Former Indian opener and now a cricket expert Aakash Chopra has picked the top six bowling performances of the first phase of IPL 2021. Chopra rated Harshal Patel’s performance of 5-27 against defending champions Mumbai Indians as the best of the competition.
Thus, Patel also became the first bowler in the IPL history to take a five-wicket haul against Mumbai Indians. Patel impressed with his slower balls and ability to hit the accurate yorkers. He scalped 17 wickets in the seven matches he played.
“At No.1 is my favorite bowling performance of the season so far, I have picked Harshal Patel. It came in the first match against Mumbai (5/27). You have a four-over spell and there if you take five wickets, that too while coming at the end. He bowled very good slower ones and perfect yorkers,” said Chopra.
Chopra picked Harpreet Brar’s bowling performance of 3-19 as his second best bowling performance. Brar took the big wickets of Virat Kohli, Glenn Maxwell and AB de Villiers to help PBKS dominate RCB.
“Second on my list is Harpreet Brar. He took three wickets while giving 19 runs, but who were those three wickets. He conceded 10 runs in his first over and then a boundary off the first ball of his second over. And then you dismiss Kohli, Maxwell and AB de Villiers, which was the icing on the cake,” stated Chopra.
The former KKR player then picked Deepak Chahar’s bowling performance of 4-13 against Punjab Kings. Chahar got the ball to swing both ways and CSK were able to restrict PBKS to 106 runs.
“At No.3, I have picked Deepak Chahar’s 4/13 vs Punjab. First he dismissed Mayank Agarwal, it was an outstanding ball. After that he dismissed Chris Gayle and Hooda in his four wickets. It was game, set and match,” observed Chopra.
Chopra then selected Chris Morris’ performance of 4-23 against Kolkata Knight Riders at the fourth place. Morris was right on the money in his spell and breathed down the neck of the KKR batters.
“At No.4, I have kept Chris Morris’ four-wicket spell against KKR while conceding just 23 runs. Kolkata is a dangerous team and Rajasthan did not have Jofra. So you keep looking towards Morris but will he bowl at the start, middle and then at the end. He did all of that,” said Chopra.
The former Indian opener picked Andre Russell’s bowling show of 5-15 against Mumbai Indians. Russell was able to wrap the MI’s tail as he scalped five wickets in only two overs.
“At No.5 I have kept Andre Russell who took 5/15 against the Mumbai Indians, that too in two overs. He went round the stumps and kept bowling wide with the angle and dismissed everyone one by one,” added Chopra.
Chopra picked Rahul Chahar’s bowling performance of 4-27 as his last best bowling show. KKR were in a commanding position but Chahar was able to turn the tables.
“At No.6, is the performance of Deepak’s brother. It was in the same KKR vs MI match. KKR was not chasing a huge score and there Rahul Chahar took four wickets which included Eoin Morgan and Nitish Rana. Everyone was trying to play shots and getting stuck in his web,” concluded Chopra.