If there's one thing that IPL 2022 has shown through its 70 league fixtures, it is that the T20 format is a thankless one for bowlers. More so, if you couple it with flat surfaces, skewed boundary dimensions and the presence of gunslingers aplenty on the batting front.
The season happens to mark the first instance where 1000 sixes have been recorded. With four IPL playoff matches still to come, that counter is expected to move into the ascendancy.
Of course, that isn't to say that bowlers haven't held their own in IPL 2022. While crafty spinners such as Yuzvendra Chahal and Wanindu Hasaranga have foxed batters with their wizardry, the likes of Arshdeep Singh and Mohsin Khan have been miserly and impeccable in the crunch overs.
Ahead of the IPL 2022 playoffs, we take a look at the five most expensive bowlers with a minimum criteria of 10 overs bowled being considered.
#5 Chris Jordan - 10.51 RPO
England's death-overs specialist Chris Jordan began his IPL 2022 campaign with an assortment of yorkers against the Punjab Kings (PBKS) to return figures of 2/23. However, things went downhill thereafter for the Barbados-born speedster.
Jordan's season plummeted to the abyss against the Gujarat Titans (GT) as a certain Rashid Khan tore into him for 25 runs off the 18th over.
With 13 needed off the final over, David Miller got the job done as Jordan dished out a number of deliveries in the slot.
Jordan turned out on just four occasions for the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) this season and was dropped post the loss against GT. He finished with an economy rate of 10.51 at the end of it all.
#2 Pat Cummins - 10.68 RPO
Pat Cummins announced his arrival in IPL 2022 in grand style - except, he did so with the bat in hand. Slamming the joint fastest fifty in IPL history, Cummins pulverized the Mumbai Indians (MI) to vault Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) to their third win of the season in Pune.
However, his bowling took a turn for the worse. KKR preferred the Australian Test skipper ahead of Tim Southee, who was looking in good rhythm at the start of the season.
But Cummins bled runs at the rate of knots, giving away 49, 51, 41 and 50 runs off his quota of overs in his first four games.
Cummins was then benched before returning in the reverse-fixture against MI, where he returned 3/22 to power KKR to another win. A hip injury ended his IPL 2022 season post that game, though, and he finished with an economy rate of 10.68.
#3 Akash Deep - 10.88 RPO
Bengal speedster Akash Deep comes third on this list, having turned out in five fixtures for the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) this season.
Having started with a wicket on debut against the Punjab Kings (PBKS), Akash picked up three wickets against KKR in the next fixture.
Despite bowling at good pace, the seamer took some tap during those games. Mind you, he was on the receiving end of a contentious no-ball call in the game against the Rajasthan Royals (RR), that then saw Jos Buttler tear into him.
Luck wasn't necessarily on his side despite showing a lot of promise as he succumbed to a rampaging Robin Uthappa and Shivam Dube in the game against CSK.
Akash Deep was then left out of the playing XI altogether, and his economy rate for the season reads 10.88.
#2 Tymal Mills - 11.17 RPO
Having been picked up at a bargain price of ₹1.5 crore at the IPL 2022 Auction, Tymal Mills was expected to make his second coming in the league a memorable one with the Mumbai Indians.
However, it was anything but that as the Englishman endured another tough campaign.
Mills started off with six wickets from his first three games. That, coupled with the fact that he bowled the tough overs, gave leeway for a high economy rate.
However, MI pressed the panic button and dropped him for the fixture against RCB, only to bring him back into the side right after.
Things went totally awry, though, as Mills went for 0/91 off a combined seven overs across his next two games.
Dropped from the XI thereafter, Mills finished with an economy rate of 11.17, before an ankle injury ruled him out of the tournament altogether.
Check out this IPL purple cap winners from 2008 to 2022 here.
#1 Odean Smith - 11.86 RPO
It's been a tough initiation to the IPL for Odean Smith, who was expected to be the Punjab Kings' game-changer.
The burly Jamaican gave a good account of the same with a blistering unbeaten eight-ball 25 that helped his side chase down 206 against RCB in PBKS's tournament opener.
However, Smith endured issues with his accuracy with the ball and often conceded far too many runs to his liking.
Defending 13 off the last three deliveries against the Gujarat Titans (GT), a needless overthrow on his part brought the equation down to 12 off two deliveries, before Rahul Tewatia broke the Kings' hearts.
Smith redeemed himself by successfully defending 21 off the final over against MI and finishing with returns of 4/30. A need to change the IPL team composition though saw PBKS drop him from the XI in favor of Rishi Dhawan, who turned in tidier spells.
Smith's IPL 2022 campaign ended with an economy rate of 11.86 - the highest of all bowlers to have sent down at least 10 overs.