Ravichandran Ashwin has bowled the most dot balls in IPL history, with his record being 1465. Before the Indian Premier League 2023 started, the spinner had bowled in 146 innings with an economy rate of 7.3.
Most Dot Balls in IPL : Top 5 list
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.
Ravichandran Ashwin – 1465 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.
Sunil Narine – 1425 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.
Lasith Malinga – 1217 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.