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THE CPL PLAYER DRAFT 2016: MENDIS, SANTOKE AND TANVIR LEAD THE BOWLERS THAT SHOULD BE GATHERING INTEREST

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By Author CPL

Having the right balance of bowlers is critical in all forms of T20 cricket. Too many fast bowlers can make it difficult to take pace off the ball, especially on drier pitches, while a green deck in warmer weather won't be best utilised by a team lacking in seam options.

There are numerous types of bowlers up for grabs in the CPL Player Draft and below are five to watch out for when the draft gets underway on Thursday 11th February

 

Name – Krishmir Santoke

Age - 31

Skill - Bowling

Status – Territory

Demand - 8/10

Track record

Only Dwayne Bravo took more wickets during the CPL 2015 than Santoke, who claimed 16 victims in 40 overs at an average of 19.75.

Meanwhile, most recently in the Masters Champions T20, the West Indies bowler took four wickets in as many balls for the Sagittarius Strikers, dismissing international quartet Kumar Sangakkara, Brad Hodge, Justin Kemp and Rana Naved-ul-Hasan. There was also a run out in the same over.

His overall T20 statistics read as 134 wickets at an average of 15.

Style and substance

Santoke is not overly dissimilar to Sri Lanka’s Lasith Malinga, with his slingy motion making him hard to get away for runs.

Being a left-arm seamer, his style of bowling is also something that many batsmen wouldn’t have too much experience of facing, while Santoke has one of the most deceptive slower balls in the game.

What’s more, a number of years playing in England helped develop his swing bowling technique and this can also be an asset in certain conditions.

Team recommendation

Being born in Jamaica and with each CPL franchise needing two of its players to reside in its location, it makes sense for Santoke to stick with the Jamaica Tallawahs for another season.

Ensuring an over is kept back for Santoke to bowl at the death would be a prudent category for any skipper, given his diversity in speed, alongside the slingy action that players tend to find difficult to get fully underneath as they go in search of sixes.

 

Name - Ajantha Mendis

Age - 30

Skill - Bowling

Status - Overseas

Demand - 9/10

Track record

It seems somewhat surreal to see Mendis down in spot number 29 in the ICC T20 bowler rankings based on the career that he has had.

The Sri Lankan holds the record for the best ever bowling figures in T20 with his return of 6-8 and not only is he the only bowler to take six wickets in a T20 fixture, this is a feat he has accomplished twice.

He has previously been among the most expensive players sold in the IPL Auction and also plays for the Lahore Qalanders in the Pakistan Super League.

Style and substance

When Mendis first burst onto the scene he was dubbed the ‘Mystery Spinner’ on account of batsmen being totally flummoxed as to which way the ball would move.

He could bowl off spin, leg breaks, top spinners and googlies all with the same finger-flicking style. Even the world’s best batsmen could be totally deceived.

Some of the mystery has now worn off as Mendis has become a more regular opponent, but he remains a big danger in T20 in particular, where batsmen don’t have the time to patiently work him out.

Team recommendation

His supreme accuracy and array of finger flicks helped Mendis finish the last CPL with the third best bowling economy of 5.16, although he did only manage four matches and 12 overs for the Barbados Tridents.

His seven wickets in this time ensured he finished with the best bowling average too across the competition and the Tridents should be looking to sign him again.

If not, the Guyana Amazon Warriors are still looking for a first CPL title after finishing runners-up twice and third last year. A bowler like Mendis could help them get the title their consistency deserves.

 

Name - Sohail Tanvir

Age - 31

Skill - Bowling

Status - Overseas

Demand – 8/10

Track record

Some may consider Tanvir an all-rounder, but it is his bowling that has particularly stood out in recent years for both Pakistan and when representing the St Kitts and Nevis Patriots at CPL 2015.

Tanvir maintained an average below a run a ball for the Patriots and took seven wickets, while he has claimed over 200 victims in the T20 arena on the national stage.

