In the early days of T20 cricket, everyone expected that the shortest format of the game would be a dominantly a batters’ format. But over the years, the thinking of cricket followers has changed about T20 cricket. It’s not a completely batter game, but the bowlers are also important factors for the team’s win or loss in a T20 match. The same trend has been observed in the IPL as well-world’s most popular cricket league is dominated by bowlers along with batters. In the 15 seasons of IPL, many bowlers came and made a huge impact in the league. Some bowlers are remembered for their stunning performances in a particular season of IPL. Cricket fans remember some of the IPL seasons because of these bowlers with the most wickets.
Let’s review the bowlers who have claimed the most IPL wickets in a single season.
1. HARSHAL PATEL (2021) – 32 wickets
The first name on the list is Harshal Patel, who took 32 wickets in IPL-14 for Royal Challengers Bangalore. He was the one of the bowlers with the most wickets. The 32-year-old cricketer is known for his variations and slower deliveries. He’s one of the finest bowlers among current cricketers who can bluff the batters with slower balls. In IPL 2021, he joined the former Caribbean all-rounder Dwayne Bravo at the top of the list of most wickets in a single IPL season. Virat Kohli, the captain of RCB that season, had used Harshal Patel mostly in slog overs. Harshal Patel took the most wickets that season and maintained an amazing economy of 8.14. He was one of the reasons for RCB’s good performance in that season. After winning the purple cap in the 14th season of IPL, he made it into international cricket and became a regular member of India’s senior team.
2. DWAYNE BRAVO (2013) – 32 wickets
The champion all-rounder from the West Indies is one of the few overseas players who made a huge impact in the biggest cricket league in the world with his performance over the years. He started with 5-time champion Mumbai Indians but in the year 2011, he joined Chennai Super Kings. Since then, he remained an important part of CSK and performed with both bat and ball for them. Especially with the ball, he has been amazing over the years. In 2013, he picked up 32 wickets, which is still a record. Last season, he became the leading wicket-taker in IPL history by surpassing Lasith Malinga. He was also the go-to bowler for his captain, similar to Harshal Patel. Dwayne Bravo is one of the early bowlers with the most wickets in world, who started the trend of slower deliveries in slog overs of T20 cricket. Dwayne Bravo is one of the rare bowlers whose stock delivery is slower than the actual pace. Recently, he retired from the IPL and joined as the bowling coach of Chennai Super Kings for IPL 2023.
3. KAGISO RABADA (2020) – 30 wickets
Currently, Kagiso Rabada is one of the most dominating fast bowlers in world cricket. He showed his ability to the world by producing amazing performances regularly in international cricket and IPL as well. In IPL 2020, he was the leading wicket-taker by picking up 30 wickets and won the purple cap. The 27-year-old Proteas was one of the main reasons for Delhi’s successful campaign in IPL 2020. The season was played in UAE and Rabada showed an astonishing performance on those spin-friendly wickets. The reason for his success in those slow wickets of UAE was his raw pace. In IPL 2020, he not only took the most wickets but also bowled with a very cheap economy of 8.34. Currently, Rabada is one of the most popular overseas players in the league.
4. LASITH MALINGA (2011) – 28 wickets
It’s very hard to talk about bowlers with the most wickets without mentioning Lasith Malinga. The former Sri Lankan is one of the oldest and all-time stars of the Indian Premier League. He played all his IPL games as a player for Mumbai Indians. Malinga is one of the reasons for Mumbai’s success in the league. Lasith Malinga was one of the very few bowlers who dominated almost every attacking batter in limited-overs cricket. Still, many people remembered him for his perfection in bowling yorker deliveries. In IPL 2011, he was the leading wicket-taker in the season by scalping 28 wickets. Till IPL 2022, he was the leading wicket-taker (170 wickets) in the league. Lasith Malinga is one of the few foreign cricketers who pulled cricket fans toward the IPL through their performance that’s why some people call him a true IPL legend.
5. JAMES FAULKNER (2013) – 28 wickets
Many cricket fans may forget his name because of his absence in the IPL and International cricket in recent times but there was a time when he was one of the top bowlers in the league. He was the first who started bowling back-of-hand deliveries regularly in the slog overs. In IPL 2013, he played for Rajasthan Royals and picked up a total of 28 wickets in the season. He didn’t win the purple cap because Dwayne Bravo was the leading wicket-taker (32 wickets) in that season. In this season, he not only took the wickets but his bowling economy was just 6.75 which is excellent in T20 cricket.
The two players who have taken the most wickets in a single IPL season are Dwayne Bravo and Harshal Patel. All the bowlers mentioned above are fast bowlers. There is no spinner in the list of top-5 bowlers with the most wickets in an IPL season. The reason for this is that slog-overs have a higher likelihood of producing wickets and spinners rarely bowl them.
1. Who’s the leading wicket-taker in IPL history?
Ans: Dwayne Bravo is the leading wicket-taker in the IPL. In IPL 2022, he surpassed Sri Lanka’s Lasith Malinga to become the leading wicket-taker in the league.
2. Who’s the best IPL bowler between Bravo and Malinga?
Ans: It’s very hard to choose between Bravo and Malinga as both are the top leading wicket-takers in the history of the league. But, overall impact-wise, Lasith Malinga is slightly ahead of Dwayne Bravo.
3. Has Lasith Malinga played for any other IPL team than Mumbai Indians?
Ans: No! Lasith Malinga only played for Mumbai Indians in the IPL. But currently, he is serving as a bowling coach at Rajasthan Royals.