The Indian Premier League (IPL) is the most followed T20 league in the world. In the limited-overs format of the game, including the IPL, the bowlers' economy rates are considered even more important than their averages or strike rates.
In the IPL, the best career economy rate is owned by Shaun Pollock. The South African's overall economy rate of 6.54 is the best among all bowlers who have delivered at least 250 deliveries in the cash-rich IPL. Among Indian bowlers, the IPL record for best economy rate is held by Anil Kumble, who had an economy rate of 6.57.
On that note, let us have a look at six Indian bowlers with the most economical spells in the IPL. Note: Here we are only considering bowlers who completed their full quota of four overs.
Most economical 4-over spells by Indian bowlers in the IPL
#T4: Praveen Kumar: 4-0-8-0 (Economy Rate - 2.00)
Praveen Kumar holds the joint-fourth position for the most economical spell by an Indian bowler in the IPL. The Uttar Pradesh swing bowler conceded just eight runs in his four-over spell for Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) against the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in IPL 2012.
David Hussey, the KXIP captain, had won the toss and opted to field at the Chinnaswamy Stadium. Praveen Kumar was right on the money from the word go, conceding just a run in his first over.
He conceded a couple of singles to Chris Gayle and Virat Kohli in his next over. This was after Ryan Harris had knocked over Mayank Agarwal at the other end after being struck for a six.
With RCB having scored just ten runs in the first three overs, Gayle went on the attack and smashed three consecutive fours in the fourth over bowled by Harris. But Kumar again stemmed the flow of runs, conceding just a single to Kohli in his third over.
With the swing bowler keeping the dangerous RCB top-order in check, Hussey entrusted him to bowl a fourth straight over. Kumar did not disappoint his captain, conceding only four singles in the over to complete a very impressive spell.
Although Praveen Kumar did not pick any wickets in the said IPL game, he played his role to perfection with his miserly spell of four overs going for just eight runs. In the fifth season of the IPL, Kumar's spell was the most economical bowling performance by a bowler who bowled at least two overs.
Despite their slow start, RCB recovered to post a decent total of 158/5 in their allotted twenty overs. But KXIP chased down the target with four wickets to spare as Piyush Chawla's six brought up the winning runs in an exciting IPL game.
#T4: Karn Sharma: 4-1-8-0 (Economy Rate - 2.00)
Karn Sharma is also tied in the joint-fourth position for the most economical spell by an Indian bowler in the IPL. The Railways leg-spinner, like Praveen Kumar, also conceded only eight runs in his four overs while playing for Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) against Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in IPL 2013.
Cameron White, the SRH captain, had won the toss and opted to bat first at the Chepauk. The Hyderabad outfit posted a fighting score of 159/6 in their allotted twenty overs.
Sharma was brought into the attack to bowl the ffifth over after CSK made a rousing start by racing to 42 runs after four overs. The leg-spinner immediately put a brake on the CSK momentum, conceding only four runs in his first over.
After fellow leg-spinner Amit Mishra conceded 12 runs in the previous over, Karn Sharma bowled another economical over where he gave away only two runs. However, to everyone's surprise, Sharma was taken out of the attack just when he had started to put the pressure on the CSK batsmen.
Brought back for a second spell in the 12th over, Sharma conceded only two singles to Suresh Raina and MS Dhoni. CSK needed 46 runs from 30 deliveries when Sharma came in to bowl his final over. He did not let his captain down, bowling a maiden over to Dwayne Bravo to finish with fabulous figures of 0/8 in his four overs.
With 46 runs required of the remaining 24 balls, Dhoni took the attack to the other SRH bowlers. Dale Steyn and Ashish Reddy were taken to the cleaners as CSK, one of the most successful IPL teams, romped home by five wickets and two deliveries to spare.
#T4: Amit Mishra: 4-0-8-2 (Economy Rate - 2.00)
Amit Mishra appears again in the joint-fourth spot for the most economical spell by an Indian bowler in the IPL. The Haryana leg-spinner conceded eight runs in his four-over spell for SRH against Rajasthan Royals (RR) in IPL 2013, also taking two wickets in the process.
SRH posted a score of 136/9 in their allotted twenty overs after opting to bat first at their home ground in Hyderabad. Mishra was brought into the attack after RR had made a decent start to their run chase, reaching 37 for no loss after seven overs.
The wily leg-spinner conceded just two runs in his first over, with RR losing their first wicket as well as Rahul Dravid was run-out. Mishra again conceded another couple of runs in his next over to keep up the pressure after Karn Sharma had accounted for Ajinkya Rahane at the other end.
