Most prolific T20 players – Bowlers

Part two of looking at who is the best at T20 in the world taking into account not just international but also IPL and other domestic tournaments will look specifically at bowlers.

To start off i will look at some seamers.

Malinga –  A very unorthodox T20 specialist that is a master of his art. Nicknames Slinger, he has a low trajectory, can get it up to 90 MPH, and has a reputation for crushing people’s toes. He performed strongly in the IPL with 14 matches in 2012 bringing him 22 wickets at a great economy rate of just 6.30. He took wickets and was economical. He bowls quick effective spells and bearing in mind the unorthodox nature of his action, he has considerable control over what he can do. In all T20 he  astonishingly has 155 wickets at an average of 17, and a solid economy rate of 6.58. He is the ideal T20 bowler and he is my number one.

Slinger Malinger in full throttle mode.

Dale Steyn- renowned for being able to make the ball get up to extreme pace and swing and seam, at such a young age he seems such a natural leader. His record is not the best in the world by any standard with only 109 wickets at just over 6 and a half as an economy rate. However in IPl 2012 he  picked up 18 wickets at misely 6.10 an over with an avergae of 15.83 which is slightly unbelievable. For me he is a great bowler that runs through the crease. He is natural, quick, whippy and could be one of the best bowlers ever. He is up there for me as one of the worlds best T20 quicks.

Morne Morkel is perhaps one of the most lethal however towering down from just below 7 foot. He is closing in on 100 wickets and goes for around 7 and over. He is pretty fast but occasionally cannot get the yorkers in which perhaps could stop him from getting on my list.  Morne Morkel did however end up as the leading wicket taker in 2012’s IPL with 25 at 18

Dirk Nannes – would have been my number one BUT he has dramatically fallen away. Overall he has a brilliant record with the most wickets (178) .. a good average of just over 20 and 5 four wicket hauls. He however is an expencive bowler going at 7.18 and in the latest champions league was going at over 10 runs an over. Perhaps if i was writing this a year ago he would be at the top of the tree but he is nowhere to be seen in the IPL stats table and has really let himself down.

Brett Lee, Shaun Tait and Morne Morkel are three super quick bowlers that can really blast away the batsmen. Brett Lee used to be nearer the 100MPH mark but has slowed down to just the low nineties and high eighties. Still a serious force using his experience and mixing it with his pace to become a truly effective T20 bowler. His bouncer yorker mode is still the hardest to detect. Lee does not have an impressive record with not a huge amount of Wickets, an average over 30 and a very moderate economy. He is however renowned for his quality from other forms. I have put him ahead of both Nannes and tait. He has better records but has experience and class which is invaluable. And lets face it.. he can whack a ball a long way too !

Shaun Tait is seriously fast. Broken the 100MPH barrier a few times and isn’t slowing down. He has over 100 wickets at an average of 21 which is impressive for such a fast bowler.   In this year’s IPL he was awful. Almost Nannes’ esc, with only 6 wickets in 6 games. Arguably he could have played more if his team went through, but surely that’s because he wasn’t bowling well enough to help his side. He is very injury prone and very inconsistent. He should make it onto the list but i simply don’t think he has done well enough

Wildcard picks:

Rana Naved – He is a bowler that also uses his experience and class to outwit a side with the ability to crank it up to the mid 80’s but also to expertly slow it down. He is without doubt a masterful bowler that has over 100 T20 wickets and a great average of just over 20.

Dernbach – Another master of the variation. Not a good record but climbing up the ranks now known for his t20 specialty. I personally have seen him get it over 90MPH before so he can definitely quicken it up, but he honestly has one of the most lethal yorkers i have ever seen. He has some serious raw ability and i think should be in the IPL and getting some action.

Other Bowlers i have considered are Pathan, Kumar, Albie Morkel, Langvelt, Phillander, Broad, Arafat

Now onto the spinners !!

In 33 games (15 of them IPL) Narine has taken 46 wickets with 24 in 2012’s IPL. His overall average is incredibly just 14 with and IPL average of 13.5. His economy rate is 5.20 with an IPL rate of 5.47. He seems to be an effective and consistent spinner with a great record and he is my best spinner i can pick. He is challenged however by by Saeed Ajmal and Swann.

Sunil Narine, the Player of the Tournament, is carried by his team-mates

Ajmal has 125 wickets at 15 with an economy of 6.34. He is an astonishingly simple but good bowler bringing both edges into playas he spins it in and out. I argue he isn’t an off spinner as roughly half his balls spin the other way usually. He is a masterful bowler and is clearly one that flourishes in all forms despite the inconsistencies of his lackluster Pakistani colleagues who are often daubed by corruption and drug allegations.  Swann dosn’t have as many wickets but has a fantastic average of 18 and a brilliant economy rate of 6.6. He And Ajmal are both in my top 10.

Super Ajmal performs in all formats. Leading light for Pakistan

Muralitharan, the man with the most test wickets is also a prolific T20 bowler with 139 wickets at 20.75 and an economy under 6.5. He has really excelled but i wouldn’t i’m afraid place him on my list of most prolific purely becuase he is now getting a bit older and is close to retirement. He had a good IPL in 2012 but didn’t get into the top 5 bowlers so he will be overlooked. A bowler i feel deserves to replace the master spinner is Aswin. He has broken into the test side but there is no doubt of his quality in the T20 format. He has a solid low average of 22 and under six and a half for an economy rate. Perhaps this isn’t the best in the world, but i think he is a prolific bowler and should be considered for the list.

Afridi, the leg spinner in my view is now a bowler that can bat a little bit, whereas he broke onto the scene as a hitter that bowled. His T20 record is very good with 159 wickets and a 5 for. He averages 18 which is very good and i think his skiddy Kumble like bowling action makes him a perfect T20 bowler

I do agree with some of the above rankings, but i have compiled my own with a few tweaks.  I have added a few Pakistani players such as Umar Gul , Ajmal and Afridi who didn’t play IPL cricket but i think are prolific T20 bowlers. Gul has 121 T20 wickets at an average of 17 which i think makes him one of the best opening bowlers in  the world.  I also was considering placing Daniel Vettori in the list but i didn’t feel he was better than Ajmal, Swann, Afridi Narine or the likes of Murali and Ashwin. Yadav makes it onto the list due to his 19 wickets in IPL 2012 whcih is even more than Dale Steyn but he simply dosn’t have enough experience and a strong enough to record he just about makes it at 10.

1. Narine – (WI)

2. Malinga – (SL)

3. Morkel – (SA)

4. Ajmal – (Pak)

5. Gul – (Pak)

6. Steyn – (SA)

7. Swann – (Eng)

8. Afridi – (Pak)

9.  Lee (Aus)

10. Yadav (Ind)


Some players that were close

– Zaheer(Ind), Kemar Roach (WI), Munaf Patel, Yadav (Ind), Broad (Eng) , Thomas (SA), Vettori (NZ), mendis (SL) Perrera (SL) , Nannes (AUS), Tait (AUS)


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