The Universe Boss Chris Gayle will likely return to the field tonight for the first time in nine months to play for Kings XI Punjab against the Royal Challengers Bangalore in IPL 2020. Gayle last played in the Bangladesh Premier League 2020 in the month of January.
The left-handed batsman from Jamaica has played 404 T20s in his career, aggregating 13,296 runs at an average of 38.20. He has scored these runs at an excellent strike rate of 146.94. Besides this, Chris Gayle has 22 T20 centuries to his name, the most for any player.
Chris Gayle is the only player to retain the Orange Cap title in IPL history
Speaking of his performances in the IPL, Gayle has represented three franchises - the Kolkata Knight Riders, the Royal Challengers Bangalore, and Kings XI Punjab. He holds the record for the highest individual score (175*) in the league, and he has hit the most sixes in the IPL. The West Indian star is also the only batsman to win the Orange Cap in two consecutive IPL seasons.
The records mentioned above are quite popular, but here are the three lesser-known IPL records that Chris Gayle holds.
3. Most runs as an opener in the IPL
Chris Gayle has mostly played as an opener in his IPL career. He has opened the innings for his team in 122 games, while he has batted at the number three and number four positions only once.
The 41-year-old from Kingston has aggregated 4,480 runs while playing as an opening batsman in the IPL. All of his six IPL centuries have come while batting at this position.
Gayle has an incredible average of 41.87 at this position, and his strike rate has been 151.40. The Sunrisers Hyderabad captain David Warner is second on this list with 4,382 IPL runs as an opener.
2. Chris Gayle is the only batsman to score 100 or more runs via boundaries in three IPL innings
One of the primary reasons behind Chris Gayle's extraordinary record in T20 cricket is his boundary-hitting ability. The Universe Boss is the only player to aggregate 100 or more runs via boundaries in three different IPL innings.
He achieved this feat for the first time in the 2012 season against the Delhi Capitals. Batting at the Arun Jaitley Stadium, Gayle scored an unbeaten 62-ball 128*, slamming 15 fours and seven maximums (102 runs).
In the next season, Gayle played a once in a lifetime innings of 175 runs versus the Pune Warriors. He scored 154 runs (13 fours and 17 sixes) through boundaries in that game.
Two years later, the former West Indies captain destroyed the Kings XI Punjab bowling lineup, scoring 117 runs off 57 deliveries. His innings, which included seven fours and 12 sixes ensured that the Royal Challengers Bangalore won by 138 runs. AB de Villiers is the only other batsman to score 100 or more runs via boundaries in more than one innings.
1. Chris Gayle is the only player to score a century and take 3 wickets in the same IPL match
There is a high demand for all-rounders in T20 cricket, and during his prime, Chris Gayle often rolled his arm in the IPL. The West Indian star has scalped 18 IPL wickets with his right-arm off-break bowling skills.
In the IPL 2011 fixture between RCB and KXIP, Chris Gayle blasted a 49-ball 107 while opening the innings for the Bangalore-based franchise. His knock powered RCB to a score of 205/6 at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium.
Chasing a target of 206 runs, the visitors got off to a disastrous start as Adam Gilchrist and Abhishek Nayar departed to the pavilion early. Later in the innings, Gayle dismissed Paul Valthaty, Dinesh Karthik, and Piyush Chawla to finish the game for RCB.
Who scored the highest runs in IPL 2020, click here to find out.
To date, Gayle is the only player to record a century and pick up three wickets in the same IPL fixture.