November 28, 2023

West Indian superstars bring back Caribbean flavour to Indian Premier League

By Ujwal Singh from India Today

There is no such thing as a sure thing till you put a West Indian cricketer and Twenty20 cricket together and then what you get is success and entertainment.

The success of the Caribbean players in the shortest format of the game will force you into believing that it is a match made in heaven.

Whether it’s franchise cricket or international level, the West Indian players have constantly outshone their counterparts. And it comes as no surprise that West Indies are the most successful team in the 20-over format with two World T20 titles.

The formula for success for these players, however, is very simple – approach the game with a free mind, keep things uncomplicated and enjoy the game. Probably that is what makes these players reach their maximum potential in the format.

IPL, the tournament which is now a decade old, has witnessed numerous Caribbean stars displaying their “champion” skills over the years.

Chris Gayle, Sunil Narine, Kieron Pollard, Dwayne Bravo – the list is long. To put the impact in numbers, West Indian players hold some of the craziest records in the T20 league.
Gayle holds the record of highest individual score (175*) and most number of sixes (288), while Andre Russell boasts of the highest strike rate (180.36) in the league. The all-time highest wicket-takers list also has two West Indians in the top 10.

The 2018 season is no different, as they continue to entertain us with their unbridled excitement; we take a look at the most impactful players from the Caribbean islands in IPL 2018:

Chris Gayle

It once looked like fans would miss out on ‘Gaylestorm’ in 2018 when the towering left-handed batsman almost went unsold in the January auction. But then Kings XI Punjab’s Virender Sehwag ‘saved the IPL’ by picking him up. And since then, the ‘Universe Boss’, who was considered a spent force, hasn’t looked back.

In four matches, the 38-year-old has amassed 252 runs at a strike rate of 161.53. The man with 5 IPL tons made it six in his second game of the season against Sunrisers Hyderabad with an unbeaten 104.

Sunil Narine

A proven match-winner with the ball, Sunil Narine has become doubly valuable for Kolkata Knight Riders since he started opening last season. Despite the destructive Chris Lynn being his opening partner, Narine has always been the one to take the initiative.

In eight matches, Narine has smashed 161 runs at a strike rate of 171.27. He has also picked eight wickets so far with an economy rate of less than 8. Remember, he was forced to remodel his bowling action just ahead of the tournament.

Dwayne Bravo

Chennai Super Kings have returned to the IPL after a gap of two years. One of the biggest challenges in front of the team was to maintain their dominance. They started off by getting their core back and the veteran warhorses have repaid the faith as Chennai sit at the top of points table.

One of the most impactful players has been Dwayne Bravo. A destructive lower-order batsman and an efficient death bowler – Bravo has scored 118 runs and picked up seven wickets so far. His runs have come at a strike rate of almost 200, while he has leaked runs at a rate of 10.07 – hugely impressive for a pace bowler.

Andre Russell

The most destructive T20 all-rounder going around. If his batting doesn’t get you, his bowling will and if he fails in both the departments, his fielding will help you turn the game on its head. Five wickets and over 200 runs – Russell has been the standout performer for Kolkata Knight Riders as they continue to challenge for their first title in the post-Gautam Gambhir era.

Evin Lewis
The left-handed batsman is way too junior in comparison to his fellow countrymen, but he has all the potential to reach similar heights.


BCCI Photos
Chris Gayle has been in superb form this IPL season with two fifties and a century in 4 games so far (BCCI Photo)

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