IPL 2020 is just a couple of nights away as the cricket universe gears up to witness yet another edition of the world's most competitive T20 league. The BCCI initiated the tournament in 2008 following India's historic victory in the ICC T20 World Cup in 2007.
Eight city-based franchises took part in the first season of IPL, and the organizers used a home-away format for the tournament. In the last 12 years, the league has gone through many ups and some downs, but has always managed to entertain fans.
Although IPL 2020 is not happening during its usual time, the viewership is still expected to be at an all-time high.
One of the main reasons behind the immense popularity of T20 cricket is that batsmen play extravagant strokes right from the get go. The likes of Chris Gayle, Brendon McCullum, Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, David Warner, and several other batsmen have done this and amassed big hundreds in IPL cricket.
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However, there have also been a few players who have had great starts quite a few times but never managed to go on and reach the three-figure mark. Here's a look at the five batsmen with the most half-centuries but no hundreds in IPL history:
5. Dinesh Karthik - 18 fifties before IPL 2020
Dinesh Karthik has played for six franchises in his IPL career so far - Delhi Capitals, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Kings XI Punjab, Mumbai Indians, Gujarat Lions, and Kolkata Knight Riders. Karthik has taken part in 182 matches, scoring 3,656 runs at an average of 27.08.
The right-handed batsman generally bats in the middle order. Therefore, Karthik usually does not get enough overs to build a big innings. The KKR skipper came close to registering his maiden IPL hundred last year against the Rajasthan Royals but could not do so, eventually remaining unbeaten on 97.
As KKR already has a stellar top order, it is unlikely that Karthik will promote himself in the batting lineup this season.
4. MS Dhoni - 23 fifties before IPL 2020
Mahendra Singh Dhoni is another IPL captain who does not bat in the top three. Playing for Chennai Super Kings and Rising Pune Supergiant, Dhoni has registered 23 half-centuries in IPL cricket.
His highest score in the league is 84*, which came against Royal Challengers Bangalore last year. With Suresh Raina to miss IPL 2020 entirely, there is a slim chance fans get to see Dhoni bat higher up the order, and perhaps register his maiden IPL hundred in the process.