What makes a T20 bowler most lethal is his ability to check runs because time is of the most significant essence in 20-over cricket and conceding lesser runs in the stipulated time is often the difference between the winning and the losing side. Going by this parameter, Gujarat Titans star Rashid Khan is the most dangerous bowler in IPL.
While the likes of Mumbai Indians bowling coach Lasith Malinga, star Indian pacer Jasprit Bumrah, Delhi Capitals’ Kagiso Rabada and others have earned fans in IPL being purple cap contenders and season in season out, they are not amongst IPL’s most dangerous bowlers.
Below is the list of IPL’s most dangerous bowlers whose economy rates have resulted in many wins for their teams in the Indian Premier League. This list only contains players who have played a minimum of 30 IPL matches and still maintained good economy rates.
Most dangerous bowler in IPL: All-time top 5
Rashid Khan | 93 wickets in IPL
Apart from bowling dangerous deliveries with his ripper and other variations, Rashid Khan is one of the most prized assets in world cricket for the fewer runs he concedes in an over. The Afghanistan international broke into the international scene five years back and has since been a mainstay in IPL. Giving just over six runs in an over means the spinner does the job well of suffocating the run flow of his opponents that consequently brings in wickets. His bowling has led the likes of Bhuvneswhar Kumar, T Natarajan and others to excel with the ball.
Anil Kumble | 45 IPL wickets
Not widely known for his T20 acumen, the former Royal Challengers Bangalore skipper knew exactly how the T20 format worked. In the 42 IPL matches that he has played since the tournament’s inception, Kumble has taken 45 wickets with an economy rate of 6.57. Though RCB don’t have an IPL title in their cabinet to show Kumble’s impact on the side, his bowling prowess came to the fore in the 2009 IPL season when the veteran ended an innings with 5/5 in 3.1 overs against Rajasthan Royals. It is still amongst IPL’s top five best bowling figures. He ended his IPL career with two four-wicket hauls to his name.
Muttiah Muralitharan | 63 wickets in IPL
Known as the smiling assassin for being the highest wicket-taker in international cricket with a cheeky smile on his face, Sri Lanka’s Muttiah Muralitharan was one of Chennai Super Kings‘ first picks. He played 66 matches with 63 wickets to his name and did that with an economy rate of 6.67, the same as Anil Kumble. Muttiah Muralitharan was a part of the CSK team that reached lifted the 2010 IPL title, where the spinner took 15 wickets in 12 matches with two three-wicket hauls to his name. He was MS Dhoni‘s main strike bowler for the first three seasons.
Special Mention: Dale Steyn | 97 wickets in IPL
If one has to put a face on the label of the most dangerous bowler in world cricket, it would be Dale Steyn. The South African pacer had made a reputation for himself with his lightning-quick deliveries, but what slips the memory is how accurate he was with his placements. Not many batsmen could counter Steyn with the same efficacy as his compatriot AB de Villiers, clearly the most dangerous batsman in world cricket, because of his perfect line and length placement. Steyn maintained an economy rate of 6.97 in the 95 matches he played with 97 scalps to his name.
Most dangerous bowler in IPL: Current top 10
Sunil Narine | 143 wickets
One of the most dangerous bowlers in IPL history and Kolkata Knight Riders’ leading wicket-taker, Sunil Narine is easily the strongest contender for being the most dangerous bowler in IPL. His deceptive speed and length had led to the fall of numerous unfortunate batsmen over the years, with his prolific bowling largely responsible for KKR winning two IPL titles. Counted amongst IPL’s most successful bowlers, Narine has 143 wickets to his name and has cemented his position as a death overs specialist that keep the batsmen honest in the last few overs.
Varun Chakravarthy | 36 wickets
Though the new spinner on the block hasn’t attained the legendary status as his KKR teammate Sunil Narine, Varun Chakravarthy is fast becoming one the deadliest bowlers in IPL every season. A great example of how effective would be comparing him with IPL 2021 purple cap winner Harshal Patel, who had taken a whopping 32 wickets last season. KKR would beat RCB on the first qualifier and eventually reach the final demonstrating perfectly why an economic bowler is more dangerous than a wicket-taker in IPL. Varun Chakravarthy was the sixth-best bowler in IPL 2021 with 18 wickets to his name.
Ravichandran Ashwin | 145 IPL wickets
One of the many Indian players who have been a regular part of the Indian Premier League, Ravichandran Ashwin has quite interestingly been maintained his IPL status despite not being a mainstay in India’s limited-overs squad for years now. He has played over 150 IPL matches so far despite being the best bowler in Test cricket for years. Ashwin has 145 wickets to his name in IPL and has also won back to back titles with Chennai Super Kings in 2010 and 2011.
Who was the most dangerous bowler in IPL 2021?
Though Harshal Patel was the purple cap winner last IPL season, KKR’s star all-rounder Andre Russell was the most dangerous bowler in IPL 2021 with his best figures reading 5/15 against defending champions Mumbai Indians.
Who is the most dangerous bowler in the world?
West Indies speedster Malcolm Marshall is widely considered to be the most dangerous bowler in world cricket for his ferocious bouncers that injured and irked numerous batsmen. Marshall ended his cricket career with 533 wickets in Test and ODI cricket with four 10-wicket hauls to his name in the longest format of the game.