The Indian Premier League (IPL) has seen a rather equitable battle between the bat and the ball in its rich 12-year history. While the batsmen have threatened to dominate the game, the bowlers have put up quite a fight with constant variations.
In T20 cricket, dot balls are like gold dust, especially in the death overs. Dot balls tend to pile pressure on the batsmen which leads them to trying out release shots that bring about dismissals.
In the IPL, we've seen numerous bowlers slot into the role of death bowlers for their franchises with their skills and variations. The importance of dot balls over the 20 overs is unparalleled, and in this article, we have a look at five bowlers who have registered the most number of dot balls in IPL history.
5. Piyush Chawla (1,109 dots)
One of the most consistent leg-spinners in the history of the IPL, it's not surprise that the MS Dhoni-led Chennai Super Kings roped in Piyush Chawla for 6.75 Crore in the 2019 IPL auctions.
From 157 matches in the IPL, Chawla has picked up a 150 wickets at an economy of 7.82 RPO. Chawla began his IPL career with the Kings XI Punjab and then shifted to the Kolkata Knight Riders in 2014.
With a well-disguised googly and a pacy quicker one, Chawla has managed to trouble the best of batsmen and has delivered 1,109 dot balls from a total of 520.4 overs he's bowled thus far.
4. Amit Mishra (1,111 dots)
Veteran spinner Amit Mishra has often operated in the powerplay overs for whichever side he has represented in the IPL. With the ball in hand, Mishra is known to turn the ball both ways, while his googly has befuddled some of the biggest names in the IPL.
The 37-year-old spinner began his IPL career with the Delhi Daredevils before he shifted to the now-defunct Deccan Chargers in 2011. Mishra then featured for the Sunrisers Hyderabad for two years before he returned to the Delhi Capitals in 2015.
Notably, Mishra also holds the record for the most hat-tricks in the history of the IPL with three to his name. From 147 matches, Mishra has picked up 157 wickets at an economy of 7.35 RPO and has also bowled a total of 1,111 dot balls.
3. Bhuvneshwar Kumar (1,124 dots)
For a while now, Bhuvneshwar Kumar has always been under the shadows of the glorious wicket-takers. With a perfect line and length, Kumar has managed to strangle the batsmen by consistently hitting the right areas.
Kumar reaped rewards for his consistency when he won the Purple Cap - the award for the most wickets in one IPL season - at the end of IPL 2016 and IPL 2017 with 23 and 26 wickets respectively.
With his ability to swing the ball both ways and surprise the batsmen with a cunning slower delivery, Kumar has manifested into SRH's lead bowler.
From 117 matches, Kumar has 133 wickets at an economy of 7.24, and has also bowled 1,124 dot balls from a total of 435.2 overs.
2. Lasith Malinga (1,155 dots)
One of the best death bowlers in the history of the sport, Lasith Malinga has proved to be a massive game-changer for the Mumbai Indians in the IPL with his toe-crushing yorkers.
Malinga has 170 IPL wickets from just 122 games at an economy rate of just 7.14 RPO and is the leading wicket-taker in the tournament. Malinga's best season so far came during IPL 2011 when he picked up 28 wickets from 16 matches.
With 1,155 dot balls to his name, Malinga has proven time and time again as to why he's one of the best in the business. And with Jasprit Bumrah and Trent Boult partnering him at MI this season, the Rohit Sharma-led side could well be in contention for yet another IPL title.
1. Harbhajan Singh (1,249 dots)
Veteran Indian off-spinner Harbhajan Singh has represented two of the most successful IPL teams, CSK and MI over the 12 years of the IPL. Harbhajan Singh began his IPL career with MI before he switched to the MS Dhoni-led side in 2017.
Harbhajan's experience has come in handy quite a lot in the IPL, with captains opting to use his services either in the powerplay or during the middle overs. The turbanator was in fine form for CSK last season, with 16 wickets from 11 matches at an economy of just 7.09.
The offie has picked 150 wickets from 160 matches at an economy rate of 7.05 RPO. A man with many variations up his sleeve, Harbhajan is regarded as one of the most economical bowlers in the IPL, and with 1,249 dot balls to his name, it's no surprise that he is on top of this list.Published 16 Aug 2020, 14:28 IST