S. Venkat Narayan
Sri Lankan fast bowler Lasith Malinga has been named the greatest bowler in Indian Premier League (IPL) history by Star Sports experts Dean Jones, Mathew Hayden, Aakash Chopra, Graeme Smith, Simon Doull, Ian Bishop and Tom Moody.
They were part of a 50-member list including former cricketers, statisticians, analysts, senior sports journalists.
Malinga was picked ahead of bowlers like India’s Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah, and West Indies’ Sunil Narine and others. The bowler with slinging action is the leading wicket-taker in the league with 170 wickets from 122 matches.
“I’m going with Lasith. You look at the numbers he has served up and the way he has consistently used that yorker, that makes everyone talk about it. Malinga is my guy. I would go with Narine, but he has bowled on wickets which helped turn. Also, he has been questioned on a few occasions for this suspect bowling action, so I am afraid to say that I am going with Malinga,” said Star Sports expert and former England cricketer Kevin Pietersen.
Malinga registered his best bowling figures against Delhi franchise in IPL 2011 when he took five wickets for 13 runs in 3.4 overs he bowled. His fifer wrecked Delhi’s batting line-up as they were bundled out for a paltry score of 84.
The veteran also helped Rohit Sharma-led-led Mumbai Indians (MI) to win IPL 2019 final against Chennai Super Kings (CSK) by defending nine runs in the final over despite going for 42 runs in his previous three overs. He picked up the wickets of Shane Watson and Shardul Thakur in the final over to help MI win the match by one run and the title for the fourth time.