T20 cricket is all about runs. And even though bowlers have been catching up and have taken huge strides in the shortest format of the game, fans and spectators want to see their favorite batsmen score big runs.
IPL has been blessed to have witnessed some sensational batting efforts over the years. All the top batsmen in the world play for different franchises in the tournament and provide thorough entertainment to the crowd.
There are only a few players who have been able to hit centuries consistently in the IPL. Hitting hundreds in any format is difficult and more so in T20s. But there have been some extraordinary players who have been able to hit centuries in the IPL.
Moreover, there are batsmen who have done this on more than one occasion. We will look at 5 players who have struck the most number of centuries in IPL history.
#5 Ab de Villiers - 3 centuries
AB de Villiers has been winning hearts in the IPL for years. The South African superstar started his IPL career playing for Delhi Daredevils but it was Royal Challengers Bangalore where he became a household name in the country.
AB de Villiers is known for his innovative batting and has earned the tag of the '360-degree' player. He has played some match-winning innings for RCB over the years and has been the backbone of RCB's middle order. The former Proteas skipper has hit 3 tons in his IPL career. While two of these centuries have come playing for RCB, the other one came playing for Delhi Daredevils.
He scored his first century while playing for Delhi Daredevils way back in 2009 as he struck a brilliant 105 runs against CSK. AB de Villiers' next two centuries came while playing for RCB - against Mumbai Indians and Gujarat Lions in 2015 and 2016 respectively.
#4 David Warner - 3 centuries
David Warner is one of the most destructive openers in World Cricket. The Australian has been a revelation in the IPL too and has played some stunning innings at the top of the order for the teams he has played for in the cash-rich league.
He has scored more than 4000 runs in the IPL and has smashed 3 centuries. Like de Villiers, Warner started his IPL career playing for Delhi Daredevils. He was highly successful for Daredevils. Warner registered his first IPL century against Kolkata Knight Riders in 2010.
Two years later, he scored his second century against Deccan Chargers. Warner was part of the Daredevils' squad from 2009 to 2013. Sunrisers Hyderabad bought Warner at the 2014 auction and the left-handed batsman has been exceptional for the franchise. He struck his third hundred playing for Sunrisers against Kolkata Knight Riders in 2017.
#3 Shane Watson - 4 centuries
Shane Watson revived his international career by his breakthrough performance in the inaugural season of the IPL in 2008. He is one of the most successful all-rounders in the IPL. The Australian scored two centuries for the Rajasthan Royals, first of which came against his current side CSK in 2013.
His second ton came against Kolkata Knight Riders in 2015. Following Rajasthan Royals' ban in 2015, Watson was bought by Royal Challengers Bangalore for a hefty amount. But unfortunately, the all-rounder had a couple of poor seasons with RCB and his IPL career seemed to be all but over.
That is when Watson made a grand comeback to the IPL as he delivered a strong performance for CSK in 2018. Watson scored two centuries in IPL 2018 and played some crucial knocks for CSK at the top of the order. He scored his first century of the season against Rajasthan Royals at Pune and second century in the all-important final against Sunrisers Hyderabad at Mumbai.
#2 Virat Kohli - 4 centuries
Virat Kohli has been a run machine for his IPL side Royal Challengers Bangalore. The batting wizard has played some sensational innings for the franchise over the years. Kohli has scored nearly 5000 thousand runs at an average of over 38 for RCB.
He has also smashed 4 centuries for his side so far. Incidentally, all of Kohli's hundreds came in one season, in IPL 2016. The RCB skipper was in an unbelievable form that season and looked unstoppable. He scored 973 runs, which is the most in a season by any batsman till date,.
Kohli's first century came against Gujarat Lions at Rajkot. He then scored his second century against Rising Pune Supergiant at Bengaluru. A week later Kohli scored another ton against Gujarat Lions in front of his home crowd at Bengaluru. The juggernaut continued as he scored yet another century against Kings XI Punjab. Despite his brilliant performance, RCB failed to cross the final hurdle as they lost to Sunrisers Hyderabad in the final.
#1 Chris Gayle - 6 centuries
While a lot of batsmen have struggled to score even a single century in the IPL, Chris Gayle has hit as many as six centuries in the tournament. The big Jamaican has been a crowd favorite over the years and has become a cult figure in the IPL.
After having a couple of quiet seasons at Kolkata Knight Riders, Gayle moved to Royal Challengers Bangalore in 2011 and has never looked back. Gayle's average of 41.17 and strike-rate of 150.71 shows the kind of impact he has made in the tournament.
Talking about his six centuries, five of them have come playing for RCB. His unbeaten 175, which came off just 66 balls, came against Pune Warriors at Bengaluru in 2013. After being released by RCB in IPL 2018, Gayle found a new home at Kings XI Punjab. He did not let his new team down as he hit a blistering 104 against CSK in a game at Mohali.