The shortest format of cricket, introduced in 2003, has gone on to become one of the most entertaining forms of the game. With the inception of the Indian Premier League (IPL), stars from around the globe have a platform to showcase their talent.
As far as the entertainment quotient is concerned, the sole credit for the same goes to the Windies cricketers. Season after season, they exhibit electrifying and game-changing spells that leave everyone asking for more.
Chris Gayle, Kieron Pollard, Sunil Narine, Andre Russell, and Dwayne Bravo have been the mainstay for their respective teams. When they are out in the middle, one can expect that something spectacular is on the cards.
Along with these superstars, there are new names that surface every year. Alzarri Joseph, Nicholas Pooran, Keemo Paul, are some of the players who are creating a buzz in this year's IPL. Here's a look at some of the performances that have made it straight to the archives.
Andre Russell:Smashing sixes at will
Kolkata Knight Riders’ Russell is the most feared batsman this season. Even the best of bowlers have been finding it impossible to contain the 30-year-old Jamaican, who strikes yorkers for sixes as well.
Russell’s brutal knock of 48 from 13 deliveries against the Royal Challengers Bangalore has been hailed as one of the best in the history of IPL. The knock came at a time when KKR required 66 runs from four overs, a nearly impossible chase which they completed with 5 balls to spare.
With 312 runs in seven innings at a strike rate of almost 215, the power-hitter is Kolkata’s highest run-scorer. The only bowler who has been able to tame Russell so far in this season is Chennai Super Kings’ Imran Tahir.
(Andre Russell has single-handedly helped KKR win three games in the event so far. Image: FB/KKR)
Alzarri Joseph:A debut that will be remembered for long
A replacement for injured New Zealand fast bowler Adam Milne in the Mumbai Indians squad, Alzarri Joseph had a sensational IPL debut when he registered the league's best bowling figures.
Playing against the Sunrisers Hyderabad, Joseph ended up with figures of 6-12 in his quota of overs. At the age of 22, he became the second youngest bowler in the tournament to take a five-wicket haul after Jaydev Unadkat.
Although Joseph’s dream run in the tournament was short-lived, as he dislocated his shoulder in a game against the Rajasthan Royals, he has left a strong mark in the international arena.
(With 6/12, Joseph broke Sohail Tanvir's record of 6/14 Image: FB/MI)
Dwayne Bravo: Game-changer who knows how to enjoy
There is something about the Caribbean cricketers, a certain swag with which they bat and bowl. Bravo has taken that swag to a whole new level.
One of the most entertaining players in global cricket, the 36-year-old, much like most of his national teammates, has the flair to hit all over the park and also provide crucial breakthroughs with the ball.
After playing for Mumbai in the first three seasons, CSK bought Bravo in 2012. He was released for the 2017 season when he played for Gujarat Lions but was brought back by the Chennai franchise in 2018. The all-rounder has played 126 IPL games in which he has 1442 runs and 143 wickets.
This season, however, he has not been able to do much destruction with the bat, but with the ball, he has seven wickets from four matches. Bravo, who contributes through his fielding as well, has been sidelined for a couple of weeks due to an injury.
While he would be eager to return in the playing XI, Bravo is yet to impress the way his countrymen have this season.
(Dwayne Bravo has finished games for CSK with the bat as well as the ball. Image: FB/CSK)
Kieron Pollard:From a taped mouth to a noisy bat
Mumbai Indians have often been termed as a one-man club owing to the presence of Kieron Pollard. Make no mistake, he does not pile up runs or pick up fifers, but his brief cameos take the game away from the opposition.
His most recent 31-ball 80, which took Mumbai to a hat-trick of wins, was one of the finest innings in IPL history. Not just with the bat and the ball, Pollard is an entertainer otherwise too.
Be it the taping his mouth while playing a game or sending flying kisses to David Warner, there is no lack of entertainment when the all-rounder takes the field. The three-dimensional cricketer is a certainty when it comes to taking mesmerising catches and choking the opposition.
(He failed to deliver last season but this season he has been in red-hot form. Image: FB/MI)
Sunil Narine:A mystery bowler to mystery all-rounder
Narine broke into the IPL as a mystery bowler who played a crucial role in KKR’s two title wins in 2012 and 2014 respectively. Over a hundred wickets and an economy of around six makes Narine one of the best bowlers in the tournament.
But it was former KKR captain Gautam Gambhir, who identified Narine as an opening batsman in 2017 and the rest is history. From bamboozling the best batsman to decimating the best bowlers, Narine remains KKR’s trump card.
His ability to hit the ball cleanly and bowl overs in the power-play as well as the death, justify the two Most Valuable Player titles that he achieved in 2012 and 2018.
The Windies have made giant strides in international cricket recently. Hopefully, their IPL-contracted players will make the most of their franchise-cricket experience and use the same at the highest level.
(Whenever KKR has been in trouble, Sunil Narine has raised his hand and delivered for the team. Image: FB/KKR)