IPL: The initial seeds of T20 cricket were first sown during the early 2000s. A format that was merely devised as a mode of entertainment for a three-hour period soon began to be the popular vehicle that would propel cricket in being a global sport. Fours and sixes were only conceived as the way forward while for bowlers, especially spinners, the format was thought of being an absolute graveyard.
However, as the format grew, players gained experience and realized it was more than fours and sixes. With a plethora of T20 leagues around the globe, even bowlers began to re-invent themselves with ways to not only bowl economically but also pick wickets. After nearly 17 years since its inception, bowlers are now the most valued asset in T20 cricket.
Even in mega-T20 leagues like IPL, it is the bowlers who attract the highest bids from the various franchisees. With the due course of time, teams have realized the importance of bowlers in the shortest version of the game.
Here’s a look at 5 bowlers who have bowled most dot-balls in IPL history:
1. Harbhajan Singh – 1249
The four-time IPL winning player, Harbhajan Singh is one of the most successful bowlers in IPL history. After beginning his IPL career with Mumbai Indians, the Punjab-born cricketer shifted his base to join Chennai Super Kings in 2018. Singh, who was a crucial member of the MI squad until 2017, led their spin attack on most occasions.
In his 12-year long IPL career so far, the 49-year-old has delivered maximum – 1249 dot balls in IPL history. Not only has Harbhajan been an economical bowler over the last 12 years but he has also been an asset for both his teams. With a boasting tally of maximum dot balls, Bhajji has also accounted for 150 IPL wickets – ranking third in the list for most wickets in the tournament.
2. Lasith Malinga – 1155
The most successful IPL bowler in terms of his stats, Lasith Malinga has been a regular for Mumbai Indians in the last 12 years. The Sri Lankan legend has picked most IPL wickets with 170 scalps to his name. His accuracy and the strength to consistently hit the right lengths in T20s makes him a menacing pace option in this format.
He has been impressive not just with his ability to pick wickets but has even shown control to contain the batters. In his IPL stint with MI, the right-arm seamer has delivered 1155 dot balls in the last 12 seasons. Despite missing the IPL 2018, Malinga still counts as one of the most valuable players in IPL.
3. Bhuvneshwar Kumar – 1124
One of India’s best white-ball bowler, Bhuvneshwar Kumar has been the leader of the attack for Sunrisers Hyderabad for quite some time now. Bhuvi, who began his IPL career as a mere swing bowler, invented himself to be effective even in the death overs. He increased his pace and became a complete bowler who could bowl both in the powerplay and in the death overs.
It is no surprise why Kumar is ranked third in the list of most dot balls ever bowled by a bowler in IPL history. He sticks to line and lengths and is rarely off-target in going about his business. The UP-lad is also the most successful Indian seamer with 133 scalps to his name. He’s one of the two players to have won the Purple Cap twice in his career.
4. Amit Mishra – 1111
One of the under-rated Indian spinners, Amit Mishra failed to make it big at the highest level. With the presence of some consistent spinners in the Indian team, Mishra couldn’t really earn a permanent spot in the Indian team. However, he continues to be a star at the IPL level. With 157 wickets in the league, Mishra is the most successful Indian in IPL. Not only has he been a wicket-taker for each of his franchisees, but has also been economical with the ball. With 1111 dot balls in IPL, Mishra bags the fourth spot in this illustrious list.
5. Piyush Chawla – 1109
The leg-break bowler from Uttar Pradesh, Piyush Chawla has been a revelation at the IPL level. He might not have been able to replicate his success for the Indian team but has exhibited enormous consistency in IPL. Playing a majority of his matches for KKR, Chawla was their go-to bowler even until IPL 2018. He had the knack of containing runs even in the first six overs. With 1109 dot balls that he has bowled in the IPL, Chawla takes the fifth spot in this elusive list.