IPL Facts: These 5 Players are the Top Bowling Leaders of All Time

The Indian Premier League has sided with batsmen like any other T20 tournament, but several bowlers have established their authority on the field over the years.

In a tournament of narrow boundaries, field restrictions, pacers, and spinners, bowlers have evolved invariably to stay up-to-date with modern times.

Top 5 Bowling Leaders in IPL History

The following five bowlers have undeniably had a grander impact on their team’s triumph and T20 cricket overall –

Lasith Malinga

This list is undoubtedly topped by one of the finest bowlers in IPL history, Lasith Malinga. The leading wicket-taker in IPL history has stolen a whopping 170 wickets in just 122 games with an average of 19.8 and an economy rate of 7.14.

Immaculate with his yorkers and slower balls, the Sri Lankan speedster has assumed perhaps the most crucial role in most Mumbai Indians‘ title triumphs.

Malinga was considered next to unplayable in his prime, and while his pace declined with age, he adapted exceptionally well to continue posing a potent threat.

Sunil Narine

Sunil Narine is a slightly left-field choice ranked at the second position as seven bowlers have had more wickets in the IPL history. However, the West Indian spinner has revolutionised the approach of spinners’ bowling in T20 cricket.

Narine has stolen 127 wickets in 120 games at a staggering economy rate of 6.77, which is the greatest among all bowlers who have played over 100 games.

He has never conceded over 8 runs in an over in any of his IPL matches and has scalped over 15 wickets in a season 4 times.

Harbhajan Singh

Harbhajan Singh is one of the most consistent performers in IPL history for the Mumbai Indians and the Chennai Super Kings.

The off-spinner has stolen 150 wickets in 160 games with an economy rate of 7.05. These statistics put Harbhajan at the third position on this list because of the significant impact on his teams’ title wins.

Typically bowling in the powerplay, this bowler has kept most opposition batsmen under his control throughout his career. He held the position for the third-best economy rate among bowlers to have played over 100 games. 

Amit Mishra

Amit Mishra, who has snatched 160 wickets in 150 games while delivering an average of 24.19 with an economy rate of 7.34, holds the fourth position on this list.

The veteran leggie has more wickets under his name than any other spinner in the tournament’s history and ranks above Ashwin and Chawla, owing to his better record and bowling style.

Mishra is an orthodox leg-spinner who employs flight and guile to get wickets. He has carved a niche for himself as a player who is traditional yet extraordinarily effective.

Barring his injury-hit 2020 IPL season, Mishra has scalped wickets in double-digits in all but two campaigns (9 wickets in 2015 and 7 wickets in 2014). He also has three hat-tricks in the IPL.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar

The extraordinary wicket-taker among Indian pacers in IPL history, Bhuvneshwar Kumar ranks at a well-deserved fifth position on this list.

The Sunrisers Hyderabad pacer has held the position of leading his team’s attack for a few years. He has even become one of the few bowlers to be entrusted with the captaincy in the tournament.

A bowler who always delivers his captain four overs in the tightest scenarios, he has scalped 136 wickets in 121 games with an average of 23.91, yielding an economy rate of 7.23.

Final Words

While T20 cricket leagues like IPL are mostly about hitting it big with the bat, the bowlers’ responsibility is to ensure that the opposition batsmen do not score big. Several bowlers have taken several crucial wickets in a match that became the deciding factor for the game. 

The players have gotten ranked according to their bowling threat on the pitch, the number of wickets, average rate, and current form in this list. Such factors can make them a juggernaut against even the toughest of players.


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