Cricketing action has been severely lacking ever since the fourteenth season of the IPL got postponed indefinitely. With a devastating second wave of the COVID-19 infection wreaking havoc at all parts of the globe; fans-especially us Indian ones- found much solace in watching their favorite cricketers compete in the IPL. But as fate would have it, even the well-organized structure of the IPL couldn’t escape from the grip of Coronavirus; leading to its temporary suspension for the time being.
That’s not to say fans haven’t ventured outside of the Indian T20 extravaganza to seek high-quality cricket entertainment. The recently concluded Zimbabwe-Pakistan test series offered a few glimpses of stellar individual brilliance; as did the 2-match test series between Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. Currently, the English season of four-day county cricket is also going on in full swing; which serves as a good preview for potential new players who could turn up against India in the Test series later this year in August. There’s also the exciting St Lucia T10 Blast tournament happening, whose coverage can be found here on Sportstime247.com.
ESPNCricinfo picks top 10 Greatest Of All Time IPL performances from 2008 to 2020
But still, there is a pretty big void from the IPL that needs to be filled. Thankfully, the folks over at ESPNCricinfo managed to come up with an entertaining feature for the IPL-frenzied fans. Over on a recent blog post on their website, Cricinfo featured their list of the top 10 Greatest Of All Time (GOAT) IPL performances circa 2008-20. And their list offers coverage on some incredibly entertaining performing. So to put all the IPL-postponement melancholy behind us, let’s have a look through their comprehensive picks.
No.9 and No.10
Numbers 9 and 10 feature some of the most brutal batting performances in the tournament’s 14-year history. Kolkata’s Andre Russell features at number 10, courtesy of his brutal 48 (13) vs Bangalore, 2019. Mumbai’s Corey Anderson slots in with his unbelievable knock of 95 (44) from 2014 vs Rajasthan at the penultimate spot. Both these innings recorded batting strike rates over 200; providing just a small precursor to all the batting carnage the IPL has witnessed over in its 14-year lifetime.
No.8, No.7, No.6
The performances through numbers 8 to 6 are what we’d like to call IPL classics; featuring players from statistically the most successful IPL franchises. Kieron Pollard, Mumbai, slots in at 8 with his MoTM worthy 60 (32) against Chennai in the 2013 IPL finale. Number 7 features a rare performance that ended up on the losing side; with Chennai’s Suresh Raina’s freakish 87 off 25 against Punjab in the IPL 2014 Qualifier2. And rounding up the bottom five is Kolkata’s Brendon McCullum- with his magical 158* (73) against Bangalore in the very first game of the IPL.
Star-studded names in the top-five
Admittedly, Cricinfo’s all-time list is a bit more biased towards the batting aspect of the game. Thankfully, though, numbers 5 through 4 break that trend with some excellent all-round showcases. At number 5, Rajasthan’s Shane Watson looms tall with 52 (29) and 3/10 against Delhi in 2008’s Semi-final game. Number 4 features yet another IPL GOAT, with Hyderabad’s Rashid Khan derailing Kolkata’s cause with 3/19 and 34 (10) in 2018’s Qualifier 2.
Cricinfo rounds off what has undoubtedly been a comprehensive list of top-10 picks with an impressive top 3. At number 3, there’s ‘Universe Boss’ Chris Gayle and his pyrotechnics against Pune from 2013; where he recorded the all-time highest score in T20 with his sensational 175*. At number 2, Shane Watson makes a triumphant return, this time for Chennai, in his title-winning knock of 117* (57) against Hyderabad in the 2018 finale.
Yusuf Pathan’s 2008 Final Heroics at Top
Last, but certainly not least- Yusuf Pathan rounds off the list of top performances as the greatest one of all time. Scoring a quickfire 56 off 39 balls, coupled with a crucial bowling spell of 3/22- Pathan’s dextrous gameplay was clinical to Rajasthan registering their maiden IPL win over Chennai in the 2008 edition finale. An underrated, but incredibly important knock in the history of the IPL.