T20 cricket is traditionally not a bowler's favourite format of the sport. In modern cricket, both the sides batting for just 20 overs each means the ball is either going to race towards the boundary line or fly over it and that too, quite frequently.
However, in the recent years, the scenario has become a bit positive for the bowlers, as the international bowling fraternity has come up with a number of innovative deliveries in their repertoire, such as the slower ones, low full tosses, carom balls, knuckle balls etc.
Now, while talking about the cricketing nations who have always taken their bowling seriously, one cannot really leave out Pakistan. They have produced a number of quality bowlers such as Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, Saqlain Mushtaq etc. among many others in the recent past and are continuing to do the same 10-15 years down the line.
If we look at the top ten wicket takers in T20 International matches, we will stumble upon the name of three Pakistani bowlers right at the start of the list.
Shahid Afridi tops the list with 97 wickets in the 98 T20Is that he has played with the best bowling figure of 4 for 11 against the Netherlands in the 2009 T20 World Cup in England.
Umar Gul is the next man on the list. The former Kolkata Knight Riders man has taken 85 wickets in just 60 T20I matches at a phenomenal strike of 14.1.
Saeed Ajmal, the 38-year-old former Pakistani right arm off-spin bowler is third on the list having picked up 85 wickets in his 64 T20I matches. Ajmal also boasts of an impressive economy rate of just 6.36 runs per over.
The list also consists of three Sri Lankan bowlers, namely Lasith Malinga, Ajantha Mendis and Nuwan Kulasekara.
Lasith Malinga who has picked up 78 wickets his 62 T20I appearances for the island nation, had also guided the Lankans to their one and only T20 World Cup success in 2014 at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Dhaka.
However, there is not a single Indian on the list as Ravichandran Ashwin ranks 12th in terms of the total number of wickets that he has picked up in the T20Is. The 29-year-old right arm off-break bowler from Tamil Nadu has picked up 50 wickets in the 43 T20Is that he has played for India.
Here is a list of Top 12 wicket takers in the T20Is:
|1||Shahid Afridi (Pak)||2006-2016||98||96||357.2||4||2362||97||4/11||24.35||6.61||22.1|
|2||Umar Gul (Pak)||2007-2016||60||60||200.3||2||1443||85||5/6||16.97||7.19||14.1|
|3||Saeed Ajmal (Pak)||2009-2015||64||63||238.2||2||1516||85||4/19||17.83||6.36||16.8|
|4||SL Malinga (SL)||2006-2016||62||62||217.5||0||1582||78||5/31||20.28||7.26||16.7|
|5||BAW Mendis (SL)||2008-2014||39||39||147.3||5||952||66||6/8||14.42||6.45||13.4|
|6||Shakib Al Hasan (Ban)||2006-2016||54||53||195.5||1||1322||65||4/15||20.33||6.75||18.0|
|7||SCJ Broad (Eng)||2006-2014||56||55||195.3||2||1491||65||4/24||22.93||7.62||18.0|
|8||DW Steyn (SA)||2007-2016||42||42||150.1||2||1009||58||4/9||17.39||6.71||15.5|
|9||NL McCullum (NZ)||2007-2016||63||59||187.1||0||1278||58||4/16||22.03||6.82||19.3|
|10||KMDN Kulasekara (SL)||2008-2016||50||50||176.1||6||1280||56||4/32||22.85||7.26||18.8|
|11||GP Swann (Eng)||2008-2012||39||38||135.0||4||859||51||3/13||16.84||6.36||15.8|
|12||R Ashwin (India)||2010-2016||43||43||160.0||2||1107||50||4/8||22.14||6.91||19.2|