A dot ball is a ‘not so often seen’ commodity in T20 cricket in a format where the batsmen look to cart around the bowlers right from the start.
In T20 cricket, dot balls are like gold dust, especially in the death overs. Dot balls tend to pile pressure on the batsmen which leads them to trying out release shots that bring about dismissals.
In the IPL, we’ve seen numerous bowlers slot into the role of death bowlers for their franchises with their skills and variations. The importance of dot balls over the 20 overs is unparalleled, and in this article, we have a look at five bowlers who have registered the most number of dot balls in IPL history.
Piyush Chawla (1109 dot balls)
At the fifth place comes leg spinner Piyush Chawla. Chawla has featured in each and every season of the IPL and is a handy bowler who can keep the scoring rate in check. His skiddy action coupled with his ability to disguise the ‘wrong un’ with immaculate perfection makes him a potent weapon in the arsenal of his team.
Chawla has played 156 matches in the league and has bowled as many as 1109 dot balls in IPL cricket. He is also the 4th highest wicket-taker in IPL history, scalping 150 wickets at an average of 27.14.
The leg spinner has offered his services to Kings XI Punjab and Kolkata Knight Riders in the past and will turn out for three-time champions Chennai Super Kings in the 2020 edition of the league. Chawla is also handy with the bat and can strike a few lusty blows at the fag end of the innings.
Amit Mishra (1111 dot balls)
Veteran spinner Amit Mishra has often operated in the powerplay overs for whichever side he has represented in the IPL. With the ball in hand, Mishra is known to turn the ball both ways, while his googly has befuddled some of the biggest names in the IPL.
The 37-year-old spinner began his IPL career with the Delhi Daredevils before he shifted to the now-defunct Deccan Chargers in 2011. Mishra then featured for the Sunrisers Hyderabad for two years before he returned to the Delhi Capitals in 2015.
Notably, Mishra also holds the record for the most hat-tricks in the history of the IPL with three to his name. From 147 matches, Mishra has picked up 157 wickets at an economy of 7.35 RPO and has also bowled a total of 1,111 dot balls
Bhuvneshwar Kumar (1124 dot balls)
The right-arm pacer is also the only bowler in IPL history to have won the coveted Purple Cap award in two consecutive editions of the tournament (2016 and 2017). Kumar has bowled as many as 1124 dot balls in the 117 IPL games that he has played.
Kumar stands 6th in the list of wicket-takers with 133 scalps to his name in IPL cricket. The Indian pacer will continue to carry out the new ball duties for the Hyderabad outfit in the 2020 edition of the league. Bhuvneshwar Kumar is just 30 years of age and has plenty of cricket left in him.
Lasith Malinga (1155 dot balls)
One of the best death bowlers in the history of the sport, Lasith Malinga has proved to be a massive game-changer for the Mumbai Indians in the IPL with his toe-crushing yorkers.
Malinga has 170 IPL wickets from just 122 games at an economy rate of just 7.14 RPO and is the leading wicket-taker in the tournament. Malinga’s best season so far came during IPL 2011 when he picked up 28 wickets from 16 matches.
With 1,155 dot balls to his name, Malinga has proven time and time again as to why he’s one of the best in the business. And with Jasprit Bumrah and Trent Boult partnering him at MI this season, the Rohit Sharma-led side could well be in contention for yet another IPL title.
Harbhajan Singh (1,249 dots)
Harbhajan Singh has bowled a colossal 1249 dot balls in IPL history and continues to be an important member of the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) bowling attack.
Before turning out for Chennai, Harbhajan was plying his trade with the Mumbai Indians for the first 10 seasons of the IPL. The veteran off-spinner has featured in 160 matches in IPL cricket and is the third-highest wicket-taker in the league with 150 scalps to his name.
Even though the spin bowling legend is over 40 years of age, he continues to spin the ball with childlike enthusiasm and will play a key role in the UAE, where the tracks tend to assist the spinners in the middle overs.