The Indian Premier League (IPL) is considered to be the pinnacle of T20 league cricket around the world, as the very best players compete against each other every year in the annual competition. Currently, eight teams are part of the competition, although the BCCI has decided to introduce two new franchises in 2022.
One of the biggest reasons behind the IPL's success is the tournament's entertainment factor. Fans get to witness their favourite players raining sixes and teams facing off in close encounters every night in the IPL.
Three batters with two IPL hundreds but no fifties in T20I cricket
Before the rise of the shortest format of the game, scoring a century in 50-overs cricket was acknowledged as a considerable achievement. But because of the IPL and T20 cricket, batsmen are playing at faster strike rates and touching the 100-run mark inside 20 overs. To top things off, some batsmen have even crossed the 150-run mark in a single T20 inning.
Interestingly, three players have breached the magical three-figure mark twice in their IPL careers, but haven't completed a half-century in T20Is for their national teams yet.
3. Ben Stokes
The ambidextrous all-rounder made his IPL debut in 2017 after the Rising Pune Supergiant splurged ₹14.5 Crore for his services. Stokes made an immediate impact in the IPL. He won the MVP Award in his debut season by aggregating 316 runs and picking up 12 wickets.
Ben Stokes recorded his maiden IPL ton in his debut season, when he played a match-winning knock of 103* runs against the Gujarat Lions to help Pune win the game.
Last year, the English all-rounder brought up his second IPL century, while playing for the Rajasthan Royals versus the Mumbai Indians. While Stokes has two IPL centuries to his name, his highest score in 34 T20I matches for England is only 47 runs.
2. Murali Vijay
Former Chennai Super Kings opener Murali Vijay was one of the biggest match-winners for his team during his prime. He regularly provided fantastic starts to the Super Kings in the powerplay overs.
The right-handed batsman played 106 IPL matches in his career, where he amassed 2,619 runs at a strike rate of 121.87. Vijay had his best IPL season in 2010 when, playing for CSK, the Tamil Nadu batsman scored 458 runs in 15 innings, including a career-best 127 against the Rajasthan Royals.
He continued his excellent form in 2011 and finished with 434 runs in 16 innings. However, his performances dipped during the league phase of the 2012 season.
CKS skipper MS Dhoni continued to back the opener, and Vijay repaid his faith with a 58-ball 113 against the Delhi Capitals in the Qualifier 2 match.
Courtesy of his top-quality IPL performances, Vijay earned a place in the Indian squad for the ICC T20 World Cup in 2010. He made his debut against Afghanistan and played eight matches after that game. Unfortunately, Murali Vijay could not cement his place in the T20I team.
The Indian opener managed 169 runs in nine innings for India, with his highest score in T20Is being 48.
1. Sanju Samson
Sanju Samson will captain the Rajasthan Royals in IPL 2021. The Royals signed Samson in 2013 after the Kolkata Knight Riders released him without giving him an opportunity.
Samson established himself as a match-winner for the Royals by playing some fantastic innings with the willow. While he has struggled to maintain his consistency at times, once Samson gets going in the middle, he ensures his team gains the upper hand in the contest.
When the Royals received a temporary suspension, Sanju Samson became a part of the Delhi Capitals in 2016. He registered his maiden IPL century for Delhi in a match against the Rising Pune Supergiant at the MCA Stadium during the 2017 season. Samson's 63-ball 102 powered Delhi to a comfortable 97-run victory.
Two years later, Samson played another knock of 102 in the IPL, this time for the Rajasthan Royals against the Sunrisers Hyderabad at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium.
Samson's century guided Rajasthan to 198/2 in 20 overs. Unfortunately, the Royals could not win that match thanks to some brilliant batting by David Warner, Jonny Bairstow, and Vijay Shankar.
Sanju Samson has played seven T20Is for the Indian cricket team. His aggregate in T20 internationals is 83, while his best score is just 23. Given Samson's remarkable talent, it should only be a matter of time before he records his maiden T20I half-century.