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Batsmen may win you fans, but it is the bowlers who win you the trophy. As we move onto the 14th season of the star-studded league, here’s a look at the bowlers or the ‘Labour Class of Cricket’ who have made a mark on the IPL over the years.


20. Praveen Kumar

Country: India
Last Team: Gujarat Lions
90 Wickets @ Avg: 36.12, ER:7.72, SR: 28.02

Not the fastest man going around, Praveen Kumar’s swing and deceptive bowling made him a lethal bowler. The pacer from Meerut started his IPL career with RCB and also took a hattrick for them in the 2010 season. Praveen last played in the IPL in the 2017 season and retired in 2018.


19. Mohit Sharma

Country: India
Current Team: Delhi Capitals
92 Wickets @ Avg: 26.84, ER: 8.44, SR: 19.06

Mohit started his IPL career with CSK in 2013. Consistent performances for the Men in Yellow saw him earn a national call-up. He was also a part of the Indian squad for the 2015 World Cup. The medium-pacer from Haryana has failed to make an impact in the last few years moving from Punjab to Delhi and would be hoping for an opportunity to showcase his wily skills in the 2021 season.


18. Shane Watson

Country: Australia
Last Team: Chennai Super Kings
92 Wickets @ Avg: 29.15, ER:7.93, SR: 22.05

Perhaps the greatest all-rounder in white-ball cricket, Watson was as handy with the ball as he was with the bat. Injuries were a plague for Watson throughout his career, due to which he limited the bowling he did in the latter stages of an illustrious career. A skillful new ball bowler, Watson was a huge asset for all his IPL teams, justified by the MVP Award that he won in two seasons of the tournament.


17. Dale Steyn

Country: South Africa
Last Team: Royal Challengers Bangalore
97Wickets @ Avg:25.85, ER: 6.91, SR: 22.43

Steyn was a fearsome sight for any batsman in his prime. His ability to swing the ball, both conventional and reverse, to bowl at a seething pace and with great accuracy were ingredients for success. However, the Steyn Gun has failed to fire in the last few years due to the injuries plaguing him. Steyn excused himself from the 2021 season but made it clear that he has not retired from the game yet.


16. Zaheer Khan

Country: India
Last Team: Delhi Capitals
102 Wickets @ Avg:27.27,ER:7.58, SR: 21.56

Arguably India’s greatest left-arm seamer, Zaheer spearheaded the pace department of India for a long time. One of the most skillful bowlers to have played the game, Zaheer had all the tricks in his bag: swing, reverse swing, cutters, or Yorkers. Starting his IPL career with RCB, the southpaw moved to MI and DC and is currently the bowling coach of the defending champions.


15. Vinay Kumar

Country: India
Last Team: Kolkata Knight Riders
105 Wickets @ Avg: 28.24, ER: 8.39, SR: 20.20

One of India’s domestic legends, Vinay Kumar, lead the Karnataka team from the front, winning them Ranji Trophy and limited-overs titles. A canny operator with the bowl, Vinay’s experience of playing across Indian grounds held him in good stead throughout his IPL career, whose golden years came when he was with KKR. His final over, where he defended nine runs to lead KKR to their second title, is still etched deep into the hearts of the KKR Fans.


14. Ashish Nehra

Country: India
Last Team: Sunrisers Hyderabad
106 Wickets @ Avg: 23.53, ER: 7.84, SR: 18

Ashish Nehra’s career is nothing short of an inspirational fairytale. When everyone seemed to have written him off from the books, the wiry pacer from Delhi burst onto the scene and showed that here was still a lot of cricket left in him. After two sensational comeback seasons with CSK, the veteran spearheaded the Indian pace battery at the 2016 T20 World Cup. With a smooth action and gifted ability to swing the bowl coupled with his grit and perseverance, Nehra was the go-to man for his captains. He retired in November 2017.


13. Sandeep Sharma

Country: India
Current Team: Sunrisers Hyderabad
109 Wickets @ Avg: 24.59. ER: 7.75, SR: 19.03

Sandeep Sharma is one of those bowlers who goes about his business in a low-key fashion. The 27-year old medium pacer from Punjab possesses the skill to make the ball swing both ways and threatens the shiny, new ball. The 2012 U-19 World Cup winner started his career with his home franchise, Punjab, and moved to SRH in 2018.


12. Jasprit Bumrah

Country: India
Current Team: Mumbai Indians
111 Wickets @ Avg: 23.77, ER: 7.39, SR: 19.27

When Jasprit Bumrah burst onto the scene in 2013, few experts of the game would have predicted that the wiry pacer with an awkward action would come as far as he has. An apprentice of Lasith Malinga, many batsmen would bear marks of the pacer’s seething yorkers. Bumrah has risen quickly in the ranks to become the leader of the bowling attacks of both his blue jerseyed teams. The recently married speedster is a vital cog in India’s bowling lineup in all three formats.


11. Ravindra Jadeja

Country: India
Current Team: Chennai Super Kings
114 Wickets @ Avg: 30.74, ER: 7.65, SR: 24.11

An accurate bowler, a talented batsman, and arguably the best fielder in the world, there is nothing that Sir Jadeja can’t do. With an ability to pitch all the bowls on the same spot at a good pace, Jadeja is one of the most consistent bowlers in the world. Bagged by CSK for a whopping 9.5 Cr, the southpaw has been a vital part of both CSK and the national team for a long time now.


