Which batsman has been bowled the most number of times in the IPL?

Batsman bowled the most times in the IPL

For any batsmen hearing the infamous death rattle as the ball dislodges bails, turning to see a stump cartwheeling past the wicket keeper or watching the triumphant bowler, palms aloft sprint past you to celebrate with his jubilant teammates are all fairly traumatic experiences to say the least. For some, this is a rarity but for others it happens all too often.

Rilee Rossouw bowled during an IPL match
Rilee Rossouw of the Royal Challengers Bangalore is bowled by Ashish Nehra. Photo by: Shaun Roy / SPORTZPICS / IPL CC

In this blog we look at the players who have been bowled the most number of times in the IPL.

Lets start with the top line stat of the batsmen that have been bowled the most in the IPL. Here are the top 5

BatsmanBallsDismissals Times Bowledas % of total dismissalsballs per bowled dismissal
S Watson28131263628.57%78.14
S Dhawan40961523120.39%132.13
V Kohli 45001543019.48%150.00
G Gambhir34041362719.85%126.07
D Warner37141252620.80%142.85
Top 5 batsmen out bowled the most time in IPL history

At the head of the list and a player that was bowled 38 times in this IPL career is Aussie all-rounder Shane Watson.

I find it a touch amusing that Watto has been out bowled more than any other batsman in the history of the IPL simply because for much of his international career he was famed for getting his pads in the way of any ball that had even the faintest chance of bowling him, a subject that has not gone unnoticed by cricket lovers around the world. In fact, I can remember being in the ground during an Ashes Test where the whole crowd would appeal for LBW every ball he faced!

Shane Watson not bowled
Not likely to be bowled with those pads on – Images may have been enhanced for comic effect

In fact, Shane Watson was so good at getting his legs in the way of the cricket ball hitting the stumps he even managed to deny his own teammates on certain occasions.

All of that though appears to have changed when he arrived in the IPL where he did a fine job of keeping his legs out of the way meaning by comparison he was only out LBW 6 times in a IPL career spanning 13 years. Perhaps the pads in India are a bit smaller?

Whatever the reason we can see that not only is he way out in front in terms of the total number of times bowled but his % of total dismissals bowled and balls per bowled dismissal are also significantly higher than anyone else in the top 5.

It is, of course, not surprising to see the likes of Kohli, Dhawan, Warner and Gambhir on this list. Firstly they’ve faced a huge number of balls in the IPL and secondly, as top order players they are more likely to face bowlers targeting the stumps with a little bit of movement. A career average of out bowled once every 5 innings seems to be the norm for the majority of established top order players.

To make things fairer then lets take a look at the players who have been bowled the most times in the IPL as a % of their total dismissals.

BatsmanBallsDismissalsTimes bowledas % of total dismissals
P Kumar 314381539.47%
B Stokes681351337.14%
J Bairstow 55519736.84%
L Pomersbach24611436.36%
V Kumar274281035.71%
Highest % of dismissals as bowled in the IPL. Minimum 200 career balls faced

At the top of this list is Praveen Kumar who was bowled a whopping 39.4% of the time. Of course this isn’t the first time that Praveen has featured on this blog with his appearance on the list of biggest sixes ever hit in the IPL also notable. It seems then that if Praveen wasn’t smoking the ball out of the park he was generally missing it with fatal consequences.

Then come a couple of English batsmen who have also made a habit of getting bowled in their relatively successful IPL careers.

Anyone who has watched Jonny Bairstow’s career develop will know that he has made a significant change to his technique in the second half of it deliberately getting to the leg-side of the ball in order to access the off-side. The result has been more runs in white ball cricket but at the expense of his place in the Test team where he was particularly vulnerable to being bowled.

As for Ben Stokes, I’m at loss to explain why he’s been bowled so many times but there you go. Oppositions teams are definitely targeting the stumps and to good effect. Something to watch out for in IPL 2021!

Unsurprisingly given their tail ender status Praveen and Vinay Kumar head up the next table as well which shows the number of balls faced per time bowled. Essentially this means that Praveen Kumar was bowled once every 3 and half overs that he faced in the IPL which is some going! Making up the remainder of the table are 3 leg-spinners none of whom apparently gave much importance to getting in line with the ball during their IPL careers.

BatsmanBallsTimes bowledballs per bowled dismissal
P Kumar3141520.93
V Kumar2741027.40
S Warne214635.67
A Mishra389942.67
PP Chawla5241243.67
Balls faced per bowled dismissal in the IPL. Minimum 200 balls faced

To finish lets spare a thought for 2 cricketers who have faced just a single delivery in the IPL that ended in them both being bowled. Hats off to Joe Denly and Sandeep Lamichhane for achieving such a feat.

