5 Bowlers at SMAT 2021 who could perform well in IPL 2021

With the T20 format largely tilted in the favour of the batsmen, bowlers are finding it tough to fight fire with fire and more often than not end up at the receiving end of the onslaught. While the bowlers do enjoy some comfort in the overseas conditions where the ball moves around and questions the batters, life is equivalent to living hell in the subcontinental conditions. Bowlers hardly get any purchase out of the slow and dry wickets and thus, are bound to disappear for plenty in their quota of overs. Inspite of these hurdles, there are some campaigners, who have managed to overcome them and get the better of the batsmen in the concluded Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy (SMAT)

Their consistent show in the tournament assisted them in earning a contract at the world’s most-followed league, the IPL ahead of the 2021 season. In the below piece, we look at 5 such bowlers at the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy who could perform well in IPL 2021:

1. Vaibhav Arora

A rising right-arm medium-fast bowler from Himachal Pradesh, who was bought by KKR at his base price of 20 lakhs, Arora played a key part in his stateside reaching the quarter-final stage of SMAT 2021.

The pacer scalped 10 wickets from 6 games at an average of 16.80 and an economy rate of 7.41. His best show in the tournament was produced against Gujarat as a part of Elite Group C fixtures.

Defending 142 for victory, Himachal Pradesh restricted Gujarat to just 115 in 19.4 overs, owing to a wonderful spell of fast-bowling by Arora, who picked 3-16 and helped his side in winning the contest by 26 runs.

2. Chetan Sakariya

Complementing the likes of Unadkat, Sakariya, another left-arm medium-pacer did a wonderful job for Saurashtra in the tournament. The bowler picked 12 wickets from 5 games at an average of 8.17 and an economy rate of 4.90.

It is these numbers that invited a bidding war at the recently concluded auction where the pacer was bagged for 1.2 crores by RR.

His best figures in SMAT 2021 came against Vidarbha as a part of the Elite Group D fixtures. Saurashtra who batted first posted 233-7 and set their opposition a mammoth target of 234.

The Vidarbha team in return, couldn’t get any closer as they were restricted to 154 in 17.2 overs, owing to excellent figures of 5-11 by Sakariya, helping his team win by a hefty margin of 79 runs.

3. Lukman Meriwala

This left-arm medium-pacer from Baroda has been the pick of the bowler for the team, finishing as the second-highest wicket-taker in the tournament.

Meriwala dismissed 15 batters from 8 games at an average of 13.26 and an economy rate of 6.52. His stellar showings didn’t go unnoticed as Meriwala was picked at his base price of 20 lakhs by DC.

His best show in SMAT 2021 came against Chhattisgarh as a part of the Elite Group C games. Courtesy Meriwala’s 5-8, Chhattisgarh were skittled out for 90 in 17.3 overs. In reply, Baroda rocketed to the total in just 12.3 overs, winning the one-sided affair by 9 wickets.

4. Jalaj Saxena

Considered as a batting all-rounder, Saxena had turned heads with his right-arm off-break playing for Kerala in the tournament.

He got the better of 10 batsmen from 5 games at an average of 11.90 and an economy rate of 6.26. Naturally, he attracted a bid at the mini-auction for IPL 2021, going for his base price of 30 lakhs to Punjab Kings.

His best spell in SMAT 2021 came against Puducherry as a part of the Elite Group E fixtures. Batting first, Puducherry were stalled at 138-6, owing to some excellent bowling by Saxena, who finished with figures of 3-13.

In reply, Kerala were more than comfortable in their chase, achieving the target keeping 6 wickets in hand and 10 balls to spare.

5. R Sai Kishore

A left-arm orthodox bowler from Tamil Nadu, Sai Kishore played a huge role in his side’s successful campaign at SMAT 2021.

The spinner got the better of 8 batsmen from 8 games at an average of 16.87 and an excellent economy rate of 4.82. Given his impressive showing, Sai Kishore is expected to get a suitable game time for CSK at IPL 2021.

His best bowling spell in SMAT 2021 came against Rajasthan during the 1st semi-final. Rajasthan, who batted first, looked set for a great finish at the end of their 20 overs. However, Sai Kishore’s spell of 2-16 threw a spanner in the vicious plans of the opposition and halted them at 154-9.

In reply, Tamil Nadu chased down the total with consummate ease, winning the encounter by 7 wickets and booking a berth in the finale of the tournament.

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