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Top 5 most impactful bowlers in T20 internationals

India v Sri Lanka - ICC Champions Trophy
Lasith Malinga will always be known for his unusual action and toe-crushing yorkers
Adesh Kothari
Modified 26 Aug 2018
Top 5 / Top 10

It has been almost 13 years since the inception of T20 cricket in international arena. It all started with a T20I match between Australia and New Zealand. Since then, T20 cricket has only emerged as a forerunner of entertainment in world cricket.

In these 13 years, we have witnessed so many bowlers with varied skill-sets and tactics. Bowlers no longer rely on their pace and swing; instead they are using so many different variations such as yorkers, slower ones, knuckle-ball, etc to deceive the batsmen.

So, having said that, let's find out the most impactful bowlers in T20 Internationals.

Please Note: The objective here is not to find out the best bowlers; which is rather subjective, but it is to find out the most impactful bowlers based on a tried and tested non-biased methodology.

Methodology & Criteria:


1. The methodology considers all the factors that can be a part of a bowler’s performance such as wickets, strike rate, average, consistency, man of the match, man of the series, etc.

2. The entire data is pooled into two groups, viz. Subcontinent and Non-subcontinent pitches.

3. For fast bowlers, performance on subcontinent pitches was given a higher weightage as compared to their performance non-subcontinent pitches.

4. For spinners, performance on subcontinent or pitches was given a lower weightage as compared to their performance on non-subcontinent pitches.


5. To be eligible for the ranking, a bowler should have played at least 15 matches each on subcontinent and non-subcontinent pitches.

6. This is a statistical comparison, and the end result is to find out the impact rating on the scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the highest. 

7. Statistical data updated till the third T20 International between Ireland and Afghanistan, 2018.

8. To be fair to fast bowlers and spinners, the list has at least 2 bowlers from each category.

#5: Lasith Malinga

This will come as a surprise to many. As perception wise, Lasith Malinga is supposed to be on the top of this list, isn't it?

Well, Malinga has been one heck of a T20 bowler and probably the best world has ever seen. However in T20 Internationals, he is still the second most impactful fast bowler in the world; marginally behind Umar Gul.

Overall, he has taken 90 wickets from 68 innings at a superb average of 19.77 and a decent economy rate of 7.36. His performance on non-subcontinent pitches has been marginally better with 41 wickets in 30 innings at an average of 17.9 and an economy rate of 7.1.

He is one of the few bowlers to have taken a 5 wicket-haul in T20 Internationals. This came in when he took his career best of 5 for 31 against England in Pallekele. He is second on the list of leading wicket takers in T20 Internationals.

Based on the methodology, Lasith Malinga gets following impact ratings.


Overall Impact Rating: 6.26/10

Subcontinent Rating- 4.43 , Non-Subcontinent Rating- 1.83

lasith Malinga
Lasith Malinga's performance in T20 Internationals
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Published 26 Aug 2018, 12:46 IST
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