Royal Challengers Bangalore may have been unlucky one more time in their bid to lift the Indian Premier League trophy, but three of their bowlers — Sri Lankan leg-spinner Wanindu Hasaranga, Australian pace stalwart Josh Hazlewood and the ever-dependable Harshal Patel — were at the forefront of their campaign in the just-concluded season.
The combined effort of the three bowlers, and of course the efforts of their death-overs batter Dinesh Karthik, were the positives for the Faf du Plessis-led side as it aims to regroup for the next season.
In fact, Hasaranga eventually missed the ‘Purple Cap’ by a whisker to his former teammate, Yuzvendra Chahal, but the kind of domination that he wove over the span of the tournament was too overwhelming to be refuted. The Sri Lankan eventually finished IPL 2022 with a haul of 26 wickets at a superb economy rate of 7.54.
While Josh Hazlewood did earn the dubious distinction of being the most expensive bowler in IPL 2022, with figures of 4-0-64-0 against Punjab Kings in a league match, the tall Australian pacer was otherwise an asset in the death overs. More than choking the chase frequently apart from his immaculate powerplay spells, the 31-year-old finished his campaign with 20 wickets from 12 matches at an economy rate of 8.1.
Not to forget the ever-dependable Harshal Patel, the Purple Cap winner last season and the biggest asset RCB possess. The pace bowler mixed his weapons intelligently, producing the all-important mishits, and just when it felt that someone could threaten to take the game away from RCB, he would plug in with those crucial spells. He eventually ended his campaign on a high with a haul of 19 wickets at an economy rate of 7.67.