England star and former RCB batter Kevin Pietersen has named Lasith Malinga as the G.O.A.T (Greatest of All Time) bowler in IPL history. In a contest arranged by a national sports channel, the Mumbai Indians speedster was declared the best against the likes of other IPL greats such as Ashish Nehra, Dale Steyn, Jasprit Bumrah and Sunil Narine.
Playing for the Indians since 2008, the Sri Lankan pacer is the tournament’s highest wicket-taker with 170 scalps in as many as 122 games. Nicknamed the ‘Malinga Slinga’, the 31-year-old altered the definition of a T20 bowler from day one; in a game, which is exclusively a batsman’s favourite format.
“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. 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 announced.
While fitness has been a serious concern for him, Malinga on his day is the most lethal pacer in the world with his toe-crushing and pinpoint yorkers. In fact, last year, Mumbai Indians clinched their 4th IPL title in the penultimate over through some ecstatic death bowling by the Lanka skipper. Therefore, it was no brainer for the judges to choose the GOAT bowler of the tournament’s 12-years history.
The first Sri Lankan to claim four wickets in four deliveries in the 2007 Cricket World Cup, Malinga, easily beat the likes of Ashish Nehra, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Dale Steyn, Amit Mishra, Imran Tahir, Jasprit Bumrah, Ravichandran Ashwin, Sunil Narine and Yuzvendra Chahal, the other nominees for the title.
Besides Pietersen’s vote, Malinga also got the nod from several other cricket pundits like, Dean Jones, Mathew Hayden, Aakash Chopra, Graeme Smith, Simon Doull, Ian Bishop and Tom Moody.
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