BENGALURU: Wanindu Hasaranga on Sunday once again proved why at present he’s the no.1 bowler in the T20s. He bowled with incredible control and venom to snaffle five wickets against Sunrisers Hyderabad.
Playing for Royal Challengers Bangalore, the right-arm spinner has already chalked up 21 wickets in 12 matches. He’s the second highest wicket-taker in the Indian Premier League 2022 at present after Yuzvendra Chahal.
On Sunday, he came to bowl in the 9th over and snared Aiden Markram on the second ball with a well-disguised googly. Left-hander Nicholas Pooran was his next victim as he was beaten neck-and-crop in flight and was caught at short third man as he tried to hoick him over midwicket.
Jagadeesha Suchith was also deceived by a deadly googly, while Shashank Singh was undone by the pace and length. Overall, Hasaranga finished with 5-18 as Bangalore romped home by 67 runs.
Earlier in the tournament, Hasaranga had demolished Kolkata Knight Riders by snapping up four wickets. In fact, throughout the tournament Hasaranga has been terrific during middle overs for Bangalore and hasn’t allowed batsmen to get the better of him.
“I’m a wicket-taking bowler and the team also thinks like that. I try to bowl a lot of dot balls and try to get wickets. That’s my role in the team. I’m really happy with my position right now. I try to take wickets in middle overs and put pressure on the opposition,” he said after Bangalore’s 67-run win over Hyderabad.
The leg-spinner has played four Tests for Sri Lanka but could not make a mark. His ODI record is fine, but it is the shortest format of the game that he absolutely relishes.
In 35 T20I for his country, he has bagged 57 wickets with an economy-rate under 7. Those are phenomenal stats and he’s rightly hailed as the no.1 bowler in the format. His glittering performance in the IPL 2022 only underlines his stature and skills.
So, what makes him so effective in the T20s?
Firstly, Hasaranga is quick through the air which makes it extremely difficult for batsmen to skip down the track against him or to take him to the cleaners.
Additionally, he varies his pace adroitly and sometimes deceives his opponents in flight. In a format, where batsmen are perennially looking to tonk bowlers, they remain uncertain about his variations in pace and that works to his advantage.
He also has a searing googly and it’s a huge boon for a leg-spinner in the T20s. One has to ascertain whether to play him with the spin or take a chance to smash him across the line.
Hasaranga is also unerringly accurate and rarely wavers or strays from the standard corridor. He doesn’t serve up too many loose balls to batsmen and compels them to take a risk which cranks up his chances of picking up wickets.
Hasaranga doesn’t have the booming turn or a sharp dip which restricts his success in Tests as one needs an effective stock delivery to cut the mustard in the long format. Nevertheless, he possesses the ammunition to make merry in the T20s and is reaping the windfall.