With less than 20 days to go, the countdown for the Indian Cricketing Carnival has begun. IPL, the grandest T20 league of the world, is set to take the world by storm this year with more excitement and anticipation than ever. The Indian Premier League is scheduled to begin from 23rd March in Chennai when two old foes will meet once again in the opening game. Chennai Super Kings will host the mighty Royal Challengers Bangalore in the inaugural match of the tournament. All the national teams will assure that all their significant players get ample of rest ahead of the ICC World Cup.
Though T20 cricket is said to be a batsman’s game, it is the bowlers that win you matches. Teams that possess a dangerous bowling lineup have ended up winning more often than not. Bowler’s role becomes more significant for their team, as the format of the game gets shorter in the Cricketing world. IPL has seen several world-class bowlers in the last decade who have set the league on fire with their splendid bowling performances. Glenn Mcgrath, Dale Steyn, Shane Warne, Chaminda Vaas, Makhaya Ntini, Shoaib Akhtar, Murlidharan and Daniel Vettori were some overseas greats who graced the IPL with their presence.
Now let’s take an insight into the best bowlers in the history of the Indian Premier League. Some honorable mentions are- Sunil Narine, Bhuvaneshwar Kumar, Rashid Khan, R Ashwin, and Ravindra Jadeja.
5) 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.
4) Dwayne Bravo
Dwayne Bravo is often regarded as one of the best bowlers in the back end of the innings. His precise and unconventional bowling style not only contains the runs but he also picks some crucial wickets in the slog overs which makes him irreplaceable. After spending three seasons with Mumbai Indians, he was bought by Chennai Super Kings in 2011 IPL auctions. The following year he scored 461 runs and took 19 wickets to lead CSK into the finals.
Bravo has the capability to finish any game with the bat; however, it’s with the ball that he causes most of his damage. The 35-year-old has 136 dismissals to his name in his IPL career with an excellent strike rate of 17.06. He is the fourth highest wicket-taker in the IPL and the only all-rounder to score more than 1000 runs and pick more than 100 wickets in the history of the IPL.
3) 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.
2) 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. Amit Mishra also has two IPL hattricks to his name in the last decade of the IPL.
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. Malinga’s incredible strike rate of 16.61 also proves why he is the best bowler in the history of the IPL.