IPL 2022 has reached its climax with just the summit clash to be played. First-timers Gujarat Titans (GT) will lock horns with the inaugural champions Rajasthan Royals (RR) at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad on Sunday (May 29).
The season has witnessed batters set the stage alight with their pyrotechnics and belligerent ball-striking. In fact, IPL 2022 has seen over 1000 sixes scored, a first in the league's 15-year history.
The very first day in the league's history, in 2008, saw Brendon McCullum produce an iconic knock for the ages. His unbeaten 158 remains a monumental knock even today and was a sign of what the tournament was to witness over time.
Thereafter, the likes of Chris Gayle, AB de Villiers, Kieron Pollard, and Andre Russell have only increased the range of six-hitting and aggressive batsmanship to gargantuan levels. And of course, with the tournament's tryst to unearth hidden gems from across India, many Indian batters too have produced breathtaking displays.
Here, we take a look at the five Indians with the highest strike-rates in the history of the IPL.
#5 Yusuf Pathan - IPL strike-rate of 142.97
One of the earliest mavericks in the T20 format, Yusuf Pathan was a bona fide match-winner right from the inception of the IPL. Who can forget his Player of the Match-winning all-round performance that helped the Rajasthan Royals clinch the crown in the 2008 final?
Pathan may have endured question marks over his consistency, but never with regards to his muscle power or intent. His 37-ball 100 against Mumbai Indians (MI) in 2010 and the breathtaking 22-ball 72 that powered Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) into the playoffs of the 2014 season remain etched in the annals of IPL folklore.
The elder of the Pathan brothers was a part of three IPL finals, winning all three of them. His last appearance in the league came for the SunRisers Hyderabad (SRH) in 2019 and Pathan finished with a strike-rate of 142.97 across 174 games.
#4 Prithvi Shaw - 147.45
One of the most promising opening batsmen in the country at present, Prithvi Shaw has made a massive impact on the IPL in a relatively short span of time. The prodigious right-hander from Mumbai debuted for the Delhi Capitals (then Daredevils) in 2018 and has been with the franchise ever since.
Shaw has become a dominator in the Powerplay with his ability to take down high quality pace without a fuss. He has been a pivotal component of the Capitals' core group, and was one of their four retentions ahead of the IPL 2022 Mega Auction.
As of today, Shaw boasts of a strike-rate of 147.45 from 63 games in the league, having scored 1,588 runs through the course of it.
#3 Rishabh Pant - 147.97
When Rishabh Pant bats, he has the world at his feet. The Delhi Capitals (then Daredevils) invested in his potential in 2016 and the southpaw has come a long way ever since.
Not only is Pant the current captain of the franchise, but he has also gone on to become a pivotal cog in the Indian team across formats. His manic six-hitting ability, coupled with his tendency to launch a counter-attack at will, has made him as breathtaking a sight as they come with the bat in hand. And all this at the age of 24! Mind you, he has a long career still ahead of him.
Sky truly is the limit for Pant, whose career strike-rate in the marquee league stands at 147.97 after 98 games. Pant led DC to a fifth-placed finish in IPL 2022 as his side just missed out on qualification for the playoffs.
#2 Hardik Pandya - 148.38
Gujarat Titans (GT) skipper Hardik Pandya was an unheralded commodity when he bagged his maiden IPL deal in 2015. Turning out for the Mumbai Indians (MI), the Baroda all-rounder not only went on to play a pivotal role in MI clinching many a title, but also went on to don the national colors with success.
Pandya's ability to clear the boundary ropes at will is what caught the eyeballs since his debut. While he has adopted a more measured approach in IPL 2022, he remains a capable game-changer who can turn things around in no time.
Pandya, who will make his maiden appearance in a final as captain come Sunday, currently boasts of a strike-rate of 148.38 in the league. He recently became the fastest to 100 sixes in the league's history in terms of balls faced.
#1 Virender Sehwag - 155.44
Always batting with an intent to dominate, T20 cricket was a piece of cake for Virender Sehwag. Truly, it's tough to find a batter in the 21st century who supersedes him in terms of being well ahead of time.
Sehwag was the captain of the Delhi franchise in 2008 and went about doing what he did best - pulverizing bowling units for fun. The swashbuckling batter has made two hundreds in the tournament - 119 for Delhi in 2011 and 122 for the Kings XI Punjab (now Punjab Kings) in Qualifier 2 in 2014.
Having appeared in the first eight seasons of the league, Sehwag still holds the record for the best strike-rate by an Indian at 155.44 - a true indicator of the maverick he was during his playing days!
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