A panel of experts has named Mumbai Indians veteran Lasith Malinga as their choice for the greatest bowling in IPL history. Also Read - Lasith Malinga to Make International Comeback For Sri Lanka in Upcoming T20 World Cup: Report
The panel comprised Malinga’s contemporaries and other former stars including Kevin Pietersen, Dean Jones, Mathew Hayden, Aakash Chopra, Graeme Smith, Simon Doull, Ian Bishop and Tom Moody. Also Read - IPL 2021: "Our IPL Players Safely Back in The Caribbean” - Confirms CWI CEO Johnny Grave
In 122 IPL matches so far, Malinga has taken 170 wickets at an average of 19.80 including six four-wicket hauls and one fifer. Also Read - Cricket: David Warner And Michael Slater Deny Reports of 'Physical Exchange' in Maldives Bar
Explaining his decision to go ahead with the Sri Lankan star, Pietersen said the ability to consistently deliver yorkers and the numbers the 36-year-old has racked up over the years, work in his favour.
“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,” Pietersen said.
He added, “I would go with (Sunil) 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,” he said.
Among the bowlers who were in the running included Bhuvneshwar Kumar (India), Ashish Nehra (India), Ravichandran Ashwin (India), Amit Mishra (India), Imran Tahir (South Africa), Yuzvendra Chahal (India), Dale Steyn (South Africa), Ashish Nehra (India), Sunil Narine (West Indies) and Jasprit Bumrah (India).
Malinga, widely regarded as one of the finest fast bowlers in history, has 546 international wickets to his name including twice taking four wickets in as many deliveries.