Former England cricketer Kevin Pietersen has picked the greatest Indian Premier League (IPL) bowler of all-time.
Pietersen has had his fair share of success in the IPL with Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) and Delhi Daredevils (DD). After retiring from the game, KP has witnessed the franchise league from close quarters as a renowned analyst and commentator.
The cash-rich tournament has provided an array of talented bowlers from both Indian domestic cricket as well as stars from abroad.
Ahead of the likes of Sunil Narine, Dale Steyn, and Amit Mishra, amongst the leading wicket-takers, KP went with Sri Lankan legendary bowler Lasith Malinga.
“I’m going with Lasith,” Pietersen stated during Star Sports’ show Cricket Connected. Over the years, Malinga has remained loyal to only one franchise, Mumbai Indians. With 170 wickets in 122 matches, Malinga has scalped the most number of dismissals in IPL cricket.
“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,” Pietersen told Jatin Sapru.
In between, Malinga underwent a lean patch at the twilight of his career. He was even overlooked for a place in the national squad.
However, Mumbai Indians still backed in his abilities and offered him the role of bowling mentor in 2018. Many thought his career was well over until he made his way back again in the Sri Lankan team.
The 36-year-old was back playing in the XI for Mumbai Indians in the subsequent season, to pull off one of the fascinating turnarounds in a cricketers’ career.
Also, Malinga held his nerves in the all-important finals of IPL 2019 against CSK, defending only a few in the ultimate over of the tournament. His spell helped Mumbai Indians win their fourth IPL title.