Over the years, the Indian Premier League (IPL) has seen some world class seamers turn up for their sides and torment oppositions with some fiery spells.
Right from the raw pace of Brett Lee, Shane Bond and Shaun Tait to left-arm seamers in Mitchell Starc, Trent Boult and Zaheer Khan, the league has seen fast bowlers of world-class pedigree who have been successful in becoming their team’s strike weapon.
Mumbai Indians, the most successful IPL side with three titles, had one of the best strike bowlers in their arsenal who spun their cutting edge in winning games. One being Sri Lanka's tearaway pacer Lasith Malinga.
When it comes to the ability to pick up wickets at a phenomenal strike rate in the T20 format, there is no one who comes close to Malinga.
The Sri Lankan seamer is arguably the most successful fast bowler in the league history. With 154 wickets at an impressive economy of 6.86, the speed merchant is the leading wicket-taker in the league’s history.
Malinga has led the Mumbai Indians pace attack with distinction and been their bowling spearhead for over a decade. The Sri Lankan’s wicket-taking ability came to the fore when he bagged the purple cap for taking maximum wickets in the 2011 season.
The left arm pacer with his uncanny slinging action has created havoc among the top batting lineups by making early inroads for his team. Malinga has been successful in making breakthroughs for the Blues with both the new and old ball.
The star player bowls at a nippy pace and hurls the red cherry at menacing speeds, most often hovering around the 140-kmps mark. Malinga possesses all the repertoire in his bowling armory. He can swing the ball both ways, is a deceptive bouncer and is one of the best exponents of the yorkers in the shortest format.
Malinga has been deadly with the old ball and picks up wickets at will with his toe-crushing reverse swinging yorkers. He has been Rohit Sharma’s strike weapons in the power plays as well as the death overs.
Apart from Malinga, Mumbai Indians had a plethora of seamers in their armoury over the course of the IPL. World class fast bowlers like Shaun Pollock, RP Singh and Tim Southee formed part of their pace armory but no one touched the lofty heights scaled by Malinga.
After serving Mumbai Indians with great distinction, Malinga will don a new hat as the side's bowling mentor in the upcoming season.
It was rather strange that despite Malinga's phenomenal record in the IPL, he was not picked up in the 2018 mega-auction. The player, later, revealed that Mumbai Indians did not retain him as they wanted him to be the bowling mentor.
The current crop of Mumbai Indian seamers - Jasprit Bumrah, Pat Cummins and Mitchell Mclelegan surely can learn a lot under the mentorship of Malinga.
Given the facts, it won't be wrong in concluding that Malinga has stood the test of time and cemented his spot as an IPL great.