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Which Bowler Holds the Record of Most Dot Balls in IPL History?

Bowlers who have bowled most dot balls in IPL

The Indian Premier League is one of the most exciting T20 leagues in the world. Bowling in the T20 format is never an easy thing to do, but several dot bots have been bowled in the IPL since its inception in 2008. So far, only eight bowlers in the tournament have bowled more than 1000 dot balls, with Harbhajan Singh topping the table with 1,268 dot balls. Let us take a look at all the bowlers in the cash-rich league who have bowled more than 1000 dot balls. 

1) Harbhajan Singh – 1,268 dot balls 

The former India cricketer made his IPL debut against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) while playing for Mumbai Indians (MI) in the inaugural season in 2008. So far, he has played 163 matches in the tournament while representing Mumbai, Chennai Super Kings and Kolkata Knight Riders. Harbhajan was an integral part of the Ambani-owned franchise till 2017, after which he played for the MS Dhoni-led side before being picked up by KKR ahead of the 2021 season.

The veteran bowler has 150 wickets in the tournament, while conceding 7.07 runs per over. His best bowling figures of 5 for 18 came in 2015 against RCB. For India, Harbhajan played 103 Tests, 236 ODIs and 28 T20Is, picking up 417, 269 and 25 wickets respectively. 

2) Ravichandran Ashwin – 1,215 dot balls 

The bowler with the second most dot balls in the tournament is Ashwin, who has played 159 IPL matches so far. Ashwin started his IPL career with CSK in 2009 and won two consecutive IPL titles with them in 2010 and 2011. In those two seasons, the slow bowler picked up 13 and 20 wickets respectively. When CSK was banned for two years, Ashwin played for the Rising Pune Supergiant. He missed the 2017 season due to sports hernia.  Currently, he plays for the Delhi Capitals. 

In 159 IPL games, Ashwin has taken 139 wickets at an economy rate of 6.90. His best bowling figures of 4-34 came against Kings XI Punjab in Visakhapatnam in 2016, which helped RPS registered a four-wicket win. For India, the spinner has played 79 Tests, 111 ODIs and 46 T20Is, from which he has 413, 150 and 52 wickets each. 

3) Sunil Narine – 1.155 dot balls 

The third bowler on the list of bowlers with most dot balls in the IPL is KKR’s Sunil Narine. In 2012, the West Indies bowler was picked by the Shah Rukh Khan co-owned franchise for $700,000 when his base price was only $50,000 and he has been with the team since. The slow bowler has played 124 IPL games from which he has 130 wickets at an economy rate of 6.78. 

His best bowling figures of 5-19 came in 2012 against KXIP. At that time, this was the best bowling performance for KKR, surpassing the previous best of 4 – 11 by Shoaib Akhtar against Delhi Daredevils in 2008. 

In 2017 under the captaincy of Gautam Gambhir, Narine started opening the innings for KKR and went on to become one of the team’s best strikers of the ball. He has 902 IPL runs at a strike rate of 161.64 which includes four half-centuries. 

4) Lasith Malinga – 1,155 dot balls 

The third-joint bowler on the list is Lasith Malinga, who has bowled the same number of dot balls as Narine – 1,155. The highest wicket-taker in the IPL history, the Sri Lankan bowler was bought by Mumbai Indians in 2008 at ₹1.4 crore, formed the core of the team for 12 seasons before retiring from franchise cricket ahead of IPL 2021. 

In 122 IPL games, Malinga picked 170 wickets at an economy of 7.14 runs per over. 5-13 is his best bowling performance which came against Delhi in 2011 in a winning cause. 

“Malinga is an MI legend. His contributions to Mumbai Indians’ journey are invaluable. We will miss the Wankhede chant for him, but he will always be in the heart of all MI fans,” Mumbai Indians owner Akash Ambani had said after Malinga’s retirement. 

For Sri Lanka, Malinga took 101 Test wickets, 338 ODI wickets and 107 T20I wickets. 

5) Amit Mishra – 1,154 dot balls 

The attacking right-arm leg spinner started his IPL career with the Delhi franchise and has played eight out the 12 IPL seasons for the same team.  Not only is Amit Mishra is the second highest wicket-taker in the IPL, but he also the only bowler with three hat-tricks. 

His first hat-trick came in 2008 for Delhi against Deccan Chargers. This was followed by another hat-trick in 2011 against the same team. Mishra’s third hat-trick came in 2013 against Pune Warriors India while playing for the Sunrisers Hyderabad. 

Mishra has played 154 IPL games from which he has 166 wickets at an economy rate of 7.35. His 5-17 against Deccan Chargers in 2008 is his best performance in the tournament. 

For India, Mishra has taken 76 Test wickets, 64 ODI wickets and 16 T20I wickets. 

6) Piyush Chawla – 1,148 dot balls

Seventh on the list is Piyush Chawla, who has played for KKR, CSK and is now with MI. Chawla has bowled 1148 dot balls in the 164 IPL matches that he has played while picking up 156 wickets. His best performance of 4-17 came in 2015 against Delhi. Chawla played only seven Tests, 32 ODIs and four T20Is for India, from which he has 7, 32 and 4 wickets respectively. 

Mohammad Shami, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Dale Steyn, Praveen Kumar and Umesh Yadav have also bowled rather miserly in the IPL. Which bowler’s absence from this list surprises you most?

Umaima Saeed
A writer who primarily writes on cricket. As of 2021, she has covered cricket for more than a dozen publications.

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