5 Batsmen to Watch Out for in VIVO IPL 2017
As the Australia tour winds down, the focus of cricket fans in the coming weeks will shift to the new IPL season which will get underway in Hyderabad on April 5 with the match between Sunrisers Hyderabad and Royal Challengers Bengaluru. 2017 marks the 10th year of the world’s richest cricket league, and it continues to be the platform where every cricketer wants to make an impact. The format is hugely dominated by batsmen, and we have witnessed some breathtaking knocks players over the years. The shorter boundaries, the flat pitches and the batting friendly rules have all helped the men with the bat. There is no doubt that we will see some great performances this year as well. Here’s our pick of five we think will dominate with the bat in IPL 2017.
Virat Kohli, Royal Challengers Bengaluru: The talismanic batsman is in sensational form since couple of years and is by far the best batsman in this format. His consistency and majestic stroke play left the cricket fraternity in awe. His astute technique all around the wicket makes him one of the most feared batsmen. Some of the shots he has played aren’t easy to make-believe. He is very expressive and takes bull by the horns. He scores effortlessly and never allows the opponent to settle at any point of time. Virat Kohli is the highest run getter in IPL with 4000 plus runs at a stupendous average of 38. In the IPL 2016 he scored 973 runs, the highest in any season by any batsman, at an unimaginable average of 81.08. With 4 centuries, he holds the record for most centuries in a single IPL season. His on-field flamboyance in IPL is something that will always be worth a wait.
Chris Gayle, Royal Challengers, Bengaluru: The giant from the Caribbean has played some of the best innings in IPL. His humongous ability to strike the ball long and hard effortlessly is incredible. He is a nightmare for any bowler and loves hitting spinners out of the park. There is no strategy that has stopped him from toying with the best bowling attacks. When on a song, he makes great bowlers look silly and has so far clobbered 251 sixes in IPL which are by far the most by a batsman. Gayle’s average of 43.36 in 92 matches is the best for a batsman with a minimum of 50 matches in IPL. On his day, he has won the matches single-handedly and made tough run chases look easy. His unbeaten 175 against Pune Warriors in 2013 was beyond belief and is one of the greatest knocks played in IPL. In the previous season, he failed to contribute on what was RCB’s most successful campaign and will be hungry to score big this season.
David Warner, Sunrisers Hyderabad: The swashbuckling left-handed Australian is one of the most destructive players in the IPL. He has been consistent for Sunrisers Hyderabad and is always among runs since he first started playing for them in 2014. In the last IPL, he was the 2nd highest run-getter with 848 runs at an average of 60.57 in 17 innings with 9 half centuries. David Warner is an exciting player who relishes playing on flat Indian wickets and never misses out an opportunity to score runs. He was instrumental in giving Sunrisers Hyderabad their first title with his quench to score runs and deserves a lot of credit in shaping the inconsistent Sunrisers Hyderabad team. He is aggressive by nature and has led young team quite brilliantly. His consistency at the top will be a key to Sunrisers Hyderabad’s success in defending the title.
AB De Villiers, Royal Challengers Bengaluru: AB De Villiers is probably the most feared batsman in this format with the ability to score runs all around the ground and is known as Mr. 360 degrees. Many of the shots this South African has played over the years is simply mind-boggling. He can clobber the ball right from the word go and can play a sheet anchoring role when required. On a slow pitch against Gujarat Lions, he blasted his way to a glorious 52 ball 129* in which he smashed 12 sixes. In the previous IPL he averaged 52.84 with 687 runs in 16 innings at a strike rate of 151.42. On his day, he makes a world class bowler look substandard. He is a thunderbolt in the field, Lightning quick between the wickets and a huge motivation to the team. There is nothing that you can hate about this man in the IPL. He is a complete package and a dream come true player.
Quinton De Kock, Delhi Daredevils : The young left handed wicket keeper batsman opens the batting for Delhi Daredevils and has played best cricket over the last 18 months. He has a good technique on both sides of the wicket and is ravenous to score runs. In the previous season, he stunned Royal Challengers Bengaluru with a 48 ball ton in a high scoring run chase. The South African is a fearless striker of the cricket ball and can play massive shots. He is a valuable asset to any team with his dynamic glove work behind the stumps. He plays both spin and pace with equal control and has scored 445 runs at an average of 37.08 in the previous edition. When in the groove, he can demolish any bowling attack with delightful stroke-play.
Article by: MKM Faiyaz Ahmed
Images courtesy: www.royalchallengers.com, pinterest