The voice of cricket, Harsha Bhogle, expressed genuine excitement over the quality of fast bowling he has seen across teams in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 in UAE so far.
In conditions where spinners were supposed to the rule the roost, at least as of now, it is the pacers who have been the dominating force.
Bhogle, who has seen the tournament from close quarters across Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah as a commentator, wrote in his column for the Times of India how much he has enjoyed watching those quicks run in and inflict damage on the opponent.
"I have enjoyed watching the quicks bowl this year," wrote Bhogle. "You don't always get to say that but Kagiso Rabada and Jofra Archer and Pat Cummins are getting us all excited again. I so loved watching Rajasthan play Kolkata and see fast bowling not just respected again but even a bit feared."
The match between Rajasthan Royals (RR) and Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in Dubai on Wednesday (September 30) saw RR's ace quick Jofra Archer being his team's sole bright spot in the first half before KKR's spearhead Pat Cummins, along with young guns Kamlesh Nagarkoti and Shivam Mavi, led their successful defence.
"Archer's first spell was 2-4 from 3 overs and the people manning the speed gun must have thought they were back in Test cricket. It was wonderful to watch, especially since he seems to just slip into 150 kmph," pointed out Bhogle.
"Then Kolkata decided that Pat Cummins must do what he does best; take the new ball and steam in. That passage of play with Cummins bowling quick to Steve Smith was what cricket was all about."
"Friends and teammates, now rivals. One seeking to carve the other into strange spaces on the ground, the other retaliating by running in even harder. Cummins won it but he also won a battle for new ball bowlers in the power play," he added.
Bhogle was also impressed with the performances of renowned pacer Jasprit Bumrah, who seemed to be regaining his best form, and left-arm seamer Sheldon Cottrell in Mumbai Indians' (MI) comprehensive win over Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) in Abu Dhabi on Thursday (October 1).
"Then Jasprit Bumrah steamed in to Mayank Agarwal whose batting has been both, spectacular and easy on the eye. Bumrah has blown hot and cold so far but when he blows hot, he is a sight to behold. He knocked over a quality batsman in top form with proper pace."
"No fooling around with slower balls and loopy bouncers and wide yorkers. No. This was fast bowling and to behold it in T20 cricket was to relish the beauty of our game."
"A little earlier, Sheldon Cottrell had bowled the dream left hander's delivery. It started leg stump to the left handed Quinton de Kock and nipped past the outside edge to hit middle and off. Like with Bumrah to Agarwal, you see this with a red ball. Not with the white one where swing is a blink and miss affair."
Bhogle's only issue with the bowlers is their inclination to go on the defensive in the end-overs and not trying to dismiss the batsman.
"Sadly by the time you get to the back end of the game, either the ball has lost its spice, or the bowlers have started looking at damage control again and runs are flowing more freely than ever before. And I think we are starting to see two different games within a T20 match."
"We thought it was a tapassized portion of 50 over cricket but it now has two very distinct halves. Every year this tournament shows us something new," he signed off.