Joe Denly bowled first ball
Joe Denly is bowled by Ishant Sharma by his first and to date his last ball in the IPL

Which bowler has dismissed Virat Kohli the most times in IPL history?

If there is one wicket that any IPL bowler must prize above all others it is surely that of Virat Kohli but who out of the 400+ bowlers to play in the IPL has dismissed Kohli the most number of times?

image sourced from Flickr under creative commons license

The below table shows the bowlers who have gotten Kohli out the most in the IPL

Sandeep Sharma7
Ashish Nehra6
Mitch McClenaghan4
Mohammed Shami4
Dhawal Kulkarni4

Only 5 bowlers in the history of the IPL have dismissed Kohli on 4 separate occasions but way out in front is current Sunrisers Hyderabad left-armer Sandeep Sharma who has claimed the prize scalp of Kohli a record 7 times. Given that Ashish Nehra has long since retired and with only Mohammed Shami in the chasing pack likely to play any significant IPL cricket in the near future then it seems likely that Sharma will hold onto this title at least for the the next few years if not longer.

Of course, all 5 players have had relatively long careers meaning the opportunity to get Kohli out has been greater than others. If we break it down to strike rate we see the following bowlers who have experienced success against Kohli to the extend of having a strike rate of under 10 against the great man. Here Shami just sneaks ahead in the stakes for the most successful bowler v Virat Kohli.

BowlerBallsWicketsStrike Rate
M Shami3147.75
S Sharma5577.86
L Balaji2538.33
K Pollard2638.67
A Nehra5469.00
S Gopal2839.33
R Harris1929.50
minimum 10 balls bowled v V Kohli

With T20 bowling being as much about restricting batsmen as getting them out, we also need to consider which bowlers have limited Kohli’s scoring more than any other in IPL history.

BowlerBallsRuns Kohli’s S/R
S Warne281657.14
S Watson251976.00
MM Patel252080.00
S Sreesanth292482.76
J Kallis342985.29

Above are the bowlers that Virat Kohli has the lowest strike rate against when playing in the IPL. The list this time is headed up by another legend of the game albeit from an early era in the form of Shane Warne who successfully limited King Kohli to a paltry 16 runs from the 28 balls he bowled (1 dismissal).

There have also been 2 bowlers so far in IPL history who have taken the wicket of Virat Kohli with their one and only ball against him in the competition. They include New Zealand seamer Doug Bracewell who only played a single game in the IPL despite taking 32 for 3 on debut including the wicket of Kohli and Abu Nechim Ahmed another right arm bowler who played a handful of games for Mumbai Indians before then transferring to Royal Challenger Bangalore effectively ending any chance to get Kohli a 2nd time.

Batsmen with lowest dot ball % in the IPL

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The IPL website will give you a list of the bowlers who have managed to deliver the highest number of dot balls in the competition’s history but what about the batsmen that have faced the lowest number of dot balls?

If you are looking for dot ball stats for IPL 2021 you can find them here
Creative commons license

If we were simply to look at the total number of dot balls faced by batsmen in the IPL then it’s not too much of a surprise to find the likes of Virat Kohli, Shikar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma leading the way as these are also the 3 batsman who have faced the most number of balls in the IPL full stop. 

Therefore, looking at the dot balls as a % of all deliveries faced seems a fairer assessment of which batsmen are best at getting off strike.

Starting with those who have used up the most deliveries without scoring perhaps the biggest surprise is to see Australian great Ricky Ponting so high up on the list, a man who captained his side to multiple limited over tournament victories including 2 x World Cups.

BatsmanDot ball %
YV Takawale53.37%
RT Ponting53.13%
RJ Quiney52.94%
K Goel52.81%
Z Khan52.48%
UBT Chand52.00%
PC Valthaty51.67%
CM Gautam50.67%
Batsmen who faced higher than 50% dot balls in their IPL career – minimum 100 balls faced

However, Ponting isn’t the only stroke maker of that generation to have a dot ball % that wouldn’t pass muster in the T20 era. Sanath Jayasuria, Sourav Ganguly, Herschelle Gibbs and Adam Gilchirst, all batsmen renowned for their swash buckling approach to the game, had a dot ball percentage above 45% for their time in the Indian Premier League.

By contrast most of the current greats of the game and players that have grown up playing T20 cricket hover around 35% or to put it another way they only allow 1 dot ball in every 3 faced. These include MS Dhoni and Virat Kohli as well as the likes of David Warner and Suresh Raina all players who have been involved in the IPL since its early days and remain key players for their respective franchises today.

