The Indian Premier League (IPL) is the grandest T20 league on the planet. It is the only tournament where the active Indian cricketers unite forces with the international stars in an eight city franchise-based competition. Because of the IPL, India has found several new talents who are currently representing the country at the international level.
Before BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India) initiated the IPL, India did not have a strong pace bowling attack. Injuries often hit the Indian pacers back then while the team rarely had a bowler who could clock 145 kmph on the speedometer consistently. But after 12 years of IPL, India has a lot of variety in its pace bowling department. There are bowlers who can swing the ball, fast bowlers, death over specialists and bowlers who perplex the batsmen with their variations. Clocking speeds above 140 kmph has become a common thing for Indian pacers now.
So far in the 12 editions of IPL, only 3 Indian pacers have been able to win the award for the most wickets in a particular season. Here's a look at those 3 Purple Cap winners.
#3 Bhuvneshwar Kumar - 2016 and 2017
The right-arm medium fast bowler from Uttar Pradesh has made a name for himself playing for the Sunrisers Hyderabad in IPL. Bhuvneshwar Kumar was the vice-captain of the Orange Army last year and his incredible performances in IPL 2016 and 2017 played a pivotal role in doing so.
Bhuvneshwar picked up 23 wickets in 17 matches of IPL 2016 to help Hyderabad win their maiden IPL championship. He had one four wicket haul to his name in that season and his economy rate was just 7.42. One year later, he powered the Hyderabad-based franchise to the playoffs with 26 wickets in only 14 games. The most incredible statistic of his 2017 campaign was his strike rate, which stood at 12.07.
#2 Mohit Sharma - 2014
Chennai Super Kings' right-arm fast bowler, Mohit Sharma rose to prominence in 2014 with a Purple Cap-winning performance in the IPL. Sharma led the CSK bowling attack with 23 wickets in 16 matches. He bowled in the powerplay overs and the death overs which shows how important he was to the team.
Unfortunately, CSK could not win the IPL that year but they finished third. Mohit bowled 53.5 overs in that season and gave away 452 runs at an economy rate of 8.39. His economy rate was a bit high because as mentioned earlier, he bowled during those phases of the innings where the batsmen are not afraid of taking risks.
#1 R.P. Singh - 2009
Former Indian left-arm pacer, Rudra Pratap Singh was the first Indian fast bowler to win the Purple Cap award. He achieved this feat while playing for Deccan Chargers in IPL 2009. Just like Mohit Sharma, Singh picked up 23 wickets in 16 matches to finish at the top of the bowlers' leader-board.
Bowling in the pace-friendly conditions of South Africa, Singh brought his 2007 T20 World Cup experience to the fore as he helped Deccan Chargers lift the trophy for the first time. The Uttar Pradesh-based fast bowler took one four wicket haul in that tournament, as his best bowling figures were 4/22.