Indian Premier League has revolutionized the way T20 cricket is played and spectated all over the world. Since its inception in 2008, IPL has set a benchmark for all the other domestic T20 leagues to follow. Brendon McCullum started the carnage in the inaugural match by scoring an unbeaten knock of 158 runs off just 73 deliveries. It was just the perfect start, an innings full of intention that unfolded the future of cricket for us. IPL has never looked back since then, and that inning was only bettered by Chris Gayle’s 175*(63) in 2013. With just seven days left for the opening match between the reigning champions, Chennai Super Kings and Royal Challengers Bangalore, the excitement and anticipation for the IPL have been sky-high this year.
The significance of a dot ball in the shortest format of cricket is no less than a boundary scored for any team. Especially in the batting powerplay, when the onus is on bowlers to deliver it becomes all the more critical as the bowling side looks to contain runs. Bowlers feed on dot balls like fish feeds on water! The grandest domestic in the world, Indian Premier League, has seen many world-class bowlers ripping their opponents apart with their lethal and accurate bowling attack. Apart from some match-winners who find themselves in the wicket-taking column, the unsung heroes are the ones who bowl dot balls to mount pressure on the batting side.
Now let’s take a look at the bowlers with the maximum number of dot balls bowled in the history of the Indian Premier League. Some honourable mentions are- Zaheer Khan (873), Sunil Narine (955), Bhuvaneshwar Kumar (956), R Ashwin (968), and Dale Steyn (978).
5) Piyush Chawla
Piyush Chawla is a seasoned campaigner who has represented Kings XI Punjab and Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL. A witty leg-spinner, which can be used in all the conditions to torment the opposition batting lineups. Apart from his bowling skills, he is also a handy batsman down the order who can hit some crucial runs down in the slog overs. Chawla broke into the scene in 2008, where he finished the campaign with 17 wickets.
In his 143 IPL innings, he has taken 140 wickets at an average of 26.23. He has a knack of picking up wickets at crucial times for his team which makes him a valuable asset for any T20 franchise. Piyush Chawla finds himself in the fifth position with 1,020 dot balls in his IPL career.
4) Amit Mishra
A veteran leggie with a golden arm, Amit Mishra will be considered as one of the greatest leg-spinners of his generation. The T20 format always favored the brave, and Amit Mishra was still brave enough to toss the ball up even after getting tonked for many sixes. This quality of his is what makes him unique, a rigid character who is unapologetically himself and no matter how much you score off him, he’s going to get you eventually.
He has 146 scalps against his name in 136 IPL innings at an impressive average of 24.14 for more than three franchises. The 36-year-old has a career economy rate of 7.39 with a strike rate of 19.59. He has bowled 1,027 dot balls so far in his IP career. Amit Mishra also has two IPL hattricks to his name in the last decade of the IPL.
3) Lasith Malinga
Lasith Malinga is often hailed as one of the best bowlers in the history of limited overs cricket. He is a phenomenal player who could destroy any batting lineup with his toe-crushing Yorkers and unorthodox slower balls. Malinga was as effective in the batting powerplay as he was in the back end of the innings with his specific slinging action. Since the inaugural edition of the IPL, Malinga’s performance was pivotal to Mumbai Indian’s success.
The ace Sri Lankan took 154 IPL wickets in only 110 outings at a staggering average of 19.01. Despite bowling majority of his overs in the slog overs, he has an economy rate of 6.86 which is impressive. His incredible strike rate of 16.61 also proves why he is the best bowler in the history of the IPL. Slinga Malinga has 1,060 dot balls to his name which helps him grab the third position in our list.
2) Praveen Kumar
Praveen Kumar was often renowned as the King of swing by the cricketing world as he possessed a rare talent of swinging the ball both sides. The UP lad was one of the very few bowlers who could consistently bowl out-swingers as good as the in-swingers and trouble the batsmen with the ball swinging in the air. Although he was not as quick, his accurate and precise line always kept the batsmen skeptical in two frames of mind. In 2008, he made his IPL debut for the Royal Challengers Bangalore before joining the Kings XI Punjab in 2011 where he made his presence felt. Praveen Kumar played his final IPL game for the Gujarat Lions in 2017.
The 32-year-old made 119 IPL appearances in which he managed to pick 90 with a reasonable economy rate of 7.72. With his natural swinging skill, Praveen Kumar bowled 1,075 dot balls in his IPL career.
1) Harbhajan Singh
Harbhajan Singh has been most consistent bowler since the inaugural edition of the Indian Premier League. An off-spinner who can bowl in the powerplay along with some essential spells in the middle overs is always a vital element of any T20 side. The Turbanator had an illustrious career with Mumbai Indians before he moved to Chennai Super Kings last year. He is one of the few players who has lifted the IPL trophy four times.
Harbhajan Singh has 134 dismissals to his name in 145 IPL innings. His economy rate of 7.05 shows his skills and temperament with the ball. The 38-year-old is a Wily Fox, who can outsmart any batsmen with his accurate line & length. He also holds the record of bowling the most number of dot balls (1,128) in the history of the IPL.