Ever since its inception in the year 2008, the Indian Premier League (IPL) has witnessed overseas players forming a particular bond with the Indian players. Who would have thought at one point in time that Sachin Tendulkar and Ricky Ponting would bat together in a cricket match? The duo played together for the Mumbai Indians and fans loved every moment the duo batted together.
The IPL has also seen Harbhajan Singh and Andrew Symonds playing together when they represented the Mumbai Indians. Royal Challengers Bangalore fans are also fortunate to witness two modern-day great players in Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers batting together for the franchise.
While fans have witnessed the above-mentioned pairs of cricketers playing for their franchise, let us look at hypothetical situations with regards to the players fans worldwide would love to watch playing together in the IPL.
#1. Chris Gayle and Rohit Sharma:
It would be an exciting prospect to watch Chris Gayle and Rohit Sharma open the batting in an IPL game.
Sharma is the most successful captain in the league, and he has won 4 IPL titles and is an explosive batsman at the top of the order. He can clear the boundaries with ease and can score quick runs once he gets his eye in. Sharma is the third-highest scorer in the history of the IPL and has a strike rate of 130.82.
He is one of the most destructive openers in modern-day cricket, can score quick runs in the power-play overs and is a very dangerous batsman in the death overs too.
Chris Gayle is the ultimate king of the T20 format and has made a name for himself by dominating bowling attacks around the world with his attacking batting skills. He has a strike rate of 151.03 in 124 IPL innings. Gayle loves to attack from the word go and is one of the most feared batsmen, especially in T20 cricket. He has 6 IPL centuries to his credit.
The very thought of Rohit Sharma and Chris Gayle opening the batting and dominating bowling attacks is an exciting one and fans will be hopeful that the duo bat together in an IPL game.
#2. Virat Kohli and Kane Williamson:
The duo have played competitive cricket against each other since their Under-19 days and are good friends off the field. Virat is an aggressive and expressive captain whereas Willamson is a calm leader and a man for the crisis. Kohli loves the IPL and is the highest ever scorer in the history of the tournament.
He has 5412 runs in 169 innings with a strike rate of 131.61 and 5 centuries to his credit. The Indian skipper is excellent at finding the gaps in the field and scoring quick runs. He loves to dominate the bowling attack and has been effective in opening the batting as well as batting at number 3 for the Royal Challengers franchise.
Williamson has been a star player for Sunrisers Hyderabad and has captained the team well in the absence of David Warner. He has a strike rate of 135.06 in IPL cricket, keeps the scoreboard ticking and is a very useful batsman in the middle order as he handles all situations with a lot of maturity. Williamson won the Orange Cap in the year 2018 and is a dependable batsman.
Fans would love to watch the duo bat together in an IPL game and dominate bowling attacks. It will be exciting to witness them together in action and with two of the best batsmen in world cricket at present, the team which the duo will represent will be confident of winning the IPL trophy.
#3. Jasprit Bumrah and Jofra Archer:
Jasprit Bumrah and Jofra Archer have taken the cricket community by storm with their match-winning performances. At a young age, the duo have spearheaded the bowling attacks of their respective teams and have bowled with a lot of maturity.
Bumrah, in four years at the international level, has made rapid strides in all the three formats and is the death overs specialist for the Mumbai Indians. He has been a part of the Mumbai Indians setup since the year 2013 and has made vital contributions in helping Mumbai Indias win 4 IPL titles.
Not only is Bumrah lethal in the death overs, he is a dangerous bowler with the new ball too and has formed a formidable partnership with his senior partner Lasith Malinga.
Archer has tasted success in IPL cricket in the last couple of seasons and had an excellent English summer. He played a crucial role in England's maiden World Cup victory last summer and was one of the main bowlers for England in the Ashes in 2019.
Archer unsettles the batsmen with his pace and has the knack for picking up wickets regularly. A bowling attack comprising of Archer and Bumrah will be a dream come true for cricket fans. Hopefully, the duo will play together in an IPL game soon.
#4. Andre Russell and Hardik Pandya:
Imagine having Andre Russell and Hardik Pandya on the same team. The duo are extremely dangerous batsmen especially in the death overs and can be a nightmare for bowlers of all teams to bowl to. Add to that, their bowling skills and knack for picking up wickets with the ball in hand, and you have a truly dangerous combination.
The duo are excellent fielders too which makes them three-dimensional players and assets for their respective teams.
Russell has a strike rate of 186.41 with the bat in IPL cricket and has won matches for his team from impossible situations. If he gets his eye in, he can destroy the best of bowling attacks and can clear the boundaries with ease. He has an average of 27. 96 with the ball and is an effective bowler in the middle overs.
Hardik Pandya too can be a match-winner on his day and has tasted success in the IPL. He is a real asset with both the bat and the ball and has changed the course of many IPL matches single-handedly.
Pandya has a strike rate of 154.78 in 61 IPL innings and also has 42 IPL wickets to his credit. He has been one of the main pillars in the Mumbai outfit and has contributed to the success of the team on numerous occasions.
If the duo plays together in an IPL game, the team will be almost invincible with 2 match-winners with the bat and the ball who are capable of changing the course of the game in no time.
#5. MS Dhoni and AB De Villiers:
Both Dhoni and de Villiers have been excellent finishers in ODI as well as T20 cricket. Both have also been a vital part of their IPL teams and won games for their respective franchises.
In 190 IPL games, Dhoni has scored 4432 runs at an impressive average of 42.21. He has won many matches single-handedly forthe Chennai Super Kings and Pune Supergiant and is a perfect finisher to have in the middle order. Dhoni has an impressive strike rate of 137.85 in IPL cricket and is an experienced skipper.
AB De Villiers has an impressive IPL record. He has 4395 runs in 142 IPL innings and averages 39.95. He has an astonishing strike rate of 151.24 and can be a nightmare to bowl to in the death overs.
If the duo of Dhoni and De Villiers play and bat together for the same franchise in IPL cricket, there will no be margin of error possible for opponent bowlers. The duo will be a deadly combination batting together especially in the death overs.Published 23 Aug 2020, 18:02 IST