T20I Cricket is a game full of fours and sixes with batsmen mostly dominating the shortest format of international cricket.
However, bowlers had a fair share of their fun, picking up wickets and restricting the batting side. Some bowlers have been excellent in the shortest format and have dominated in their own way.
So today, we take a look at the top ten wicket-takers in international Twenty20 cricket.
Note: The (*) denotes that the player is still active.
Note 2: This is the list before the start of the New Zealand vs Australia T20I series.
1. Lasith Malinga (Sri Lanka) – 107
The only man in the history of Twenty20 cricket to pick 100 and over T20I wickets. Lasith Malinga has been a legend in the shortest format. In fact, he is the only bowler to pick a T20I hat-trick twice as well as the only bowler to take five-fers twice.
2. Shahid Afridi (Pakistan) – 98
Pakistan’s highest wicket-taker. In fact, by the time Shahid Afridi retired, he was the highest wicket-taker in T20Is, until Malinga took place in 2017. Afridi has been excellent in T20I cricket with the ball with an economy rate of six and a half. He was the leading wicket-taker in the inaugural T20 World Cup, where he won the “Player of the tournament” award.
3. Shakib Al Hasan (Bangladesh) – 92*
Bangladesh’s highest wicket-taker in the format, Shakib Al Hasan has played some match-winning performances with both bat and ball. He is the only Bangladesh bowler to have more than 60 T20I wickets!
4. Rashid Khan (Afghanistan) – 89*
Before reaching his fiftieth match in T20I, Rashid Khan has 89 wickets which is very impressive. He holds the best average and economy rate of players having at least 30 T20I wickets. He will soon take over the greats in no time.
5. Tim Southee (New Zealand) – 87*
Tim Southee has been New Zealand’s best, with 87 wickets. With five T20 international match series begun against Australia, Southee will target the 100th mark to become the second bowler in history to take 100 T20I wickets.
6. Umar Gul (Pakistan) – 85
Perhaps the most underrated bowler, Umar Gul was the first man to take a five-fer in T20 cricket. He rose through ranks and bowled some brilliant spells. Twice he picked 5-6 figures along with 4-8. He will go down as one of the best T20I bowlers.
– Saeed Ajmal (Pakistan) – 85
Tied with his teammate, Saeed Ajmal was very dangerous when he came to bowl. Batsmen found it hard to cope with Ajmal’s variations. He and Umar Gul holds the record for most 4-fers in T20I cricket.
8. George Dockrell (Ireland) – 76*
Pretty overlook most of the times, but Ireland’s George Dockrell comes at eighth position in this list. Still playing, he has 76 wickets which is easily Ireland’s best.
9. Mohammad Nabi (Afghanistan) – 69*
All-rounder Mohammad Nabi comes at number nine with 69 wickets to his name. He has been one of the successful Afghanistan spinners in the format alongside Rashid Khan.
10. Chris Jordan (England) – 66*
Tied with Sri Lanka’s Nuwan Kulasekara and Ajanta Mendis with 66, Chris Jordan is England’s highest wicket-taker in the format with 66. He is also an active player and will likely to move ahead. He is also known well for his “death bowling”
Who has been the most effective bowler in t20I cricket?