On Sunday night, Rajasthan Royals’ Jos Buttler, promoted up the order after his team was stuttering at the bottom, demolished Mumbai Indians at the Wankhede single-handedly – becoming only the second batsman in IPL history to hit five consecutive fifties. The first was Virender Sehwag, who did it for Delhi Daredevils back in 2012. Buttler’s last two innings – an unbeaten 96 and 94 – have come against strong teams in CSK and MI, and brought back the Royals into playoff contention.
One more against the Kolkata Knight Riders on Tuesday, and Buttler will be the sole record holder. In a tournament such as IPL, it’s next to impossible to break such a record. Earlier in April, Kings XI import Aaron Finch became the only IPL player in its history to have played for 7 different teams. Currently, after the non-selection of Lasith Malinga and selection of Harbhajan Singh by CSK, Virat Kohli remains the only active IPL player to have turned up for the same team in all its 11 seasons.
Here are 5 such IPL records that might never be broken:
Virat Kohli, currently the highest run-getter in IPL cricket after zooming past Suresh Raina’s aggregate in 2018, hasn’t been in the best of form this season but is still easily his team’s highest scorer in their 11 games, with an average of 51. His prolific nature in T20 cricket reached its peak in 2016, when he not only won his second consecutive Man of the Tournament award in a World T20 (India crashed out to West Indies in the semifinals), but went on to change the face of IPL batting like never before. With giants such as Chris Gayle and AB de Villiers in the same team, Kohli came in to the 2016 season without having a single T20 century to his name. He dragged his top-heavy RCB team to the Final, and scored an astounding 4 centuries and 973 runs in the process. To put things into perspective, 973 accounts for 20 percent of his 11-season aggregate of almost 4800 runs. Given that he will play for at least four more seasons, expect a 7000-run record that nobody will get close to anytime soon.
Not Out. That’s how much Chris Gayle scored in a single innings against the now-defunct Pune Warriors India back in 2013. Who can forget his assault of leggie Rahul Sharma? Only openers have the opportunity to bat through the innings and score as many as possible. But 175 is inhuman; he played only 66 balls for it. Entire teams don’t score as much in 120 balls. This was peak Gayle, and it shattered Brendon McCullum’s famous first-day record of 158 against a clueless RCB team back in the inaugural game in 2008. 17 sixes in an innings – a CENTURY ONLY IN SIXES – is another insane statistic that will never ever be broken. He also has the fastest IPL century in 30 balls, but that might be broken by someone like Rishabh Pant, AB de Villiers or Prithvi Shaw on a good day.
This is the lowest score in IPL history – when a woeful RCB team crashed and burned against KKR in 2017. With the pitches getting flatter and the batsmen getting more prolific (even bowlers can bat these days), it is unlikely that any team can collapse to this extent on a sub-continental pitch in the middle of summer ever again. 49 is ridiculously low – something you’d expect from a West Indies or Pakistan on a bad Test-match day. But in T20 cricket, this is a terrible record. Interestingly, 3 of the 5 lowest team scores came in 2017 – the other two belong to Delhi Daredevils, the worst team in IPL history (66 and 67). That the highest ever IPL team score is also RCB (263) pretty much defines a team that is superhuman on one day and dead on another.
When Dhoni-led CSK – returning after two years to the tournament – defeated league leaders SRH on Sunday, they qualified for the playoffs and became the sole holders of one of the most impressive records in T20 history. CSK has now reached the playoffs or semifinals – finished in the top 4, that is – in all their 9 seasons so far. They might have won only 2 titles, but no team has been as consistent and “qualified” as the veterans. Especially this season, in IPL 11, when most of us mocked the ‘geriatric’ team selection at the auction. The oldies are truly gold. With MI almost out of the reckoning, expect them to be favourites to lift their record-equaling third title.
Amit Mishra, currently enjoying a hot-and-cold season with the bottom-of-table Delhi Daredevils, is a leggie with 3 IPL hat-tricks to his name. Yuvraj Singh has two, and Rohit Sharma has one, but that doesn’t diminish the significance of Mishra’s fantastic record. Not only that – he has achieved all 3 between 2008 and 2013 for three separate franchises (Delhi Daredevils, Deccan Chargers and Sunrisers Hyderabad). Mishra is also the closest to Malinga’s insurmountable 154-wicket record, with 141 wickets and still going strong. Only, with just 2 matches left for DD this season, he will be expected to break the record next year – if he does get retained at this advanced age, that is.