IPL 2018: How the Caribbean Players have been doing in 11th edition

IPL 2018: How the Caribbean Players have been doing in 11th edition

The West Indies players are perhaps the most memorable parts of the IPL.

Dwayne Bravo & Chris Gayle
Dwayne Bravo & Chris Gayle. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Caribbean cricketers have always been a great hit in the Indian Premier League (IPL). In the eleventh edition of the annual event too, it was a West Indian Dwayne Bravo who won a thriller for his team – Chennai Super Kings (CSK) against Mumbai Indians (MI) on the very first day to set up the mood.

The likes of Andre Russell and Sunil Narine (both playing for Kolkata Knight Riders or KKR) and the old horse Chris Gayle (Kings XI Punjab or KXIP) also caught the eyeballs as they always do, reiterating the fact that the IPL is incomplete with the players from the Western Hemisphere. It’s not that the Caribbeans only shine in the IPL as they bash and belt in all the major Twenty20 leagues they play across the globe but they certainly leave a special effect in the IPL consistently.

Here are the performances of the West Indians playing in IPL 11:

Dwayne Bravo (CSK)

CSK’s hero in the first match, Bravo, is an evergreen IPL player. At 34, he is no slower competitor and is ranked second in the list of batsmen having the best average in IPL 11 – 104 in five matches and four innings.

He also is the second best in terms of strike rate – 200 – trailing KKR’s Andrew Russell. Bravo’s bowling figures though haven’t been as impressive so far (4 wickets for 165 runs at an average of 10.31) but one can’t really keep the man, who is also known for his pleasant dancing steps, out of the game for long. Bravo has won one man of the match award so far – against defenders Mumbai Indians in the first game.

Chris Gayle (KXIP)

It is incredible that the man almost did not find a team during the auction of this year’s IPL and only landed up in the Kings XI ranks in the dying hours. At 36, Gayle showed he is still the boss as he blew away the opponents in each of the three games he has played so far. His three innings so far read 63 off 33 balls against CSK; 104 not out off 63 balls against Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) and 62 not out off 38 balls against KKR.

The man has the highest average in the tournament so far (229) and also hit the most number of sixes (21). His strike rate of 170.89 has put up in No. 5 position in the overall list. His run tally of 229 also places him at the sixth position, trailing the topper Kane Williamson (SRH) by 30 runs. But Gayle has taken just three innings to make those runs while the others in the top 10 have taken five to six innings for their respective tallies of runs.

The Kings are perhaps playing the man selectively keeping in mind his age and that’s a good strategy. Gayle has won two man of match awards in the three games he played.

Andre Russell (KKR)

The West Indian looks determined to bury his dubious past when he was constantly plagued by injuries and was even banned for doping charges and he has shown the intent in IPL 11.

The bashing all-rounder has a strike rate of 229.57 after six matches and five innings, the best among the lot. He has scored 163 runs in 71 balls with the highest score of 88 not out off just 36 balls against a formidable CSK.

In terms of hitting sixes, the Jamaican who will turn 30 in April end, trails compatriot Chris Gayle by just two sixes (19 against 21) and is ranked second in the table. His unbeaten 88 is the seventh in the list of high scores so far while his total run tally is 15th on the list. Russell, however, is yet to produce something special with the ball as he has taken only one wicket at an average of 140! He is yet to win a man of the match award.

Sunil Narine (KKR)

The silent but fierce competitor is doing the job for KKR again, even though the captain he has played for in so many editions – Gautam Gambhir – is not there with the side. Narine, from Trinidad & Tobago, has taken eight wickets in six matches at an average of 19.12 which places him at No. 5 on the overall wicket-takers’ list. The topper at the moment is Mayank Markande of Mumbai Indians who has 10 wickets.

Narine also holds the joint fourth best bowling figure of three wickets for 18 runs in three overs against Delhi Daredevils (DD) with DD’s Rahul Tewatia.

Narine’s bowling average of 19.12 places him 17th in the overall list while his bowling economy of 6.95 makes him the ninth best in the tournament so far. Narine has also steadily maintained his reputation as a miserly bowler, bowling 48 dot balls in six matches (seventh rank) so far, 12 less than the table topper Rashid Khan – the Afghan spinner playing for SRH.

And besides bowling, let’s not forget the flexibility that Narine has brought to KKR’s batting line-up by opening the innings to belt the bowlers and wrest the initial advantage.

Narine has a strike rate of 163.63 at the moment which puts him in the top 10 big-hitters of IPL 11, among some genuine batsmen. Narine has won one man of the match award so far, against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB).

Jofra Archer (Rajasthan Royals)

The West Indies are known for not managing their talents well and 23-year Jofra Archer from Barbados proved it again in this IPL. He made a memorable debut in the IPL by taking 3 wickets for 23 runs for Rajasthan Royals against defenders Mumbai Indians and was picked as the man of the match for his match-winning role.

Archer also has the third best bowling average in IPL 11 at the moment with a figure of 7.33 in only one match that he has played. His economy of 5.50 is also the third best in this IPL so far. The 23-year-old from Barbados who says that his earnings from the IPL would see him and his family lead a better life (he is the second most expensive uncapped player this IPL) aspires to play Test for England after he was snubbed by the West Indies cricket authorities ahead of the Under-14 World Cup.

Archer clocked 140 kmph regularly against MI and pegged them back by taking three wickets in one over and promises to be another player from the West Indies to mesmerise the IPL.

Kieron Pollard (MI)

Pollard, like his team, has remained subdued so far this year. Having scored just 63 runs in six matches and five innings, the T20 specialist from Trinidad is nowhere near of what he is capable of – both with the bat and the ball. He averages a poor 15.75 and has a strike rate of 110.52 and has no fifties so far. He has cleared the boundaries only eight times so far, four of them being sixes. Pollard is neither bowling this season which has also crippled his all-rounding ability to change games head-on.

Evin Lewis (MI)

The 26-year-old from Trinidad counter-attacked after his team lost two wickets for no runs on the board against RCB and made a major contribution to the defending champions’ only victory in IPL 11 so far. Eclipsed by the poor forms of MI and their star player Kieron Pollard, Lewis’s standing as the 16th highest scorer in this IPL (147 runs in six games at a strike rate of 148.48) has gone largely unnoticed.