IPL Top 5 Toughest Batsmen to Bowl To
The Indian Premier League is bursting at the seams with big hitters, stroke makers and touch players, but who are the batsmen that bowlers fear bowling to? Here are the top five Twenty20 batsmen who are terrorising the IPL.
There have been some memorable moments of destruction over the seven seasons of IPL action, with players from all over the globe keen to come to the league to prove they are best batsman in the game.
Only five players can make the shortlist, and some world-class players have missed the cut. Honourable mentions go to:
David Warner (Sunrisers), Aaron Finch (Sunrisers), Brendon McCullum (Chennai Super Kings), Dwayne Bravo (Chennai Super Kings), Shane Watson (Rajasthan Royals), Glenn Maxwell (Kings XI) and Kieron Pollard (Mumbai Indians)
So without further ado, here are the fantastic five that have made the list. Voice your opinions in the comments section if you agree or disagree.
5. MS Dhoni
Widely considered one of the best finishers in the game, MS Dhoni has made a habit of quick-fire cameos both for India and the Chennai Super Kings. When bowling to Dhoni, even the yorker length is not safe for bowlers, as he uses the "helicopter shot" to flay the ball to all parts of the ground.
Ice cool under pressure and red hot with the bat, Dhoni doesn't do small sixes, making him a fearsome foe at the end of any inning.
4. Virat Kohli
While one Indian stroke-making supremo may have recently retired from the IPL, the tournament has not had to wait for a replacement. Virat Kohli is the complete player.
Expert timing, classical technique and a lion-hearted competitor, Kohli is the real deal. Combining touch play, precision placement and clean striking allows Kohli to utilise all areas of the field in his scoring. As a result, setting fields to Kohli is a conumndrum for any captain.
He's a joy to watch.
3. Kevin Pietersen
Kevin Pietersen hasn't yet been able to stamp his authority on the IPL, but now, his England career has come to an abrupt end. England's loss is the IPL's gain.
KP has a chance in a full season with the Delhi Daredevils to showcase his full array of strokes. A batsman with power, poise and an eye for improvisation, the bowler is constantly worried about what KP will do.
Whether he be moving across his stumps or setting himself for a switch-hit, Pietersen always gives the bowler something to think about, making him a tough customer to bowl to.
2. Chris Gayle
The most destructive batsman in the T20 game, Chris Gayle can take a bowling attack to pieces and take fielders out of the game all together.
Bowlers that pitch the ball up to Gayle risk getting punched over their heads for six. Drop short and he will pull you over midwicket.
In terms of six-hitting, there isn't a finer player in the IPL. Bowlers know when they bowl to Gayle, they have a two-over window in which to get him out. If they don't take the chance, then there is no knowing how many runs he could bludgeon.
1. AB de Villiers
While it may be a surprise to many not seeing Gayle in the top spot, AB de Villiers just pips him. What De Villiers concedes to Gayle in power, he makes up for with timing and technique. He is strong off both the front and back foot and is one of the best improvisers in the game.
His ability has to be seen in the video above to be believed. Any player that can hit a Dale Steyn yorker over cover for six and follow it up by paddle-sweeping the paceman for four is either a fool or a genius; De Villiers is definitely the latter.
Death bowlers know that no area of the ground is safe when the South African is at the crease, and that is what makes him the toughest batsman to bowl to in the tournament.