IPL 2019: Gayle, Russell and Dhoni are proving to be the biggest game-changers this season
Chris Gayle is no longer turning into a storm in IPL matches. He has become cool like a cucumber when his fans wait for his fireworks; a copybook player doing some precise hitting to the fence.
All these three batsmen have a different approach to the game. Gayle times the ball well with his raw power and uncanny anticipation. He loves to lift the ball over the mid-off, mid-on and mid-wicket regions with effortless ease. He gets enough time to middle the ball as he reads the swing very well.
Gayle’s timing is superb, probably due to his reflexes and physical strength. His trademark black scarf drops down to cover his neck, his piercing eyes give a chill to the bowlers.
Gayle seldom fails to punish an errant bowler. The southpaw looks more stylish than Dhoni and Russell while batting. But after hitting the highest number of sixes in the world, his is now losing a bit of steam due to age. Still, he is like a sleeping volcano and nobody knows when he will erupt.
Over the years, Gayle's disciple, Andre Russell has become a demolition man in his own right. Russell only needs around 15-20 balls to change the course of the game.
The tall and brawny Jamaican is a destructive powerhouse who can even mistime a hit for a six. That is the reason why Russell has become a danger man to any team in the short format of the game.
MS Dhoni is altogether different from these two Caribbean batsmen. As the saying goes, never hurt Dhoni’s self-esteem nor question his ability, because that may turn him into a tornado.
Dhoni is widely considered to be the inventor of the helicopter shot. When he hits the ball hard to the midwicket region with all his power, the bat in his follow-through revolves around his body like the fan of a helicopter.
That said, Dhoni's most important skill is his ability to control his aggression at will. He meticulously plans a big chase with a mixture of shots which culminate into explosive sixes at the end.
Dhoni loves to take challenges head on, which further reflects his steely resolve. Age hasn't been able to wither Dhoni, who still has an unquenchable thirst for runs.
Unlike Gayle and Russell, Dhoni has a more traditional approach to the game as he plays most of his shots in the V region. He wisely applies the laws of physics to power his shots. He seldom shouts, grins or expresses displeasure on the field.
These three players have dominated the tournament so far, and have proved that nothing is impossible if you have the right attitude. In their present form, Gayle, Russell and Dhoni will continue to win matches and steal hearts.
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