, in fact, find themselves among the top 10 wicket-takers.
Only Yuzvendra Chahal, Rashid Khan and Rahul Chahar have been successful enough to challenge them but both Chahal and Rashid have been going down the list after being in higher positions earlier in the tournament.
Rabada, who leads the pack with 21 wickets from 10 matches and is five wickets ahead of nearest contender Mohammed Shami with 16, says that although bowling in the UAE has been somewhat similar to bowling in India considering the slowness of surfaces, it has still been a different experience.
“The conditions here have been tricky. It is a little bit different. There is seam movement sometimes. In Abu Dhabi, the ball has been seaming around. All wickets have been slow like India but they have been different kind of slow. I feel there is some seam movement sometimes,” Rabada told a press conference, citing the example of Royal Challengers Bangalore-Kolkata Knight Riders match on Wednesday night.