T20, especially the IPL, is a batsman's game, as they say. But a few bowlers would disagree.
It is not easy picking wickets in the IPL. The pressure of performing on the big stage against world-class batsmen looking to attack from the get-go can be a daunting proposition even for experienced campaigners.
Nevertheless, as many as 16 different bowlers have taken 100 wickets in the IPL, with most of them still active in the competition. On that note, let's have a look at the three players with the most wickets in IPL history.
#3 Piyush Chawla - 156 IPL wickets
Leg-spinner Piyush Chawla has been a part of the IPL ever since the competition's inaugural edition in 2008. He has featured in each season of the blockbuster league.
The 32-year-old has donned the colours of various IPL franchises over the years but enjoyed his most productive stint with Kings XI Punjab (now Punjab Kings) from 2008 to 2013.
The Aligarh-born player moved to the Shahrukh Khan-owned Kolkata Knight Riders in 2014, for whom he played six seasons.
Chawla became the most expensive Indian player at the 2020 IPL auction when he was picked up for Rs. 6.75 crore by Chennai Super Kings. However, in IPL 2021, the leg-spinner will don the blue jersey of the defending champions, Mumbai Indians.
Piyush Chawla is one of only five bowlers to have taken 150 wickets in the IPL. He has snared 156 scalps in 164 IPL matches at an economy rate of 7.87 and an average of 27.32.
His best bowling figures of 4/17 in an IPL innings came for Punjab Kings against the Royal Challengers Bangalore in 2011, a game Chawla's team won by 111 runs.
Piyush Chawla is reliable in tense situations. He is a wicket-taking bowler who has good control and variations up his sleeve.
Chawla can also play a few cameos with the bat; he has 584 runs to his name in the IPL. The bowling all-rounder took 11 wickets in seven matches for Gujarat in the recently-concluded Vijay Hazare Trophy.
Mumbai Indians bagged Piyush Chawla for Rs 2.4 crore in the IPL 2021 mini-auction after CSK released him following a lacklustre campaign.
Chawla would bring a lot of experience to Mumbai Indians and mentor the likes of Rahul Chahar and other spinners in their roster. After playing only seven matches last season in CSK's yellow, he will hope for more game time with his new side.
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#2 Amit Mishra - 160 IPL wickets
Amit Mishra is another IPL veteran who has featured in all 13 editions of the competition thus dar far.
He was a part of the Delhi franchise (then called the Delhi Daredevils) from 2008 to 2010 before making a move to Deccan Chargers for two seasons (2011 and 2012).
The leg-spinner then featured for Sunrisers Hyderabad in 2013 and 2014 before making a move back to the national capital. Mishra has been with the Delhi Capitals since IPL 2015.
Mishra has taken a phenomenal 160 IPL wickets in 150 matches, doing so at an economy rate of 7.34 and an average of 24.19. The wily leg-spinner also holds the record for most hat-tricks in the IPL (three).
The 38-year-old only featured in three matches in IPL 2020 due to injury.
With Axar Patel testing positive for Covid-19, Mishra should get a lot of game time, at least during the first few weeks of IPL 2021.
The pair of Mishra and Ravichandran Ashwin could be highly effective in the middle overs for the Delhi Capitals.
#3 Lasith Malinga - 170 IPL wickets
Lasith Malinga is the most successful bowler in the IPL. He has taken 170 wickets in only 122 IPL games, doing so with an economy rate of 7.14, an average of 19.8, and a strike rate of 16.62.
The Sri Lankan legend has only played for one franchise - Mumbai Indians - during his decade-long IPL career. He was adored by the MI fans, and whenever he came on to bowl, there was always the feeling that something interesting could happen.
Malinga opted out of IPL 2020 due to personal reasons and was released by the Mukesh Ambani-owned franchise ahead of IPL 2021. Soon after, the Yorker King, as he is popularly known, announced his retirement from franchise cricket.
The 37-year-old has given MI fans lots of moments to cherish. His wicket of Shardul Thakur against Chennai Super Kings on the last ball of the IPL 2019 final still gives goosebumps. Who would have imagined that that would be his final contribution in the IPL?
Whether it was his iconic hairstyle, precise bowling or the wry smile he gave to batsman whenever he was hit for a six, Lasith Malinga will be dearly missed in the IPL - not just by MI fans, but all cricketing aficionados.
Do you think either Amit Mishra or Piyush Chawla would surpass Lasith Malinga's record this season? Sound off in the comments section below.