As the famous saying goes, "batters win you matches while bowlers win you tournaments", IPL has also witnessed emerging as super powers, who have a potent bowling attack. 12 out of 13 Purple Cap winners – highest wicket-taker in an IPL season – helped their respective teams qualify for the IPL playoffs that year.
Royal Challengers Bangalore, who currently sit in third spot in the points table IPL 2021, have largely benefitted from Harshal Patel's (17 wickets) outstanding form, who is currently the Purple Cap holder in IPL 2021.
On that note, let's take at three cricketers who have won the Purple Cap the most number of times.
#3. Lasith Malinga
Former Mumbai Indians cricketer Lasith Malinga was tailor-made for the shortest format of the game. His side-arm action, deceptive slower deliveries and toe-crushing yorker made him a rare product in a format mostly dominated by batters.
Malinga, who won the Purple Cap in IPL 2011, is the highest wicket-taker in the history of the tournament with 170 scalps from 122 matches at an average of 19.18.
The Sri Lankan pacer began the 2011 edition with a five-wicket haul against Delhi Daredevils (now known as Delhi Capitals), guiding Mumbai Indians to an eight-wicket haul. With 28 wickets at a strike rate of 13.39 and a tight 5.95 economy, Lasith Malinga was the recipient of the Purple Cap in the IPL 2011.
Alongside Lasith Malinga, Sohail Tanvir (2008), RP Singh (2009), Pragyan Ojha (2010), Morne Morkel (2012), Mohit Sharma (2014), Andrew Tye (2018), Imran Tahir (2019) and Kagiso Rabada (2020) have also won the Purple Caps once in the IPL.
Check out the full list of all IPL winners here.
Sunrisers Hyderabad have had one of the most potent bowling attacks throughout the history of the IPL. Ever since Bhuvneshwar Kumar joined Hyderabad in 2014, the pacer from Uttar Pradesh has been the leader of the attack.
Kumar's inclusion paid dividends immediately as he scalped 20 wickets in his first season for the Orange Army. Bhuvneshwar Kumar picked up 18 wickets next season before finishing with 23 scalps in the IPL 2016 which saw him earn his maiden Purple Cap. He, along with Mustafizur Rahman, Ashish Nehra and Ben Cutting, guided Sunrisers Hyderabad to their maiden IPL trophy.
His consistent run in the IPL continued as Bhuvneshwar Kumar became the first bowler in IPL history to win consecutive Purple Caps. The swing bowler scalped 26 wickets at an economy rate of 7.05 to top the charts.
Overall, Bhuvneshwar Kumar has 139 scalps under his belt from 126 outings at an average of 24.64 with the best figures of 5/19 against Kings XI Punjab (now known as Punjab Kings).
However, injury concerns have hurt Bhuvneshwar in the last few seasons and the senior cricketer will look to hit the strides when the second phase of IPL 2021 timetable kicks off.
#1. Dwayne Bravo
Dwayne Bravo, the veteran all-rounder from West Indies, is one of the most reliable troops for CSK skipper MS Dhoni. Bowling mainly in death overs, Bravo has unleashed his variations to perfection, making Chennai one of the most consistent teams in the IPL.
He is the second bowler after Bhuvneshwar Kumar to win two Purple Caps (2013 and 2015) in IPL history. Dwayne Bravo scalped 32 wickets from 18 matches at an average of 15.52 in IPL 2013 while he scalped 26 wickets in the 2015 season of the tournament.
Overall, Bravo has 156 wickets under his belt from 144 games and is the fourth-highest wicket-taker in IPL history. Chennai will want their star all-rounder to be at his peak as they aim for their fourth IPL trophy, when the second phase of IPL 2021 commences on September 19.