Cricket has always been considered a batsman’s game, more so the T20 format. In a format that lends itself to free scoring, the teams that can rack up huge scores, chase any mammoth target and batsmen who can hit the ball hard and far, predominantly win games and entertain spectators the most.
T20 teams are therefore built on specialist big-hitting batsmen whose strokeplay is best suited for the demands of the format. Therefore, scoring runs off boundaries becomes a must, and the more boundaries you hit, the more matches you win.
Here, we take a look at the top 5 big-hitting teams of this season of the IPL 2017 in terms of the runs they score in boundaries.
#5 Rising Pune Supergiant
After an indifferent start, the Rising Pune Supergiant have slowly picked up momentum ahead of the business end of the tournament and have realistic hopes of a playoff spot. A major factor in their improved showing from last year has been their better striking this season. Therefore, the Pune franchise finds itself in the 5th position among the 8 teams for the runs scored in boundaries.
Their 908 runs in boundaries include 143 fours and 56 sixes. Skipper Steve Smith leads the list with 40 boundaries, including 32 fours and 8 sixes. Opener Rahul Tripathi, who gives Pune the quick starts every time he has come out to bat, has struck 29 fours and 9 sixes, is second.
In terms of sixes hit, hard-hitting England all-rounder Ben Stokes leads Pune with 10 sixes. 6 of them came during his monstrous 63-ball unbeaten 103 against Gujarat Lions couple of days ago.
#4 Mumbai Indians
Mumbai Indians have in their ranks, international top-quality batsmen like Jos Buttler, Rohit Sharma, and Kieron Pollard who enjoy hitting the big sixes. However, it is their find of the season, Nitish Rana, who has hit the most number of sixes so far.
The left-hander has struck 17 sixes in 10 innings. Jos Buttler is second on the sixes chart with 15 of the biggies.
Parthiv Patel might not have the biggest built, but he compensates this by cracking plenty of shots along the ground. The diminutive left-hander always starts quickly with a flurry of boundaries and unsurprisingly has hit 32 fours - the most numbers of fours in this season for Mumbai Indians.
On a whole, Jos Buttler has struck 42 boundaries and is Mumbai Indians’ leading big-hitter so far in the season. MI are fourth on this list of big-hitting teams with 962 runs in boundaries. With a total of 71 sixes, they also lead the top 5 big-hitting teams in terms of numbers of sixes hit.
#3 Kolkata Knight Riders
Kolkata Knight Riders are third on this list, having scored 974 through 164 fours and 53 sixes. Skipper Gautam Gambhir is in great touch this season, scoring 387 runs in 10 innings and briefly holding the Orange Cap.
When in form, he revels in piercing through the gaps on the field at will. This is evident from the fact that he has scored 52 boundaries from his 10 innings - not just a team first but also the highest in this season of the tournament.
But, the left-hander is not equally adept at clearing the ground and has struck only 3 sixes. Overall, it is Robin Uthappa who leads KKR with 57 boundaries, including as many as 21 sixes. Sunil Narine, who has been promoted up the order as a pinch-hitter, has struck 24 fours and 5 sixes and scored a whopping 89% of his runs in boundaries.
#2 Gujarat Lions
Second on this list are Gujarat Lions, who boast a line-up of big hitters. Brendon McCullum, Suresh Raina, Aaron Finch, Dwayne Smith and Jason Roy - are all clean strikers of the ball, who can clear the ropes on any ground. So it comes as no surprise that GL have smashed 150 fours and 63 sixes in 10 innings to score 978 runs in boundaries.
McCullum alone has struck 47 boundaries, while skipper Raina is not far behind with 40 boundaries. However, while Raina’s 32 fours just edge past the former’s 29, the Kiwi leaves his skipper far behind in the sixes column with 18 sixes against the latter’s eight. Merely on the count of sixes, Aaron Finch comes second with 15 sixes.
#1 Sunrisers Hyderabad
Sunrisers lead the table with over 1000 runs scored in boundaries. Their 1004 runs in boundaries include as many as 164 fours and 57 sixes.
Just as he has always done for the Sunrisers Hyderabad, David Warner leads his team from the front by topping the chart with a lion’s share of boundary hits. In 10 innings, the powerful Aussie left-hander has bludgeoned as many as 47 fours and 23 sixes at the top of the order while scoring 489 runs.
Shikhar Dhawan is next in rank with 48 boundaries, including 42 fours and 6 sixes, but the sheer dominance of Warner is illustrated by the fact that on the count of sixes, Kane Williamson, is a distant second with 9 sixes to his name.
|Team||Matches Played||Number of 4s||Number of 6s||Aggregate runs in boundaries|
|Kolkata Knight Riders||10||164||53||974|
|Rising Pune Supergiant||10||143||56||908|
*Stats till the Delhi Daredevils vs Sunrisers Hyderabad game on May 2nd, 2017
*Sunrisers Hyderabad have played 11 matches, one of which was an abandoned fixture.