Mishra bowled a third consecutive two-run over but this time he also made short work of Sanju Samson who was caught by Dale Steyn at long-off. The leg-spinner's three-over spell almost took the match away from RR as the visitors required 86 runs in the last eight overs on a slow turning pitch.
The highest wicket-taking Indian in the IPL then came back into the attack to bowl the 16th over of the RR innings. At this stage Rajasthan required 64 runs off five overs. Mishra put paid to RR's slim victory hopes by conceding only two runs in his final over while catching Sachin Baby plumb in front of the wicket.
SRH went on to win the IPL match by 23 runs. Amit Mishra was awarded the Man of the Match award for his magnificent spell of 2/8 in his four overs.
#3: Rahul Sharma: 4-0-7-2 (Economy Rate - 1.75)
Rahul Sharma occupies the third spot in the list of Indian bowlers with the most economical spells in the IPL. The Punjab leg-spinner conceded only seven runs in his four-over spell for Pune Warriors against the Mumbai Indians (MI) in IPL 2011, bagging 2 wickets in the process.
Yuvraj Singh, the Pune captain, won the toss and opted to field first at the DY Patil Stadium. The Mumbai team reached a score of 56/1 after seven overs when Rahul Sharma was introduced into the attack.
The young spinner started on a bright note, conceding two singles in his first over. Sharma's next over went for three runs as the Pune spinners applied the brakes on the Mumbai run-rate.
Sharma was brought back into the attack to bowl the 15th over as the MI scoreboard read 96 for the loss of three wickets. He made an immediate impact, bagging the prized wicket of Rohit Sharma with his second delivery while conceding only one run in the over.
The wrist spinner's final over also went for only a single run as he had Tirumalasetti Suman caught at long-off. Despite Sharma's parsimonious spell of 2/7 in four overs, the Mumbai franchise managed a score of 160/7 in their allotted twenty overs.
In reply, Pune floundered in their chase, eventually falling short of their target by 21 runs as Rahul Sharma's terrific spell in the said IPL game went in vain.
#T1: Yuzvendra Chahal: 4-1-6-1 (Economy Rate - 1.50)
Yuzvendra Chahal holds the joint-top spot in the list of Indian bowlers with the most economical spells in the IPL. The Haryana leg-spinner had a bowling analysis of 1/6 in four overs while playing for RCB against CSK in IPL 2019.
The Bangalore team folded up for a paltry 70 runs after being asked to bat first on a rank turner at the Chepauk. True to the nature of the track, eight of the RCB batsmen were dismissed by the spinners.
Seeing the amount of spin on offer, Chahal was straightaway brought into the attack to bowl the first over. The leg-spinner did not disappoint, starting with a maiden to Shane Watson.
He then castled Watson with the first delivery of his next over while conceding only two singles. Chahal's third over went for three runs as CSK made their intentions clear of playing out the leg-spinner.
The smiling assassin was brought back into the attack to bowl the 13th over, but by then the match was almost in CSK's grasp. Although Chahal conceded only a single in his final over, the home team had the required run-rate under control.
Chahal's impressive figures of 1/6 in his four overs, though, could not help RCB avoid an inevitable defeat. CSK ended up winning the low-scoring IPL game by seven wickets but needed 17.4 overs to reach their modest target on a slow pitch.
#T1: Ashish Nehra: 4-1-6-1 (Economy Rate - 1.50)
Ashish Nehra occupies the joint-top spot along with Yuzvendra Chahal in the list of Indian bowlers with the most economical spells in the IPL. The Delhi left-arm pacer, like Chahal, had identical figures of 1/6 in four overs while playing for Delhi Capitals against KXIP in IPL 2009.
The Delhi-based franchise scored 120/9 in their allotted twenty overs after being put in to bat in the seamer-friendly conditions in Bloemfontein. With the KXIP fast bowlers taking the bulk of Delhi's wickets, a similar effort was expected from the Punjab team's counterparts.
Nehra took the new ball and conceded only two runs in his first over. His next over again went for only two singles after Pradeep Sangwan had conceded 18 runs in the previous over.
The lanky left-arm pacer rattled the stumps of opener Sunny Sohal with the first delivery of his third over. Nehra did not concede any runs off the remaining five deliveries to bowl the first maiden over of the innings.
With the Delhi team looking for breakthroughs, Nehra was given a fourth straight over. But Kumar Sangakkara played out the left-armer's final over cautiously while picking up a couple of runs.
None of the other Delhi bowlers made much of an impression after Nehra was done with his 4-over spell where he conceded only 6 runs while also claiming a wicket.
KXIP romped home by six wickets in the low-scoring IPL game as Nehra's spell went in vain.