Cricket has been dubbed for decades upon decades as a battle between bowler and batsman. Typically, the more even the battle is, the more enjoyable the contest. But in the Twenty20 format, the odds are stacked well in the batsman’s favour.
Why? Well, the limited overs game gives the batsman increased freedom to play their shots, the fielding restrictions in place gives the batsman a chance to attack and players are regularly coming up paddle-shots, reverse-hits and scoops to try to best the opposition bowlers.
Subsequently, the batting statistics in the limited-over format, and perhaps even more so in T20, make for some pretty intriguing reading. And as the IPL 2014 gets into full swing, now is the perfect time to see which players are set to inflict more misery on bowlers as the tournament progresses.
So after the clash between the Royal Challengers Bangalore and the Mumbai Indians, let’s take a look at which batsmen are standing out so far with the highest scores, best averages and most sixes.
Following the Royal Challengers Bangalore's victory over the Mumbai Indians, here’s who is leading the way in the IPL 2014 top run-scorer stakes:
|GJ Maxwell||Kings XI Punjab||1||95||95|
|PA Patel||Bangalore Royal Challengers||2||94||57*|
|AT Rayudu||Mumbai Indians||2||83||48|
|JH Kallis||Kolkata Knight Riders||1||72||72|
|JP Duminy||Delhi Daredevils||1||67||67*|
|BB McCullum||Chennai Super Kings||1||67||67|
|DR Smith||Chennai Super Kings||1||66||66|
|MK Pandy||Kolkata Knight Riders||1||64||64|
After each side played their opening game, it was Glenn Maxwell who stood top of the batting standings. The Aussie all-rounder was in scintillating form for Kings XI Punjab, as they notched a dramatic victory over the Chennai Super Kings.
His team were chasing 206 to win in their tournament opener, and Maxwell smashed 95 from 43 balls to help set up a marvellous victory.
Maxwell still tops the charts, but just one shot back is Parthiv Patel. He’s accumulated 94 runs from his two knocks to date, with a score 57 not out in Bangalore’s second game crucial in their comfortable victory over Mumbai.
A little further down, Jacques Kallis played a wonderful 46-ball 72 to help his Kolkata Knight Riders get over the line against the Mumbai Indians, and he looks in wonderful nick despite his recent retirement from Test cricket. It was an innings that had supporters in awe of his seemingly unyielding class:
Virat Kohli impressed for the Royal Challengers in their opener. He notched 49 not out to help his team to an emphatic eight-wicket win over the Delhi Daredevils. The 25-year-old would have been disappointed to be out for a duck in their second game, though.
Meanwhile, South African JP Duminy reached a milestone as he scored 67 not out for Delhi in that aforementioned defeat:
Maxwell has a chance to extend his lead atop of the standings when the Kings XI Punjab take on the Rasthan Royals on Sunday 20 April at 3:30 p.m.
Even though Kohli failed in his second match, expect him to roar up the standings as the tournament runs on. He has established himself as the game's premier batsman in the limited-overs format, and his class will shine through as the tournament moves into its latter stages.
Here are the players who have hit the most sixes in the tournament so far:
|BB McCullum||Chennai Super Kings||1||5|
|Yuvraj Singh||Bangalore Royal Challengers||2||5|
|JP Duminy||Delhi Daredevils||1||3|
|DA Miller||Kings XI Punjab||1||3|
|DR Smith||Chennai Super Kings||1||3|
|JH Kallis||Kolkata Knight Riders||1||3|
|V Kohli||Bangalore Royal Challengers||1||3|
There are some familiar names that lead the way in terms of the most maximums scored, with Yuvraj Singh and Brendon McCullum striking five sixes each in their opening games.
The aforementioned twosome are arguably the biggest hitters in the game, a view compounded by their ability to strike five sixes in one innings. Even though we’re still in the very early stages of the competition, it’s difficult to see anybody overhauling these two in the race to hit the most maximums.
The power and precision they possess is unrivalled in the game, meaning there aren't many better players to watch in the world if you want to see the ball smashed out of the park on a regular basis.