There's no skill like wicket-taking that can contain the scoring rate, and these bowlers have excelled at it in the IPL.
While cricket as such, and especially T20, is often described as a batsman's game, bowlers who can create breakthroughs frequently are in high demand in the Indian Premier League. There's no skill like wicket-taking that can contain the scoring rate, and over the years these bowlers have excelled in the same.
Note: Only Bowlers with at least 30 wickets in IPL are considered.
Kagiso Rabada has played just 18 matches in the IPL, but the South African pacer, highly rated across formats, is a ferocious fast bowler with a penchant for picking up wickets. The seamer has 31 wickets at an average of 17.93, but what makes him top this list is a strike rate of 13.22 which is the best in the league's history. The highlight of Rabada's IPL career is containing a marauding hitter like Andre Russell in the Super Over.
The Australian pace bowler was a revelation in the 2018 edition of the IPL, snaring 24 wickets to win the Purple cap while playing for Kings XI Punjab. Tye was fantastic with his death bowling in the tournament and used his slower variations and cutters to pick up big wickets in the last few overs. Overall, Tye has 39 wickets in 26 matches in the IPL at a strike rate of 15.23 with three four-wicket hauls. His average of 21.07 is also commendable but Tye's stocks have since gone down in the league.
While leg-spinners have had immense success in the league, the first few names that would come to your mind when discussing this category is unlikely to involve Rajasthan Royals', Shreyas Gopal. The all-rounder and leg-break bowler has been fantastic in the last two seasons and has 38 wickets in 30 innings in the IPL. Gopal has a strike rate of 15.5 with just one big haul (four or more wickets) but is a consistent wicket-taker in the league's history.
Few T20 bowlers have as much experience of playing in various conditions as Imran Tahir. The T20 mercenary has enjoyed a stellar time in the IPL. In 55 games, Tahir has 79 wickets at an average of 20.39 and a strike rate of 15.51 with three four-wicket hauls. The leg-spinner also comes with an economy of 7.88 and is a handy addition to most teams. At Chennai Super Kings, he seems to have found men who trust him with key tasks and he usually thrives in such circumstances.
Few remember the impact Doug Bollinger made in the IPL for Chennai Super Kings. The left-arm pacer was a revelation in a side packed with spinners and found a knack of picking up early wickets with the new ball. In 96 overs in the IPL, Bollinger picked up 37 wickets at an impressive average of 18.72. His economy of 7.21 further made him a dangerous bowler in the format. With an ability to strike every 15 balls, Bollinger remains the best wicket-taking left-arm pacer the IPL has seen.
Feature image courtesy: AFP / Sajjad Hussain