Fast bowlers have had their fair share of success in the Indian Premier League. Over the 13 editions of the tournament, several pacers have stood up for their sides and gone on to play important roles. From helping teams to start well in the powerplay overs and then excelling at the death, top pacers have done these things consistently. The vast success of Lasith Malinga, who is the highest wicket-taker in the IPL is a sheer example of things going as per plans.
In recent times, Mumbai Indians owe their success to frontline pacer Jasprit Bumrah. The Indian cricketer has topped the show for MI and help from former pacer Malinga rubbed on to him. What Malinga did for years at MI, Bumrah is now doing the same. On the other hand, Delhi Capitals have done well in the previous two editions. A fresh-looking side, DC have an interesting bunch of stars that have done well as a unit. For them, South African pacer Kagiso Rabada has been excellent.
Last season, both Rabada and Bumrah finished as the top two wicket-takers. Ahead of IPL 2021, we do a statistical comparison between the two players.
In 92 games, Bumrah has claimed 109 wickets in the IPL at 23.71. He has an economy rate of 7.41. Bumrah has two four-wicket hauls with a best of 4/14. Meanwhile, Rabada has stepped up after making his debut in 2017. In 35 games, Rabada has already taken 61 scalps at 18.09. He has four four-wicket hauls, with a best of 4/21.
Seasons that matter
Bumrah has claimed 20-plus wickets on two occasions since making his debut in 2013. The five-time IPL winner became a household name for MI since the 2016 edition. Prior to that, he had played just 17 games across three editions. Bumrah claimed 20 wickets in IPL 2017, helping MI clinch their third honour. He achieved the mark at 21.95. In IPL 2020, Bumrah recorded 27 wickets at just 14.96. His brilliance helped MI win their fifth honour. Rabada has been excellent in both 2019 and 2020. He took 25 wickets in IPL 2019 at just 14.72. And then in IPL 2020, he won the Purple Cap, taking 30 wickets in 17 matches at 18.09.
Bumrah has largely been the most effective in the death overs (16-20). His unplayable yorkers and mixed variations have caused batsmen to stutter. As per Cricketpedia, Bumrah has picked up 61 wickets in the death overs at 21.54. Meanwhile, Rabada too has made his impact at the death. He has taken 41 wickets in the death overs at just 12.20. The majority of their wickets have come at the death.