The T20 format is widely known as a format that favours batters over bowlers. Fans are usually witness to some high octane slogging towards the closing stages of an innings as bowlers are normally taken to the cleaners.
So one can imagine how difficult it is to be a bowler in such a format and have consistently good performances year in year out. In today’s day and age, the T20 format is considered as a saviour of the game and over the past couple of decades, franchise tournaments have been the source of T20 action for most cricket fans.
The biggest franchise cricket tournament in the world today is the iconic Indian Premier League (IPL). Since its inception in 2008, the competition has grown in popularity from Indian audiences to fans worldwide.
There have been eight winners of the tournament and the success of each not just depended on the batting unit. A consistent bowling attack is absolutely crucial if one wants to be successful in T20, even more so than batting in certain scenarios.
Here is a list of the top 10 best IPL bowlers of all time ranked first to 10th in terms of wickets taken as that is the most important statistic for a bowler.
It really is interesting when one sees that the highest wicket taker in the history of the Indian Premier League is not a pure bowler, but an all-rounder. Dwayne Bravo has written his name into Chennai Super Kings (CSK) folklore with his groundbreaking performances year in year out under the captaincy of one of the best IPL captains ever, MS Dhoni.
He has played 161 matches from 2008 to 2022 and has taken 183 wickets. His best figures are 4-22 and he averages 23.82 with an economy of 8.38.
Lasith Malinga’s exploits in cricket go far beyond the bounds of the Indian Premier League but what he has done in the franchise competition is the stuff of legends. The Sri Lankan is hailed as one of the greatest fast bowlers in the history of T20 cricket and that, by no means, is an exaggeration.
Malinga has taken 170 wickets in just 122 matches, averaging 19.79. His economy is 7.14 with best figures of 5-13.
What makes Indian spinner Yuzvendra Chahal’s inclusion in the list all the more impressive is the fact that he is still an active player and has quite a few years ahead of him playing the game.
The wrist spinner started off in the IPL with the Mumbai Indians before moving to the Rajasthan Royals. However, he really came into his own under the captaincy of Virat Kohli with the Royal Challengers Bangalore.
Chahal has taken 166 wickets in 133 matches so far and has best figures of 5-40. He has an average of 21.83 and an economy of 7.61.
Despite not being much of a regular for the Indian national team in T20s, Amit Mishra’s contribution in the IPL simply cannot be overstated. The former Delhi Daredevils’ player has played 154 matches in his IPL career and managed to take 166 scalps. His best figures are 5-17 with an economy of 7.35 and an average of 23.95.
Piyush Chawla might not seem like a player with that star appeal but what he has brought to the table during his time in the IPL is consistency. Chawla was one of the integral parts of Gautam Gambhir’s bowling attack for the Kolkata Knight Riders who won the IPL twice.
The spinner has taken 157 wickets in 165 matches and has best figures of 4-17. He averages 27.39 and has an economy rate of 7.88.
Ravichandran Ashwin has undoubtedly written his name as one of the finest spinners in the history of Indian cricket, and his figures suggest nothing different. His claim to fame was the IPL, a tournament which he made his own under the captaincy of MS Dhoni for CSK.
Ashwin has 157 wickets to his name in 184 matches so far with best figures of 4-34. His economy rate is 6.97 and average is 28.87.
For the SunRisers Hyderabad, pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar one of the top 10 best IPL bowlers has often been a talismanic figure in the bowling department. The Indian pacer might not have the best pace in the world but what he does have is skill.
Bhuvi, as he is called by fans, is a fantastic swing bowler who has a litany of deliveries in his skill set including a highly effective yorker. He has taken 154 wickets in 146 matches so far in the IPL and has best bowling figures of 5-19. His economy rate is 7.30 and average is 25.78.
One of the most crucial players for the Kolkata Knight Riders over the past decade has to be West Indian spinner Sunil Narine among top 10 best IPL bowlers. Narine was instrumental in 2012 and 2014 when the Knight Riders won the IPL under Gautam Gambhir’s captaincy.
To this day, the West Indian remains a crucial part of the KKR set up and plays a huge part for the team over the course of the season. Narine has taken 152 wickets in 148 matches so far in his IPL career with best figures of 5-19. His economy is 6.63 and an average of 25.13.
One of the greatest spinners in the history of Indian cricket, Harbhajan Singh, is unsurprisingly on the list. The turbanator has been an asset for the Mumbai Indians for a number of years, bringing them a ton of success and joy. Harbhajan has taken 150 scalps in 163 matches and has recorded best figures of 5-18.
Arguably India’s best fast bowler today, Jasprit Bumrah’s rise to the top has been fueled by his performances in the IPL over the years for Mumbai Indians. The pacer has taken 145 wickets in just 120 matches so far and still has a substantial part of his career ahead of him. His best figures are 5-10 with an economy of 7.39.
The tournament has seen some fine bowlers over the years but only a select few have made it to the pantheon of IPL legends. Of course, the list includes top 10 best IPL bowlers who have hung up their boots after fairy tale careers, but there are also some who are in the prime of their lives and can only go up.
1. Who is the highest wicket taker in IPL history?
A: Dwayne Bravo is the highest wicket taker in IPL history with 183 wickets so far.
2. Who is the most successful spinner in the IPL?
A: Currently, Yuzvendra Chahal is the most successful IPL spinner with 166 wickets and counting.
3. Who is the most successful Indian pacer in the IPL?
A: Bhuvneshwar Kumar is the most successful pacer in the IPL so far with 154 wickets.