A week has been completed in the 12th edition of Indian Premier League. For the first time in the history of IPL, the first week of a new season was filled with more controversies instead of brilliant on-field actions. Let us hope that some on-field brilliance makes headlines in the upcoming weeks.
Every cricketer (both Indian and overseas) looks to stamp his mark in IPL as it helps him quickly catch the attention of everyone (mainly the selectors) around the world. Hence, a batsman tries to score as many runs he can in an IPL season. In particular, scoring a century in a world-class league like IPL is considered as a significant achievement.
Around 53 centuries have been registered in the tournament history with Chris Gayle alone scoring six of them. Like Gayle, several players have scored multiple centuries in their IPL career. Among the players with multiple centuries, let us look at four Indian players who have scored two or more centuries in their IPL career.
#4. Sanju Samson
Plenty of eyebrows were raised when Shane Warne picked Sanju Samson as his prediction for the ‘Player of IPL 2019’ before the start of the season. As a testament to Warne’s statement, Samson cracked a fine century against Sunrisers Hyderabad the previous night.
In particular, the right-handed batsman was too harsh on Bhuvneshwar Kumar as he smashed him for 24 runs in the 18th over of first innings. It was Samson’s second century in his IPL career as he scored 102 runs (not out) from 55 deliveries with the strike rate of 185.45.
However, a solid century opening partnership between David Warner and Johny Bairstow within the first ten overs of second innings sealed the game for SRH.
Earlier in 2017, Samson had scored his maiden IPL century against Rising Pune Supergiant. Representing Delhi Daredevils (now Delhi Capitals), the elegant batsman scored 102 runs off 63 balls and helped his team to post a target of 206. In reply, Pune was bundled out for 108 as Delhi won the match by a comfortable margin of 97 runs.
#3. Murali Vijay
Murali Vijay started his IPL career with his hometown franchise, Chennai Super Kings. His breakthrough season came during the third edition of IPL as he scored 458 runs in 15 matches and played a pivotal role in CSK winning their maiden IPL trophy.
In the 32nd league match of IPL 2010 between CSK and RR, Vijay registered his maiden IPL century as he scored 127 runs from 56 balls with 11 huge sixes. His 127 runs were the highest individual score by an Indian batsman for a long time until Rishabh Pant scored a majestic unbeaten 128 runs against SRH in IPL 2018.
Until the Qualifier 2 of IPL 2012, Vijay was having a horrible time with the bat in that season as he had scored only 181 runs from 12 games without a single 50+ score. However, he cracked a magnificent century in the Qualifier match against Delhi Daredevils. He scored 113 runs from 58 balls with the strike rate of 194.82. In the process, Vijay became the first Indian player to score two centuries in the history of IPL.
#2. Virender Sehwag
Virender Sehwag, the former swashbuckling opener was one among the players listed under the ‘Icon’ category in the inaugural season of IPL. Sehwag, who represented Delhi Daredevils for the first six seasons (2008-2013), scored his maiden IPL century in the 2011 season.
Chasing a target of 176 runs against Deccan Chargers, Sehwag started playing aggressively from the very first ball he faced in the innings and scored 119 runs from 56 deliveries with an explosive strike rate of 212.50. His swashbuckling knock almost single-handedly won the match for Delhi as they chased down the target with an over to spare and four wickets in hand.
In the 2014 mega-auction, Kings XI Punjab surprised everyone by signing Sehwag who was nearing the end of his career. Though the right-handed batsman blew hot-and-cold in the league stage of that season, he saved his best for the Qualifier 2 clash against Chennai Super Kings.
Batting first, KXIP’s openers (Sehwag and Manan Vohra) were off to a flier as they scored 110 runs for the first wicket. However, Sehwag batted further and scored 122 runs from 58 deliveries with an impressive strike rate of 210.34. His knock helped KXIP to post a massive target of 227 runs and guided his team to their maiden IPL final as they overcame Raina’s onslaught in the second innings.
#1. Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli has been associated with Royal Challengers Bangalore since the inception of IPL. Before the start of IPL 2016, the RCB skipper had not scored a single century in his IPL career. However, at the end of IPL 2016, King Kohli had four IPL centuries against his name. In the process, he became the only player to score four centuries in a single IPL season. Besides, his record tally of 973 runs from 16 games is the highest by any player in a single IPL season.
Kohli’s century list in the order they were scored is as follow- 100* (63) against Gujarat Lions, 108* (58) against Rising Pune Supergiant, 109 (55) against Gujarat Lions (again) and 113 (50) against Kings XI Punjab.
Among the four centuries, his first one against Gujarat went in vain as GL successfully chased down the target of 181 runs with three balls to spare and six wickets in hand.
Of the four centuries, his fourth century against KXIP was a memorable one as he played with an injured hand. He had seven stitches in the webbings of his left hand. His celebration after reaching his century went on to display his determination and passion for the game.