10. Umesh Yadav

Country: India
Current Team: Delhi Capitals
119 Wickets @ Avg: 30.09, ER: 8.51, SR: 21.19

Nicknamed the “Strongman’ due to his immense strength, there was a lot of excitement around Umesh Yadav as he was one of the few Indian seamers who could clock 140+ on the speed gun. With the ability to take the ball away from the right handers, Umesh has been a part of the IPL for a long time now. Less than satisfactory performances have seen the speedster struggle to find a spot in the playing 11 both for his IPL teams as well as the national side.


9. Yuzvendra Chahal

Country: India
Current Team: Royal Challengers Bangalore
121 Wickets @ Avg: 23.08, ER: 7.69, SR: 18

A former chess player, Yuzi has not given up on the mind games, as the wrist-spinner from Haryana continues to bamboozle batsmen with his googlies and other variations. The first Indian bowler to pick up a fifer in T20s, Chahal is a regular in the T20 format for India. Bagged by the Mumbai Indians in 2011, following his impressive performances in domestic tournaments, Chahal made his move to RCB in 2014 and has gone on to become their most successful bowler.


8. Sunil Narine

Country: West Indies
Current Team: Kolkata Knight Riders
127 Wickets @ Avg: 24.77, ER: 6.77, SR: 21.93

A man of few words and even fewer emotions, Narine let his bowling do all the talking. With a heavy arsenal of variations, Narine could fool any batsmen with his bag of tricks. However, since he was forced to remodel his action, the West Indian mystery spinner was not as effective as he used to be. He has tried to make up for his lost skill by improving his ball-striking abilities, but where once Narine would have made it to the playing 11 of any team in the world, he is struggling to find a spot in Purple and Gold.


7. Bhuvneshwar Kumar

Country: India
Current Team: Sunrisers Hyderabad
138 Wickets @ Avg: 24.11, ER: 7.27, SR: 19.89

If Jimmy Anderson is the King of Swing, Bhuvi can safely be called the Prince. The 2-time Purple Cap winner has immaculate control over his bowling and is the go-to man with the new ball as well as at the death overs. The crafty medium-pacer from Meerut has been the lead bowler for SRH for a long time. Coming back from injury only recently, Bhuvi would be looking to make up for the lost time and cement his place in the squad for the upcoming T20 World Cup.


6. Ravichandran Ashwin

Country: India
Current Team: Delhi Capitals
139 Wickets @ Avg: 27.06, ER:6.89,SR:23.53

Arguably the most skillful bowler globally, Ashwin has got it all from his signature Carrom Bowl to bowling leg-spin. The wily off-spinner is an epitome of innovation, coming up with something new to trouble batsmen from time to time. Like wine, Ashwin seems to be getting better with age as he is scaling new heights as every year passes by. Plying his trade at the Chepauk for a long time, the canny operator was roped in by Delhi Capitals to strengthen their spin attack.


5. Harbhajan Singh

Country: India
Current Team: Kolkata Knight Riders
150 Wickets @ Avg: 26.61, ER:7.06, SR: 22.61

Still going strong at 40, ‘The Turbanator’ is one of those classical off-spinners who try to deceive the batsman in the air and put a good rip on the bowl. One of India’s greatest test bowlers. Bhajji was a long withstanding member of the Mumbai Indians before CSK hired his services and now he is with the Knights. Still a threat to batsmen, especially on turning tracks; we would love to see Harbhajan bowl his ‘doosra’ and get moe wickets.


4. Dwayne Bravo

Country: West Indies
Current Team: Chennai Super Kings
155 Wickets @ Avg: 24.74, ER: 8.37, SR: 17.72

An eccentric character, DJ Bravo is a certified death bowler for the Chennai Super Kings. With a plethora of variations, the Trinidadian ‘Champion’ is a popular figure across all the T20 leagues in the world. His agility in the field, coupled with his dancing celebrations, make him a crowd favorite. With age catching up on the all-rounder, he may not be as effective as he once used to be, but there is still plenty of cricket left in the DJ.


3. Piyush Chawla

Country: India
Current Team: Mumbai Indians
156 Wickets @ Avg: 27.32, ER: 7.87, SR: 20.83

The baby-faced assassin has been one of the most successful bowlers in the IPL. Dismissing batsmen with his fast paced leg breaks and googlies, Chawla’s experience makes him a valuable asset for any team he plays for. Beginning his IPL career with Punjab and moving on to KKR and CSK, Chawla now finds himself on the champion Mumbai side and would be itching to contribute to the team’s success in the 2021 season.


2. Amit Mishra

Country: India
Current Team: Delhi Capitals
160 Wickets @ Avg: 24.36, ER: 7.35, SR: 19.86

India has seen a dearth of leg spinners since the Anil Kumble era, but Mishra Ji has been one such exception to the decline of wrist spin in the country. The 3-time hattrick taker is the second-highest wicket-taker in the history of the tournament. With a sharp turning leg break and a well-disguised googly, Mishra was regular on the national side before the emergence of the Chahal-Kuldeep duo. The 38-year-old is back in action in 2021 after sustaining a finger injury last season and seems to have slowed down his earlier energetic bowling acton.


1. Lasith Malinga

Country: Sri Lanka
Last Team: Mumbai Indians
170 Wickets @ Avg:19.80, ER: 7.14, SR: 16,62

Toe Insurance was a thing batsmen begged for when they saw the curly-haired Sri Lankan paceman kissing the bowl at the start of his run. The ‘Slinger’ is the most successful bowler in the history of the IPL and was one of the most fearsome bowlers to have played the game. With a smile always gracing his face no matter what the result was, Malinga played for Mumbai Indians throughout his IPL career and is a big reason for their success over the years. The veteran Yorker king announced his retirement in January this year.


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