IPL 2021, UAE leg: 5 Players who could smash 200 in a match
Nobody in T20 history has managed to score 200 runs in an innings. This has been an unthinkable record so far. When you get just 120 deliveries in total in a T20 match, for one batsman to get 200 by himself is extremely difficult. Since the inception of T20 cricket, players in both international and domestic formats have gone on to score big runs in an innings but never a double-century.
The highest individual score in a T20 innings is by Chris Gayle, who smashed 175* for the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Indian Premier League (IPL) back in 2013 against the now-defunct Pune Warriors. Gayle went berserk, hitting 175* in just 66 deliveries. He smashed 13 fours and 17 sixes and remained unbeaten.
In international cricket, Australian skipper Aaron Finch hit a sparkling 172 against Zimbabwe in Harare. His innings was laced with 16 fours and 10 sixes in a 76-ball affair. He faced 13 overs roughly by himself. In T20 cricket, a total of 12 scores of 150-plus have been registered in a match by batsmen. The likes of Gayle, Brendon McCullum, and Aaron Finch have done it on two occasions. However, you can never rule out a batter hitting 200 in a match.
The upcoming second phase of the IPL 2021 season is set to be held in the UAE from September 19 onwards after the tournament was postponed midway in May owing to COVID-19. With shorter boundaries and batting-friendly wickets, one could see a rare possibility of someone in the IPL going on to hit 200 in a match. For this to happen, he should be smashing a lot of boundaries besides coming in to bat early in order to face the desired amount of deliveries.
The IPL 2020 was held in the UAE and a total of five centuries were registered, with Shikhar Dhawan himself smashing two tons. Meanwhile, Mayank Agarwal smashed the fastest century (45 balls) in Sharjah. Ahead of the 2021 second leg in the UAE, we bring you the players who can get to 200 and script history.
Since the IPL 2018 season, KL Rahul has been consistent and has scored a truckload of runs. His tally reads 659, 593, and 670 in the last three seasons. In IPL 2021, Rahul has 331 runs already from eight games. He has hit two centuries in his IPL career. The Punjab Kings stalwart is someone who opens the batting and tries to play till the very end. If Rahul gets his eyes set, he can smash 200 by accelerating and placing, rather than being an anchorman for his side.
Universe Boss Chris Gayle is a true T20 champion. The veteran Gayle may have slowed down but his knack of hitting fours and sixes remain the same, The southpaw, who has six centuries in the IPL, can become the first-ever batter to smash 200. He comes in at number three for PBKS and will have ample time to set himself. Gayle can cause carnage with the short boundaries on offer in UAE and it would be difficult to stop him if he gets to a big score.
Recently, West Indies’ stalwart Andre Russell hit the fastest fifty in the CPL (14 balls). The hard-hitting batsman has shown his credentials across leagues but especially in the IPL for the Knight Riders. Russell comes in and targets the middle and death overs to maximise. If KKR can bring him early on and give him the license to attack, Russell could change the complexion. He can decimate any bowler with sheer power.
AB de Villiers
The destructive AB de Villiers cannot be ruled out either. The RCB star can play all range of shots and he is one of the cleanest strikers. With RCB heavily dependent on him, ABD can make the difference on smaller UAE stadiums. He has a best T20 score of 133* in the IPL and being such a lethal force, one can back him to come out all guns blazing if everything goes well.
Not many will think Shreyas Iyer can do the job of getting 200 but to be honest this man can. He has the best score of 147 in T20 cricket while playing for Mumbai against Sikkim in domestic cricket. Iyer consumed just 55 balls, Interestingly, this is the highest individual score in T20 by an Indian. Iyer can always come in the top-order and set his arms free. He enjoyed batting in the UAE in IPL 2020.