The 2020 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) gets underway with the high-voltage contest between defending champions Mumbai Indians and last year’s runners-up Chennai Super Kings tonight. The tournament will have a different feel to it this season as it is being held in the UAE away from the usual fanfare owing to the novel coronavirus.
Over the years, IPL has come to be associated with bold strokeplay and incredible knocks. In fact, the first-ever match of the IPL saw Brendon McCullum blazing his way to a sensational 158 for Kolkata Knight Riders against Royal Challengers Bangalore.
Since then, only Chris Gayle has beaten that score in the IPL with a sizzling 175 not out for Royal Challengers Bangalore against Pune Warriors. With rising scoring rates, it seems only a matter of time before someone scores a double century. In this feature, we take a look at three Indians who are capable of crossing the 200-run mark in the IPL.
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3 Indian batsmen who are capable of hitting a double hundred in IPL
#1. Rohit Sharma
Mumbai Indians skipper Rohit Sharma is one of the cleanest hitters of the cricket ball. While most others need to muscle their way to send the ball over the ropes, Rohit can clear the boundary with nonchalant ease. He loves hitting boundaries and can dispatch even good balls for fours and sixes.
Opening the innings, Rohit has often got the team off to flying starts although he has even batted in the middle overs in the past. However, it has been confirmed that this season Rohit will open the innings with Quinton de Kock.
So far, Rohit has accumulated 4898 runs in 188 matches at a strike rate of 130.82 in IPL. Although his highest is 109 not out, he is highly capable of scoring 200 if he bats the full 20 overs.
#2. Virat Kohli
Indian skipper Virat Kohli is a legend in international cricket and the IPL as well. His penchant for run-scoring is at a completely different level from most others. Kohli’s record of 973 runs in the 2016 edition, which saw him smash four hundreds, is highly unlikely to be broken.
The 31-year-old has rarely had a bad season in the IPL, or international cricket for that matter, in recent years. He possesses the ability to find the boundaries at his will, and on his day, can make a complete mockery of bowling attacks. Opening the innings gives Kohli more time out in the middle, and if he gets going, you never know how much he will end up with.
#3. KL Rahul
Although it may be a bit too early to place KL Rahul in the same league as Kohli and Rohit, he has definitely grown in stature in recent times. Opening the innings with the maverick Chris Gayle for Kings XI Punjab over the last two seasons, Rahul has made his mark brilliantly. The KXIP skipper has the ability to play the most audacious of strokes, making him a freak of a kind.
His consistency for Punjab over the last two seasons has been amazing as he has amassed 659 and 593 runs respectively. Rahul also holds the record for the fastest fifty in the IPL. He bludgeoned a half-century off merely 14 balls against Delhi Capitals at Mohali in 2018. A similar innings with greater longevity could well see the 28-year-old becoming the first batsman to break the 200-run barrier in the IPL.Published 19 Sep 2020, 14:51 IST