The seventh edition of the cash-rich Indian Premier League is round the corner; let’s find out who all are the top five players to watch out for in this season.
Most dangerous opener in the world, Gayle is certainly a nightmare for any bowling attack. This monstrous hitter of the cricket ball, has the ability to clear the fence effortlessly throughout his innings. When it comes to the Indian Premier League, his records speak for him. In the fourth edition of the league, Gayle scored two centuries for RCB and was the top scorer of the season with 608 runs. In the next edition too, the Jamaican emerged as the highest scorer with 733 runs in 14 innings, with the help of a century and seven fifties. Apart from that, Gayle has many IPL records to his name. From scoring maximum sixes to hitting most number of hundreds (four) to holding the record for highest individual score in the tournament (175), Gayle has all to his name. So this season too, one can expect some breathtaking knocks from Gayle’s powerful willow.
Raina has been a part of the Chennai Super Kings franchise since the inception of the IPL. And when it comes to the shortest format of the game, the southpaw is the kind of player which every skipper wishes to have in his team. He falls into the category of smart cricketers and can change the course of the game single-handedly. Raina is a live-wire on field and is certainly among one of the best fielders in world. He is a complete team player and has the ability to find boundaries every now and then. Suresh Raina has played the most number of matches (99) than any other player in IPL, to date, and with 2802 runs under his belt, he is also the leading run scorer.
He is undoubtedly, the best medium-pacer Sri Lanka have produced in years. And the slinger has also made an impact in the IPL, while playing for Mumbai Indians. In the cash-rich league, he is the leading wicket-taker with 103 scalps in 73 matches, which makes him the only bowler to cross the mark of hundred wickets. His ability to swing the new ball both ways gives him wickets, whereas his perfect yorkers in the death overs are almost unplayable, which makes him a dangerous bowler. He also has handful of tricks up his sleeves to fool a batsman, and that is why he is one of the most successful bowlers in the slam-bang version of the game. As Sri Lanka recently won their maiden World Twnety20 title under his captaincy, he would be high on confidence before the start of the tournament in UAE.
His whirlwind knock of 60 runs in the final of the sixth edition of IPL, not only earned him the Man of the Match award, but also helped Mumbai Indians to win their maiden IPL trophy. The Trinidad all-rounder falls in the category of utility players. He is a true entertainer and a complete package especially in the shortest format of the game. Though he was nursing his knee injury in the recent past, he made an excellent comeback by smashing match-winning hundred for Trinidad and Tobago in the Caribbean first class competition. So, the all-rounder would like to start the forthcoming edition, from where he had left it last year – with a bang!
He is the undoubtedly the most feared fast bowler in contemporary cricket along with Mitchell Johnson. He is not just quick, he is lethal. Steyn has speed and accuracy that can trouble even the best in the business. While playing for Hyderabad franchise, Sunrisers Hyderabad, he has proved his worth many times. The franchise too knows his value quite well as they retained the speedster along with the Shikhar Dhawan ahead of IPL 7 auction. It’s quite difficult to score runs off him when Steyn is on fire. He can swing the new ball sharply and uses his slower ones and bouncers with good effect. On his day, Steyn is a treat to watch.