The 11th edition of Indian Premier League is set to begin on April 7. The money-spinning league will spread over two months and will conclude on May 27.
The high voltage T20 league has seen some of the biggest stalwarts in the T20 format play in front of jam-packed audiences and leave the audiences enthralled with their mesmerising cricketing skills.
Till date, the IPL has seen some explosive batsmen who have lit up the tournament with their belligerent stroke play. From Sanath Jayasuriya to Adam Gilchrist to Virender Sehwag, the league has been graced by some of the most powerful hitters in world cricket.
Chris Gayle has undoubtedly been the biggest smasher of the red cherry when it comes to the IPL. The Jamaican powerhouse has left the Royal Challengers Bangalore fans in a frenzy with his power-packed style.
Gayle has literary been a one-man army and turned the tide in favour of the Royal Challengers with some breathtaking match-winning performances with the willow.
In a batting heavy line-up which boasted of stalwarts in Virat Kohli, AB De Villiers, Shane Watson, Gayle has stood his ground by providing fireworks for RCB up the batting order much to their fans delight.
Gayle has decimated the best of bowling line-ups in the IPL with his devastating power hitting. He has provided the opening salvo to the Reds on a consistent basis and become a more like a demigod for the Red Brigade at the Chinnaswamy Stadium.
The powerfully built Jamaican owns many a batting records in the league. He has scored the most centuries by a batsman in the IPL. With 5 tons to his name, Gayle is the runaway leader in centuries registered by a batsman in the league.
Gayle’s consistency in scoring runs at a staggering strike rate has helped him win the Orange Cap twice. The attacking opener ended as the top run scorer of the tournament in the 2011 and 2012 editions.
Gayle showcased a glimpse of his belligerent stroke play by notching up the highest IPL score ever. Gayle scored a whirlwind 175 against Pune Warriors. Gayle’s knock was an exhibition of his brute force and clinical timings which took the opposition to the cleaners.
Gayle registered the fastest century in the league history, bringing up his ton against Pune Warriors in just 30 balls. Gayle tonked the ball 17 times out of the park, a record which has stood the test of time to date.
Gayle’s six-hitting prowess is not hidden from anyone. He has sent the ball out of the park more than anyone else. He has struck a whopping 265 sixes in just 100 IPL innings.
At the ripe age of 38, Gayle is not a spent force and he would be back with a bang but this time turning out for the Kings Eleven Punjab may be a tough call. Will Gayle be the same force as he was with the Royal Challengers, only time would tell?
An outright match winner of his day, Gayle’s mere presence at opening the innings certainly sends down shivers to the best of bowlers in the world.