The most crucial stage of a T20 game is the middle overs which constitute the spine of the innings. All the salvo and gung-ho displayed in the powerplay and the death overs are knee-jerk, but the upshot of a game depends on the fact that how a team shapes up their innings in the middle-overs (ie 7-15 overs).
It is not just a question of how good your batsmen bat in those important overs but the impact your bowlers can have on the game by either providing crucial breakthroughs or rattle up some economical spells.
This year’s IPL was a burning testimony to the fact that how middle-overs can shape the fortune of the game. Given the fact that UAE proved to be a graveyard for the batsmen, the bowlers, especially the slower ones left an astronomical impact on the game. This is not just this year’s story. Despite being shunned, the bowlers have always been crucial to the title aspirations of a team. We will look at the most wickets taken by a bowler in the middle-overs of IPL throughout its glittering history.
- Imran Tahir – 24 wickets, 2019
In 2019, the South African spinner was working out wonders with the ball in his hand. Not only did he raze through the bowling line-ups but he managed to scalp 24 wickets in the middle overs. Chennai posted a resonating showdown throughout the fray, thanks to an incredible faring from the Protean veteran, who failed to impress in the recently concluded IPL.
- Harbhajan Singh – 19 wickets, 2013
The Turbanator of India has showcased exemplary class with the cherry in his hand in any format of the game. In the year 2013, he had a monumental effect on the outcome of the tournament for Mumbai Indians. He bowled extremely miserly spells that saw him scalping 19 wickets in the middle overs.
- Rashid Khan – 19 wickets, 2020
Rashid Khan is a magician of the finest order and the Afghan’s rise in cricket has been nothing short of wondrous. The man who conjured the magic of the highest order with the ball in his hand was also the pick of the bowling slew in 2020. He was the most consistent performer in the echelons of Sunrisers Hyderabad with 19 wickets in the middle overs alongside his colleague, David Warner.
Not only did he turn into a scourge for the batting sides with his wicket-taking knack, but those frugal overs that he bowled in the middle made life hell for the batting sides chasing mammoth totals.
- Kuldeep Yadav – 17 wickets, 2018
Despite not having a good outing in the last couple of seasons in IPL as KKR hasn’t really used this chinaman spinner to the fullest extent, he was one of the most effective spinners of 2018. In fact, he is still the primary spinning option for India when it comes to rattling imperative partnerships throughout the game.
In 2018, Kuldeep Yadav grabbed the limelight with some fine spin that saw him claiming 17 wickets in the year and also won him the national cap that left the world reeling in his spin, with Australia taking the heftiest dent.