Picking the wicket of the opening batsmen is crucial in any format of the game. In a tournament like the Indian Premier League, where the openers are destined to make full use of the powerplay overs, it becomes important for the opposition bowlers to restrict them from doing that.
It is noteworthy that the opening batsmen have got the maximum time to settle before changing their gears to make big scores. The openers have scored more than 75% of the total centuries scored in IPL.
Also, 11 out of 14 times, specialised openers have won the Orange Caps in the tournament history.
So, without doubt, dismissing the openers is the first and foremost task of the opposition side’s bowlers; especially those who bowl in powerplay overs.
This article will list the bowlers who have dismissed the opening batsmen most time in IPL.
Top Bowlers to dismiss most opening batsmen in IPL
|BOWLERS||DISMISSING OPENING BATSMEN||INNINGS BOWLED|
Interestingly, the spinners dominate the list with the top two spots acquired by Indian off-spinners, and overall, 6 out of ten spots are occupied by spinners.
Harbhajan Singh was used often in powerplay overs in both his prominent sides of Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings, and rightfully, the turbanator is leading this list.
Similar to his Test career, Ravi Ashwin has made the left-handed openers his bunny. The Chennai-based carrom-ball specialist has made himself useful by picking more than 50% of his wickets as top-order batters. Notably, he has dismissed left-handed openers like David Warner (3 times), Chris Gayle (5), Parthiv Patel (4), and Kumar Sangakkara (4). Surprisingly, his highest dismissals are against a right-handed top-order batter, Robin Uthappa. Ashwin has dismissed Uthappa 7 times in the 15 innings the duo has played against each other.
Zaheer Khan is the only left-handed bowler on this list.
Yuzvendra Chahal, a surprising entry in this list, often bowls after the powerplay overs. He has been known as the partnership breaker and often picked opening batters who were well settled.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar has dismissed the specialised opening batters Ajinkya Rahane and Parthiv Patel 6 times each in his IPL career. Bhuvi also leads the wicket-takers list in the powerplay overs in IPL.
Sunil Narine and Amit Mishra increased their opener-wickets tally by picking Mumbai opening batsman Rohit Sharma’s wicket in 7 instances. Zaheer Khan likewise enjoyed bowling against Gautam Gambhir in IPL as the Delhi-based opener has been knocked out 6 times against the Mumbai bowler in the tournament.
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