Captaincy has always been regarded as a burden in cricket and many have stumbled under the weight of expectations. But some players enjoy the pressure that comes with captaincy and they utilize the responsibility to take their game to the next level. After a terrific century by Sanju Samson recently, we will look at some of the best knocks by a captain in IPL.
#5 Virat Kohli – 113 vs PBKS, 2016
Virat Kohli posted insane numbers in the 2016 season and scored four centuries that year. This knock was probably his best since the match was reduced to 15 overs due to rain. Gayle and Kohli exploded from the first over and stitched a first wicket partnership of 146 runs.
Kohli’s go-to shot in this knock was the inside-out against the spinners. The inexperienced Cariappa was totally hit for 6 sixes by the RCB skipper, and he also hit Sandeep for a hat-trick of fours. Kohli reached his 50 off 28 balls and got to his century in just 47 balls as RCB posted a barely believable total of 211 in 15 overs.
#4 Sanju Samson – 119 vs PBKS, 2021
RR were chasing a huge target of 222 and Sanju Samson produced an innings of immense quality at the Wankhede. Samson came in at number 3 after the early dismissal of Stokes and controlled the innings perfectly right from ball one. He maintained a decent strike rate until he reached 50 and switched gears during the death overs.
Sanju Samson’s composure was the highlight of this knock as he never looked flustered at the crease. He also looked to time the ball rather than muscle the ball and reaped rewards for this approach. RR lost the game by four runs but Sanju Samson posted the highest score on captaincy debut in IPL.
#3 Virender Sehwag – 119 vs DC, 2009
Sehwag scored the first century of his T-20 career against Deccan Chargers in a chase of 176. Sehwag’s opening partner Finch was dismissed for a duck while wickets kept falling from one end. Sehwag carefully played out the overs of Dale Steyn and Ishant Sharma and targeted the spinners and medium pacers.
Two overs bowled by Ishan Malhotra and Bharat Chipli went for 43 runs as Sehwag took them to the cleaners. The experienced Amit Mishra was not also sparred as he conceded 53 runs off his 4 overs. This innings is the epitome of a single-handed knock as Sehwag’s teammates contributed only 50 runs to the chase.
#2 David Warner 126 vs KKR, 2017
This was a truly special knock from Warner as it came against a world-class KKR bowling unit. Woakes, Umesh, Coulter-Nile, Narine and Kuldeep had destroyed the famed RCB batting lineup for just 49 but Warner mercilessly thrashed them to all parts of the ground.
Warner got to his fifty in just 4.1 overs with a ridiculous reverse sweep off Sunil Narine. Kuldeep was hit for two sixes and a boundary in the tenth over of the game and Warner scored 98 out of his team’s total of 123 in the first 10 overs.
#1 KL Rahul 132* vs RCB, 2020
Rahul thrashed his former team RCB in phenomenal fashion in only the second match of Punjab’s 2020 campaign. Initially, he took time to settle and his half-century came up in 36 balls. Punjab reached 150 in only 17.3 overs but an astonishing 56 runs came off the last 15 balls, thanks to Rahul.
In the penultimate over, Rahul did not show any kind of respect for Dale Steyn and struck him for 3 sixes and 2 fours. He finished the innings with two huge sixes off Shivam Dube and Punjab won the match comfortably.