Best IPL Bowlers of All Time – Leading Wicket-Takers & Best Bowling Average

Best IPL Bowlers: It is the ultimate objective of the fielding team in a game of cricket to limit the amount of runs scored by the batsmen, and the bowlers’ actions play a critical role in achieving this objective. 

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Over the years, the tournament has witnessed incredible performances by several bowlers, who have consistently delivered under pressure and in various conditions. In this article, we take a closer look at the best IPL bowlers of all time, considering both the leading wicket-takers and those with the best bowling averages.

Who is the Best Bowler in IPL?
Who is the Best Bowler in IPL?

Top IPL Bowlers – Leading Wicket-Takers

Lasith Malinga

The Sri Lankan pace legend Lasith Malinga leads the pack as the all-time highest wicket-taker in IPL history. Known for his lethal yorkers and unique sling-arm action, Malinga has bamboozled batsmen across the globe. With over 170 wickets to his name, he has been an integral part of Mumbai Indians‘ success over the years.

Amit Mishra

The wily leg-spinner Amit Mishra has consistently delivered for his teams in the IPL. His ability to deceive batsmen with his googlies and well-disguised variations has made him one of the most successful spinners in the tournament. With over 160 wickets to his name, Mishra is second only to Malinga in the list of highest wicket-takers.

Piyush Chawla

Another leg-spinner who has made a mark in IPL history is Piyush Chawla. With an impressive tally of over 150 wickets, Chawla has been a reliable performer for his teams. His variations and ability to bowl in the powerplay and death overs have made him a sought-after asset in the IPL.

Harbhajan Singh

The veteran off-spinner Harbhajan Singh has been a force to reckon with in the IPL. With over 150 wickets, Bhajji, as he is fondly called, has used his experience and guile to outsmart batsmen. His tight lines and disciplined bowling have made him a nightmare for opposing teams.

Dwayne Bravo

The West Indian all-rounder Dwayne Bravo has been an invaluable asset for Chennai Super Kings. Known for his death bowling and ability to pick up crucial wickets, Bravo has over 150 IPL wickets to his name. His slower balls and deceptive variations have made him a true match-winner.

Best Bowling Averages in IPL History

Rashid Khan

The Afghan leg-spinner Rashid Khan has been a revelation in the IPL. With a phenomenal bowling average of around 20, Rashid has established himself as one of the most economical and consistent bowlers in the tournament. His quick arm action and ability to extract turn on any surface have made him a top pick for Sunrisers Hyderabad.

Kagiso Rabada

The South African pace sensation Kagiso Rabada has been a force to be reckoned with in the IPL. With an impressive bowling average of around 21, Rabada has consistently delivered match-winning performances for Delhi Capitals. His raw pace, accuracy, and ability to generate movement off the pitch have made him a nightmare for batsmen.

Sunil Narine

The mystery spinner from the Caribbean, Sunil Narine, has been a standout performer in the IPL. With a bowling average of around 23, Narine has consistently bamboozled batsmen with his bag of tricks. His ability to bowl in the powerplay and during the middle overs, combined with his economical bowling, make him an invaluable asset.

Jasprit Bumrah

Arguably one of the best fast bowlers in the world, Jasprit Bumrah has been the backbone of the Mumbai Indians’ bowling attack. With a bowling average of around 24, Bumrah has been an integral part of his team’s success. His toe-crushing yorkers, slower balls, and accuracy in the death overs have made him a complete package in the IPL.

Factors that Make a Great IPL Bowler


Great IPL bowlers consistently perform at a high level, regardless of the match situation or conditions. They maintain their accuracy and wicket-taking abilities throughout the tournament, making them indispensable to their teams.


IPL bowlers need to adapt to different conditions, pitches, and opponents. The ability to change strategies and tactics based on the match situation is a vital skill that sets the best bowlers apart from the rest.

Pressure Handling

The ability to handle pressure and deliver under challenging circumstances is crucial for any successful IPL bowler. The best bowlers embrace the challenge and use their skills and mental fortitude to rise above the competition.

Variety in Bowling

To be successful in the IPL, bowlers need to possess a wide range of skills and variations. From yorkers to slower balls, and bouncers to cutters, great bowlers have an arsenal of weapons that keep the batsmen guessing.

Top 10 bowling figures in IPL

Here is a list of the top 10 bowling figures in IPL history (as of September 2021):

  1. Alzarri Joseph (Mumbai Indians) – 6/12 in 3.4 overs against Sunrisers Hyderabad in 2019.
  2. Sohail Tanvir (Rajasthan Royals) – 6/14 in 4 overs against Chennai Super Kings in 2008.
  3. Adam Zampa (Rising Pune Supergiant) – 6/19 in 4 overs against Sunrisers Hyderabad in 2016.
  4. Anil Kumble (Royal Challengers Bangalore) – 5/5 in 3.1 overs against Rajasthan Royals in 2009.
  5. Ishant Sharma (Deccan Chargers) – 5/12 in 3 overs against Kochi Tuskers Kerala in 2011.
  6. Lasith Malinga (Mumbai Indians) – 5/13 in 3.4 overs against Delhi Daredevils in 2011.
  7. James Faulkner (Rajasthan Royals) – 5/16 in 4 overs against Sunrisers Hyderabad in 2013.
  8. Ravindra Jadeja (Chennai Super Kings) – 5/16 in 4 overs against Deccan Chargers in 2012.
  9. Ankit Rajpoot (Kings XI Punjab) – 5/14 in 4 overs against Sunrisers Hyderabad in 2018.
  10. Ishant Sharma (Sunrisers Hyderabad) – 5/17 in 4 overs against Kochi Tuskers Kerala in 2011.

Please note that these figures are subject to change as new IPL seasons are played and new outstanding bowling performances are witnessed.

Rivcky John

A prominent figure in sports journalism for the last two decades. Cricket Analyst & Writing News, Features, Match Previews/Reviews/Reports, And Opinion Pieces on Cricket. You can connect with him on Facebook also.