The Indian Premier League is underway and this year’s tournament promises to be no different than the ones before. However, with the tournament returning to India after a gap of one year, fans will be more excited and players will also be a bit more familiar with the pitches and surroundings.
Last year’s IPL 2020 was played completely in the United Arab Emirates because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic but the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has decided to move the tournament back to India and host it across six cities in Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chennai and Ahmedabad.
With the tournament returning to India and the league stages being played at the usual venues compared to Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah, the chances of high scoring games will be a bit more and we have already seen that in the IPL so far this year with both Punjab Kings and Rajasthan Royals scoring over 200 in the same match.
With high scores around the corner, we take a look at five players who can hit six maximums in an over.
ANDRE RUSSELL (KKR)
Russel’s inability to rotate the strike in the first game perhaps cost KKR the game but his affinity to go for the big shots makes him a prime contender for the 36-run over in T20 cricket. What also makes him a prime contender is that KKR will play five matches at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru, which is a small ground and good for batting.
The West Indian has a strike rate of 179.69 which is the most by any player in the IPL and has hit a total of 129 sixes and 104 fours so far in the IPL. He has scored 1,531 runs from 76 matches at an average of 28.88.
CHRIS GAYLE (PK)
Chris Gayle, much like Russel, has been one of the most destructive batsmen in the history of the IPL as well as T20 cricket. Gayle’s ability to clear the boundaries at ease makes him a dangerous batsman to bowl at.
Much like KKR, Punjab Kings will also play five matches in Bangalore and Gayle will fancy his chances at the Chinnaswamy, where he has very fond memories with the Royal Challengers Bangalore.
Gayle has a strike rate of 150.04 in the IPL and has hit 351 sixes (which is the most by any batsman across the 14 seasons so far) and 388 fours in the IPL. The West Indian has scored 4,812 from 133 matches so far at an average of 41.12
GLENN MAXWELL (RCB)
Glenn Maxwell seems to have rediscovered some form again after his big-money move to RCB and has looked in great touch lately. Maxwell who has been batting at No.4 for the Royal Challengers, has been getting plenty of balls to bat and when he’s on song, it’s extremely difficult to contain him.
The Aussie has been seeing the ball and he could well go all the way and hit six maximums in an over once his eyes are set and he gets going because of him being able to spend more time on the pitch than usual.
Maxi has a strike rate of 153.83 in the IPL and has hit 96 sixes and 126 fours so far. The 32-year-old has scored 1,603 runs from 84 games in the cash-rich league at an average of 22.90.
RISHABH PANT (DC)
The Delhi Capitals skipper is a player that can hit the long ball and can take anyone on, be it a spinner or a pacer. Rishabh Pant‘s ability to smash the ball with sheer power makes him a genuine contender for the big hits.
Pant, however, has become more of a matured batsman and refrained from hitting all the time like before but if the ball is in his slot, he will go all out for sure.
The wicketkeeper-batsman strikes the ball at 151.19 and has hit 103 sixes and 194 boundaries so far in the IPL. Pant has scored 2,145 runs from 70 IPL matches so far at an average of 35.75
AB de VILLIERS (RCB)
AB de Villiers has taken on more of a finishing role this season and this could allow him to unleash on bowlers completely and go for the jugular. AB is currently batting at No.5 for RCB after the arrival of Maxwell and is finishing games off for the Virat Kohli-led team.
De Villiers has a strike rate of 151.92 and has hit 237 sixes and 394 fours (most so far in the IPL) in the IPL. The South African has scored 4,898 runs from 171 matches in the IPL at an average of 40.14
This year’s IPL will be played from April 9 to May 30 and each of the players can be the first player ever to hit 6 sixes in an over for the first time in the IPL.