When we think about the Indian Premier League (IPL), our mind automatically goes to batsmen smashing the ball all around the park, playing blinders or just magically leading the team to victory from impossible situations. But the heroics dished out by the bowlers, poor cousins of the glamorous willow-wielders, generally do not get romanticized as much.
From delivering economical spells and applying the breaks during a high-flying chase to picking up important wickets under pressure that turn the game on its head; good bowlers have time and again managed to provide thrills in a format which was once feared to be their graveyard.
3 bowlers with the most wickets in a single IPL season
The 'Purple Cap' is awarded to the highest wicket-taker in an IPL season to signify the monumental achievement. There have been 11 winners of this prestigious award so far, with two only-bowlers winning it twice.
In this list, we take a look at those three purple cap holders who have taken the most wickets in IPL in a single season:
3) Lasith Malinga (28 wickets for Mumbai Indians in IPL 2011)
Lasith Malinga is by far the most successful bowler in IPL history, sitting pretty at the top with 170 wickets from just 122 matches. His dominance with the ball is indicated by the fact that the second-highest wicket-taker in the IPL, Amit Mishra, has taken 150 matches to take 160 wickets!
'Slinga' Malinga played for the Mumbai Indians from 2009 to 2019 and single-handedly won plenty of games for the five-time IPL champions with his immaculate yorkers and deceptive slower ones, which left many world class batsmen looking like novices.
The Sri Lankan legend's best IPL season came in 2011, when he scalped 28 wickets at an average of 13.39 and a phenomenal economy rate of 5.95. Malinga's best figures in that season came in his team's opening match as he demolished the Delhi Daredevils by picking up 5/13.
Lasith Malinga's purple-cap winning effort helped Mumbai Indians finish third in IPL 2011.
2) Kagiso Rabada (30 wickets for Delhi Capitals in IPL 2020)
Since making his debut for the Delhi Capitals in 2017, Kagiso Rabada has well and truly established himself as the leader of their bowling attack by picking up 55 wickets over the last two IPL seasons.
IPL 2020, which was held in the UAE due to the COVID-19 pandemic raging in India, saw Rabada make the most of the pace-friendly conditions and bag 30 wickets on his way to winning the coveted purple cap. The 25-year-old averaged 18.26 runs per wicket and finished the season with an economy rate of 8.34.
The South African tearaway's fearsome bowling partnership with countrymate and fellow pacer Anrich Nortje (22 wickets) was one of the major reasons behind DC's march to their maiden IPL final.
The 25-year-old Rabada took two four-wicket hauls in a record-breaking season, with his best being 4/24 against Virat Kohli's RCB.
1) Dwayne Bravo (32 wickets for Chennai Super Kings in 2013)
Dwayne Bravo started his IPL journey in 2008 with the Mumbai Indians, but his best years in the tournament came after being acquired by the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in 2011.
The West Indian allrounder is the only bowler along with Bhuvneshwar Kumar to win the purple cap twice, topping the wicket-taking charts in 2013 (32 wickets) and 2015 (26 wickets).
The MD Dhoni-led side's run to the IPL 2013 final was made possible thanks to Bravo's expertise of bowling the death overs. The right-arm medium pacer mainly depended on his slower balls and dipping yorkers to bamboozle the opposition batsmen in their attempt to accelerate.
Bravo also finished with an impressive economy rate of 7.95 and picked up his wickets at an average of 15.53. DJ Bravo also saved his best for the last as he picked up 4/42 against MI in the season finale. However, it did not prove to be enough as CSK's batsmen failed to chase down the eventual champions' 149-run target.
Honorable Mention: James Faulkner picked up 28 wickets for Rajasthan Royals in the 2013 season (same as Lasith Malinga's in 2011) but was not included in this list as Bravo won the purple cap in that edition.