It’s often said that while batsmen win you games, bowlers win you titles. The IPL is the epitome of that phrase as every year, the team with a potent bowling attack wins the tournament.
This list is not merely an enumeration of the top 5 wicket-takers of IPL 2020, but it is a ranking of the best bowlers based on wickets taken, economy rate, strike rate, average, etc.
5. Trent Boult
Trent Boult was neither in Mumbai Indians’ squad last year, nor did they buy him in the auction. In fact, he was traded from the Delhi Capitals, a team he tormented throughout the tournament. He was brought into the side to bowl during the powerplay as it will allow Bumrah to bowl at the death.
Often troubling the openers with balls nipping inside them, Boult was the leading wicket-taker during the powerplay overs. He consistently picked up wickets throughout the season, but he was imposing during the final few games, where he took early wickets that set the game’s tempo.
Some would argue that Yuzvendra Chahal or Anrich Nortje deserve this spot, but Trent Boult did a fine job in my eyes. Often labeled as a non-T20 specialist, Trent Boult silenced his critics with a wonderful campaign with the Mumbai Indians.
Trent Boult’s bowling performances in IPL 2020
- Innings(Overs): 15(57.2)
- Wickets: 25
- Econ. Rate: 7.97
4. Rashid Khan
Rashid Khan is hands down the best spinner in the shortest format of the game. You can read here in detail about the variety of balls he has in his kit. He literally can bowl 6 different balls in 6 balls of an over.
He has established himself as one of the best gun bowlers in the tournament’s history in such a short space of time. At the age of 22, he already has 75 wickets in his IPL career!
The most economical bowler found a way to exceed expectations and have his best season as far as the economy rate is concerned. It takes immense skill to dismiss batsmen who are more often than not trying just to play out your four overs, but the young leggie did it time and again.
He bowled as many as 17 dot balls against the Delhi Capitals during the league stage. He not only had the lowest economy rate throughout the season, but he also had the cheapest four-over spell as he just conceded 7 runs against the eventual runners up of the tournament.
Rashid Khan’s bowling performances in IPL 2020
- Innings(Overs): 16(64)
- Wickets: 20
- Econ. Rate: 5.37
3. Jofra Archer
While Rabada had his Nortje and Bumrah had his Boult, Jofra Archer often found himself fighting a lone battle. His batting ability might have given him a slight edge in the MVP race, but it was his bowling expertise that often drew attention.
He picked up as many wickets as the next two highest wicket-taking bowlers of Rajasthan Royals combined. It would take a collaboration of 7 seam bowlers of RR to be able to go past Archer’s tally of 20 wickets. If this doesn’t explain his importance to the team, nothing will.
Archer was arguably the most lethal bowler (read here on what makes him a lethal bowler?) during the powerplay overs. Teams were more than happy to play out his spell, which is visible in his low economy rate. Although his team was handed the wooden spoon, Archer had a splendid season with the ball.
Jofra Archer’s bowling performances in IPL 2020
- Innings(Overs): 14(55.4)
- Wickets: 20
- Econ. Rate: 6.55
2. Kagiso Rabada
Kagiso Rabada may have won the purple cap, but he finds himself on the second spot on my list. Rabada was unlucky to lose out on last season’s purple cap as he missed a few matches, but he made sure he bagged the crown this time around.
Rabada had an extraordinary season, and as far as wicket-taking is concerned, he is as good as Bumrah, but at times he can be taken to the cleaners. Moreover, stats will show you that a majority of his wickets come during the death overs.
While this is an excellent sign as it restricts the opposition team’s run-scoring ability, it is far harder to pick up wickets during the powerplay or the middle overs as the batsmen aren’t compelled to go after the bowlers. But all in all, Rabada had a season to remember.
Kagiso Rabada’s bowling performances in IPL 2020
- Innings(Overs): 17(65.4)
- Wickets: 30
- Econ. Rate: 8.34
1. Jasprit Bumrah
Jasprit Bumrah looked a bit rusty during the first few matches of the campaign, but he was at his dangerous best when he came into his own. The thing that separates Bumrah from his peers is his immense ability to provide a breakthrough when his team needs one.
His importance to the side is well documented, but this was the first time he competed for the purple cap right till the end. Kagiso Rabada may have pipped him to the prize, but Bumrah’s economy rate and average were on another level. Had he played as many games as the Protea, he would have mathematically won the purple cap.
Moreover, Bumrah picked up wickets during all phases of the game, which means he was a constant threat. His delivery, which got the better of Shikhar Dhawan in Qualifier 1, was one of the finest deliveries of the tournament considering the importance of the match and the quality of the batsman facing the ball.
Jasprit Bumrah’s bowling performances in IPL 2020
- Innings(Overs): 15(60)
- Wickets: 27
- Econ. Rate: 6.73
Honorable Mentions: Anrich Nortje, Yuzvendra Chahal, Mohammad Shami