What this also suggests is that while scoring rates have undoubtedly gone up since the IPL started back in 2007, it might not solely be off the back of bigger hitting (something we’ll look at in a future blog) but as much around manipulating the field, hitting the gaps and running hard. Equally, some might argue that in the modern game giving a big hitting batsman a single and getting him off strike is almost as good a result as a dot ball!

As for the big hitters, it might not come as any great surprise that a few of them have a slightly higher dot ball %. Chris Gayle, Yuvraj Singh and Shane Watson for example all rank high on the all time 6 hitting list but also use up quite a few deliveries in getting their eye in leading to higher dot ball percentages of jjhd jhdjh djhdh respectively. The eagled amongst you may also note that these are 3 players who could be charitably described as being ‘athletically challenged’, particularly in their later years.

Perhaps the true champion then and a man who needs little introduction to fans of white ball cricket around the world is AB de Villiers, 2nd on the all time six hitting list and with a power game to rival anyone out there, he also appears to be a master of manipulating the strike with one of the lowest dot ball % seen.

BatsmanDot ball %
Bipul Sharma26.83%
TM Head27.03%
M Kartik28.70%
CH Morris28.94%
A Ashish Reddy30.05%
AB de Villiers30.34%
KS Williamson30.64%
AC Voges30.77%

By contrast, the man at the top of the list is not a household name. Bipul Sharma was one of several players from Punjab Ranji who opted to try his luck in the break away ICL back in 2007 but after 2 largely unsuccessful years the league folded and Sharma, along with many others, was forced to seek amnesty in a bid to rejoin the domestic circuit and potentially the IPL.

In 2010 he joined Kings XI Punjab where he spent 4 years as a back-up player for the franchise making 15 appearances in total including just a single outing during the 2013 campaign. Having been dropped from the KXIP roster and failing to find a franchise at all for 2014 season it looked like Bipul Sharma would become a forgotten man on the world’s biggest T20 stage.

However, a lucky break saw him picked up by the Sunrisers Hyderabad Team for the 2015 season as a replacement for the injured Laxmi Shulka and while once again he was by no means an automatic pick for the franchise he did deliver some key moments for the men in orange as they secured their maiden IPL title in 2016.

Bipul Sharma played just 7 matches in the 2016 edition of the IPL but that included all 3 of the knockout games that SRH were required to win to lift the title. He started well in the Qualifier against Gujarat Lions by striking a useful 14 from 6 balls to accelerate the Sunrisers score past 160, a total that ultimately proved too much for the Lions.

Then in the eliminator against KKR he played a gem of an innings (27 off 11 balls with 3 x sixes) in support of his captain David Warner to see the Sunrisers into the final in what was a dramatic run chase. Coming to the crease with the score at 117-6, the Sunrisers still needed 46 from 25 balls but thanks to Sharma’s powerful hitting completed the chase in relative comfort with 4 balls to spare. You can watch highlights of the run chase here.

The final saw no such fireworks with the bat although Bipul Sharma did claim the crucial wicket of AB de Villiers as SRH successfully defended their first innings score of 208 to lift the IPL trophy. It was to be the high point of Bipul Sharma’s IPL career with the 2017 season once again seeing him getting limited playing time before he went unsold in the 2018 and 2019 auctions.

Bipul Sharma remains a key player on the domestic circuit in all formats with both bat and ball, playing for the Chandigarh side and while the glitz and glamour of the IPL are now behind him he will be making a move over to the UK this summer to play cricket for Formby in the Liverpool League.

One over wonders – players who have bowled a single over in the IPL

The IPL has made instant stars of many cricketers both domestic and international but for others their chance has come and gone all too soon. Here are the bowlers who got to bowl just one over in the richest T20 franchise in the league in the world.

Yalaka Gnaneswar Rao

Yalaka Gnaneshwara Rao comes from good cricketing stock being the younger brother of former India international Yalaka Venugopal Rao. Rao the younger seemed to be developing along a similar trajectory when he captained India’s U-19 team on a tour of England in 2002. Then 9 years later and having had only moderate success with his local side Andhra Pradesh as a bowling all-rounder, Gnaneshwara Rao was brought for INR 3,000,000 (approximately $40k) by the newly formed Kochi Tuskers Kerala franchise.

Gnaneshwara Rao had to wait until the penultimate match of the 2011 season to make his debut by which time the Tuskers’ season was already over as far as qualifying for the play-offs was concerned. With Rajasthan’s top order blown away, Rao came onto bowl his solitary over that went for 7 runs (3 dot balls). He might have bowled again but for the exploits of former Aussie international and part-time bowler Brad Hodge who took career best T20 figures of 4-13 as the Royal’s crumbled to 97 all out.