He is no slouch with the bat though, with a T20 batting average of virtually 12 to his name, alongside five centuries and 13 50s at first-class level.

Style and substance

The Rawalpindi Express nickname has already been claimed by Shoaib Akhtar and there is no threat that Tanvir, from the same city in the Punjab, is on track to earn something along similar lines.

Tanvir is more medium-fast, but the reason he perplexes so many batsmen is because he bowls off the wrong foot and rolls his arm twice when delivering the ball.

This out-of-the-box style and his variation, thanks to his ability to also bowl the odd bit of spin, makes him difficult to get away.

Team recommendation

Most of the world’s best left-arm quicks, such as Australian pair Mitchell Johnson and Mitchell Starc, and New Zealand’s Trent Boult, are not involved in the CPL Player Draft, which should help make Tanvir a hotter commodity.

Defending champions Trinidad & Tobago Red Steel lifted the title last year without much of a seam attack, relying on all-rounders Jacques Kallis, Dwayne Bravo and Kevon Cooper to put pace on the ball.

Not only is Tanvir another option, but offers something different being left-handed.

 

Name – Shaun Tait

Age - 32

Skill - Bowling

Status - Overseas

Demand - 4/10

Track record

If it wasn’t for a succession of injuries, which helped to curtail his first-class career at the age of 25, Tait could have gone down among the bowling greats.

But the longer form’s loss is the shorter form’s gain, and Tait has found the physical demands of T20 far less strenuous on his body.

He has been a regular in Australia’s Big Bash League in recent years, starring for the Hobart Hurricanes in 2015/16, taking 10 wickets in eight matches at an average of 24.7

Style and substance

Lots of bowlers may be referred to as “steaming in”, but this is certainly no exaggeration with Tait. He has previously had balls clocked at over 100 miles per hour, using his shoulder-strong action to really let rip.

Tait’s raw pace takes wickets, while he has no qualms about dropping the ball short with the intention of rattling one into a batsman’s ribcage or even striking them with a bouncer.

However, although he has sharpened up with age, the Australian can still be erratic with line and length.

Team recommendation

The Guyana Amazon Warriors made the most of a tall, quick bowler last year, when South African Marchant de Lange sped in and left with 12 wickets at an average of 22.

Tait is more than capable of obtaining similar results and could end up with an Aussie buddy at the club, with Brad Hodge scoring 298 runs last season at a strike rate of 141. There is a strong chance that the Warriors will want to profit from his services again.

 

Name - Danial Ahmed

Age - 31

Skill - Bowling

Status - USA player

Demand – 2/10

Track record

Ahmed was born in Pakistan, but has been playing for the USA since 2012. The following year he was the team’s top wicket taker at the ICC World T20 qualifier, bamboozling 10 victims with his slow left-arm orthodox style.

This was despite only playing in four of the eight possible matches against the likes of Ireland, the UAE, Namibia, Denmark and Uganda.

More recently he has been a member of the ICC Americas team that have been squaring off against a host of Caribbean nations at the Nagico Super50.

Style and substance

With a top score in either List A or T20 cricket of just nine and little in the way of big-game experience, few can doubt that if Ahmed is ever required to swing the willow in the CPL, he will be doing so from number 11.

However, as a bowler he is certainly capable of tightening up an end, even if the fact that he is not the biggest spinner of a ball or able to vary his pace greatly makes it difficult to be regularly among the wickets.

Team recommendation

Going purely on bowling economy rates from the most recent CPL, the St Kitts and Nevis Patriots may be the best fit for Ahmed.

Only three of their bowlers ended the competition with an economy below eight, The Zouks had four and every other club had at least six.

The Patriots will have little hope of avoiding picking up the wooden spoon again if this season’s bowlers are as expensive with the ball again.

 

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THE CPL PLAYER DRAFT 2016: MENDIS, SANTOKE AND TANVIR LEAD THE BOWLERS THAT SHOULD BE GATHERING INTEREST CPL T20

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