When the news of IPL season 13 being shifted to UAE was confirmed almost everyone from the fans to the experts thought that spin would be the way to win in these conditions.
But what a surprise this tournament has thrown at us! It has been the pace bowlers who have ruled the roost in UAE, especially in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, with Mohammad Siraj emerging as the latest fast bowling star from the desert of Abu Dhabi.
The tournament is being played at 3 venues: Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Sharjah, so most of the wickets must have undergone quite a bit of wear and tear, then how could one possibly explain the dominance of fast bowlers?
A key reason behind the performance of the fast bowlers is that most of the wicket-takers are genuine fast bowlers, 7 out of the top 10 wicket-takers are fast bowlers this season and unsurprisingly none of them bowl medium pace.
They are all out and out quick bowlers who hit the deck and extract movement from the pitch making life difficult for the batsmen.
Another reason would surely be the length of the boundaries in UAE, (Sharjah is an exception) bowlers have bowled short at the batsman’s body and have managed to get them out by making them hook or pull (ungainly) and catching them at the boundaries. The same balls would have been sixes in India thanks to the shorter boundaries there.
Owing to such rich rewards being available for them, the fast bowlers have not minded going full steam even in the heat of UAE, this goes to show, Cricket is still a game between the bat and the ball. We like it that way!