Rao was selected again for the final game of the season against Chennai Super Kings but did not bowl instead being promoted up the order to number 3 and making 19 from 17 deliveries. His last game in the IPL was of course The Tuskers’ last game as well with the Kerala based franchise being disbanded after just a solitary season.  

Watch highlights of Yalaka Gnaneswar Rao and Prasanth Padmanabhan’s debuts in the IPL

Prasanth Padmanabhan

By coincidence, the Kochi Tuskers match against Rajasthan Royals contained not 1 but 2 one over wonders!  Prasanth Padmanabhan’s first and last 6 balls in the IPL were a little more eventful as the young left-arm spinner was hit for 3 maximums by Aussie and IPL legend Shane Watson.

Prasanth is said to have struck up a friendship with South Africa legend Dale Steyn while at SRH

Prasanth Padmanabhan’s domestic T20 record was exemplary and he became the first bowler for Kerala state to take 50 wickets in the shortest format. Such form kept him in the spotlight and after leaving the Tuskers he would go on to have a couple of stints with the Sunrisers Hyderabad in 2013 and 2015 but he never made a single appearance for them before going unsold in the 2016 auction.

Despite his lack of opportunity in the IPL, Prasanth credits his time playing alongside the likes of Dale Steyn, Kane Williamson and Darren Sammy with a development in his game and with 64 victims he remains Kerala’s all-time leading wicket taker in the T20 format.

Rohan Gavaskar

Rohan Gavaskar is hardly the first or last player to have been overshadowed by a famous cricketing father and there are few within the Indian game who claim to cast a shadow as long (figuratively speaking) as the great Sunil Gavaskar.

Rohan was a stylish left-handed batsman who bowled useful slow left arm, a combination that was good enough to see him win 11 caps at ODI level for India. Despite that pedigree he only played twice in the IPL bowling a solitary over as the 7th bowler used for Kolkata Knight Riders in their win over Royal Challengers Bangalore in 2010.

He might have played more in the IPL had he not have chosen to join the rebel Indian Cricket League (ICL) in 2007 an act that saw him receive a 2 year ban from the BCCI. By the time that ban expired in 2009, Gavaskar was already 33 years old and his playing career would finish soon after.

Ajinkya Rahane

Renowned as being a rock in the middle order of India’s batting line-up, Rahane also has the honour of appearing on the list and in successful circumstances. His single over in the IPL came against Kings XI Punjab and ended with him claiming the wicket of Australian international Luke Pomersbach clean bowled by a very military medium delivery from Rahane.

Despite playing in excess of 200 T20 matches in a career that is still going strong, Rahane has never bowled again and looks unlikely to do so meaning that he could well finish with figures of 1 over, 5 runs, 1 wicket.

Lee Carseldine

Carseldine attempts to knock over another wall during his time on the TV show Survivor

Rahane is certainly not the only cricketer to have taken a wicket in his single IPL over and Australian Lee Carseldine can surely brag that he has claimed the biggest prize for bowlers in this category by dismissing Rahul Dravid. Indeed there are more established names in world cricket who have toiled away for day after day against the man nicknamed ‘The Wall’ without success but Carseldine did it first ball!

A degenerative back injury prevented Carseldine playing as much cricket as he would have hoped throughout a stop start career but having hung up his bowling spikes in 2013 he would go on to have a successful career in the media as a sports reporter and radio star. In 2016 he also appeared in the reality TV show Survivor.

Bharat Chipli & Ishan Malhotra

Having covered a couple of successful examples of one over wonders we now turn our attention to a pair who might have wished that they hadn’t been handed the ball especially when considering the man they were bowling to! Both Chipli and Malhotra bowled their solitary IPL overs in the same match for Deccan Chargers v Dehli Daredevils against one of the biggest hitting batsmen the world has ever seen – Virender Sehwag!

The Chargers line-up included the likes Dale Steyn, Ishant Sharma, Dan Cristian and Amit Mishra who combined to have Dehli 25-3 in pursuit of 176 to win. However, Sehwag launched a stunning counter attack that started against Malhotra in the 8th over as he was dispatched for 23 including 2 x 4s and 2 x 6s. Next to the plate was Chipli a man who was an occasional bowler at best. By contrast the 20 that Sehwag took off his over might therefore be seen as a success! Sehwag was eventually out for 119 off 56 balls, with his century coming up off 48 balls. At the time it was the 6th fastest hundred in IPL history and remains the 15th fastest to this day.

Watch highlights of Sehwag’s century

While Chipli was rarely seen again as a bowler, Malhotra continues to this day to take on some of the biggest hitters in world cricket and despite not making the grade in the IPL he is a regular Abu Dhabi T10 league with his latest outing seeing him carted for 45 off 2 overs!