CPL 2020: Five pacers to watch out for in the tournament

The 2020 edition of the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) is set to take the centre stage from August 18. Bearing in mind the COVID-19 scenario, the tournament will be played only in Trinidad. The Trinbago Knight Riders and last year’s runners-up Guyana Amazon Warriors will be playing in the first match.

The pitches in the CPL have never been easy for the bowlers as most of them have economy rates over 8. Fast bowling has been an arduous task and the seamers haven’t had it easy. But there are a few pacers, who have all the potential to steal the limelight in the upcoming event.

Let’s take a look at five pacers to watch out for in the CPL: –

5. Sheldon Cottrell- St Kitts and Nevis Patriots

Sheldon Cottrell is currently the fourth-highest wicket-taker in the history of the CPL. The southpaw can not only bowl in the powerplay but also smash some timber in the death overs. Having picked 69 wickets from 50 matches, he has been a lynchpin of the Patriots attack for quite a few seasons.

Last season, he was the joint-highest wicket-taker for St Kitts along with Rayad Emrit. Both the veteran fast bowlers ended up with 12 wickets each. Cottrell had an economy of 7.83, but that’s understandable bearing in mind the phases he bowls and also the pitches at the Warner Park.

4. Naveen ul Haq- Guyana Amazon Warriors

Naveen-ul-Haq is one of the emerging fast bowlers in Afghanistan cricket. He made his debut last year and later that year, he was picked to play for the Sylhet Thunder in the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL). In six games, he got four wickets but didn’t leak a lot of runs.

For the Afghans, the Kabul-born has 16 wickets from nine games, indicating that he has a bright future in the offing. The Guyana Amazon Warriors have the highest win percentage in the CPL, though they are yet to win the title. The onus will be on the young Naveen to make early inroads.

3. Oshane Thomas- Jamaica Tallawahs

Oshane Thomas has played three seasons in the CPL and has 32 wickets from only 20 matches. He came into the limelight in 2018 for the Jamaica Tallawahs after which he made his international debut on the tour of India. However, in the last edition, the pacer had a campaign, pretty similar to a nightmare.

In six games, he picked up nine wickets, four of which came in a losing cause against the Patriots in St Kitts. Moreover, he conceded runs at an economy of 11.62. It wasn’t a surprise that the Tallawahs couldn’t make it to the playoffs. The hulk-like speedster will now be desperate to make some amends.

2. Alzarri Joseph- St Kitts and Nevis Patriots

Alzarri Joseph’s class came to the fore when his 6/12, representing the Mumbai Indians (MI) ripped the heart out of the Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) in the 2019 Indian Premier League (IPL). Even in the CPL, he has done reasonably well, picking up 18 wickets from 16 matches at an economy of 9.35.

In last year’s CPL, the 23-year-old picked up nine wickets from as many games. Most importantly, among all the fast bowlers, he had the best economy rate of 7.75. The youngster has a truckload of talent and the Patriots will be banking on his skills to perform well in the upcoming T20 tournament.

1. Ali Khan- Trinbago Knight Riders

Ali Khan, the talented USA fast bowler, has been a lethal prospect for the Trinbago Knight Riders in the popular league. In 23 matches, the speedster has 27 wickets. Though the Pakistan-born cricketer was a part of the Warriors as well, Khan made a name for himself, playing for the Knight Riders.

One aspect Khan can work on is his economy rate, which is currently at 8.56. Last season, he got 10 wickets from as many games, but leaked runs at 9.02. Ali Khan can hurry the batsmen with his pace and also has a lethal yorker up his sleeves. He is expected to play a key role for TKR even this time.