The latest edition of Indian Premier League is finally here and we can't wait to witness the two-month long festival starting September 19th with the final taking place on November 10th.
The T20 festival means one thing - big booming sixes, even though the bowlers will have a lot to say regarding this with the helping hand coming in the shape of slow wickets in the suburbs of United Arab Emirates.
We have listed down five players, who we think can take home the most sixes award in the most prestigious T20 league in the world.
1. Andre Russell (KKR):
The West Indian all-rounder known as Dre Russ in the world of cricket is right up there when we talk about power hitting. When he hits, it usually stays hit and we could be in for a treat if he gets going.
He has a strike rate of 151.26 in T20 Internationals but when it comes to leagues, it improves to 169.86. What is worth noting that he has hit 483 sixes in all T20 games he has played and surely that number will be crossing 500 in the upcoming season of IPL, where he has already hit 120 sixes in 64 games with a strike rate of 186.41.
Kolkata Knight Riders will be hoping he can carry his recent good form from Caribbean Premier League 2020 where he scored two half-centuries. Another advantage for KKR is that they will be playing 8 of their 14 games in Abu Dhabi and Russell has already lit the venue with 29 maximums in the two seasons he has played there in the T10 league.
2. AB De Villiers (RCB):
If there is one man, who doesn't need any introduction it's this guy - AB De Villiers. Wherever he goes, he becomes a fan favorite in a heartbeat. A household name in the world of cricket, named as Mr. 360 for his ability to play every shot in the book.
A career spanning 16 years after his debut in the shortest format in 2004 for Titans against Lions. He has since played 310 T20 games, hitting 397 maximums whereas hammering 60 sixes in 78 T20 Internationals.
The dynamic South African player has been ever present in IPL, notching up 154 games in the process, scoring over 4000 runs with a strike rate in excess of 150 including 3 centuries, 33 half-centuries and hitting 212 maximums - 2nd in the list for most sixes in the league.
He was crucial in the 2016 season where he scored 687 runs and helped Royal Challengers Bangalore to the final where they eventually lost to Sunrisers Hyderabad.
With this season's IPL being played in UAE, many of the players will be playing there for the first time but not AB De Villiers as he played for Lahore Qalandars in PSL 4 at the same venue.
3. Chris Gayle (KXIP):
Another one of those who doesn't need an introduction nor an invitation, once he gets going it's hard to stop him as can be witnessed by his spectacular innings of unbeaten 175 against Pune Warriors in 2013. His name itself is a brand in the world of cricket.
Known as the 'Universe boss' Gayle has had two fine seasons for his new franchise Kings XI Punjab after putting up a show for Royal Challengers Bangalore fans for seven consecutive seasons from 2011-2017.
The left-hander has hit 1083 maximums in his T20 career, and is the first player to score a century in T20 Internationals in 2007 when he scored 117 against South Africa in the World Cup.
His strike rate is near 150 in all T20s but that becomes irrelevant when he is in the mood as bowlers find it hard to bowl at him. Turning 41 on September 21st, this may well be his last IPL and the Jamaican star would love to go out on a high and his franchise will be hoping he can help them lift the title for the very first time.
Gayle has 6 centuries in IPL, a league where he has made the ball go out of the boundary 326 times - the most by any player in the league. The figure could well be reaching 350 in no time if he gets going. A strike rate of 151.02 just about mirroring his overall strike rate in the shortest format. He is that kind of a batsman that can single-handedly away from the opposition in the blink of an eye.
4. Jos Buttler (RR):
The Englishman is among those players who can literally take it away from you in any form of the game. Pakistan have witnessed it first hand in the recent Test series and he showed glimpses in the recent T20Is against Australia.
The right-hander will be going to UAE in probably the best form of his career and Rajasthan Royals will be looking to cash in on his recent performances.
Buttler has only played four seasons in the IPL. However, his strike rate of 150.81 in the league is better than his overall T20 strike rate of 144.75 and we have all seen his hitting ability, most notably in the 2nd ODI against Pakistan in 2019 where he scored 100 off just 50 deliveries.
30-year old is the one to keep an eye on as he has 61 sixes in the IPL and the number is sure rise.
5. Chis Lynn (MI):
The Lynnsanity as he is known in the game of cricket is one destructive batsman. He is someone who mostly scores in boundaries as can be verified from his boundary percentage which is almost 68% in T20 games.
Chris Lynn started his IPL career with Deccan Chargers in 2012 before moving to Kolkata Knight Riders in 2014. He rarely played at the start before getting proper shot in the last three seasons where he played 36 games in three years. His best of 93 came in the 2017 season where his strike rate was 180.98.
An added advantage for Mumbai Indians is that the Australian has the know-how of playing in Abu Dhabi where he played for Maratha Arabians in the T10 League and absolutely murdered the bowlers with his power hitting did the talking, striking at 236 and scoring two 70 plus scores. He will be licking his lips as Rohit Sharma led franchise will get to play 8 games at the same venue.
However, it remains to be seen if the management of Mumbai will decide to play Lynn in the playing eleven as unfortunately only 4 overseas players can be in the eleven and the competition is tough.
Among other names, there is Bangalore's Virat Kohli and Aaron Finch, Mumbai's Rohit Sharma, Hyderabad's David Warner, KXIP stalwart Glenn Maxwell, and not to forget the Chennai captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni who can all be a huge shout out for the award of maximum number of sixes.