Virat and Gayle - Tango by the Numbers!
In 2011 and 2013, Virat scored 557 and 634 runs at an average of 46.41 and 45.28, respectively. Last season was even more significant as he scored six 50s in 16 games. Massive impact. Virat, as a batsman, has improved consistently. His highest scores, chronologically, from 2008 to 2013 in each season - 38, 50, 58, 71, 73 and 99. The numbers clearly prove that he is getting better each season. His season averages, except for 2011, when it spiked slightly higher, have also improved year-on-year.
Cast your glance over to the more flamboyant Gayle. Since his move to RCB, his form and influence has been massive. 2011 - 608 runs at an average of 67.55, 2012 - 733 runs at an average of 61.08 and 2013 - 708 runs at an average of 59. If you look at the average, albeit minimal, there is a consistent drop. But, for anyone who follows cricket will know that these partial numbers lie - his impact has increased manifold. In last year’s game vs the now-defunct PWI, Gayle’s thunderous innings of 175* made sure records tumbled and the Chinnaswamy rumbled. If that wasn’t impactful, nothing ever will be. Add to that the 11 wickets in 3 seasons as a part-time bowler (He has bowled only 52 deliveries in the last 2 seasons) and you know that he is a match winner. This also proves that while individual numbers matter, a more wholesome analysis is paramount.
Well, that’s about individual impact. What about the combined impact of these players? Gayle at 1 and Virat at 3 is surely a deadly combination. They hold the record of having the 2nd highest partnership (204 runs) in an IPL game, which is also the 2nd highest partnership for the 2nd wicket in six seasons. On another occasion, they have scored 136 runs together, yet again for the 2nd wicket. Separately, Gayle has been involved in another 3 record-breaking partnerships, one of them being with current RCBian Ab De Villiers. Therefore, they are not only dangerous individually, but also dangerous together.
These numbers will not make comfortably reading for the opposition, especially not with IPL - VII right at the doorstep. UAE, watch out, it’s about to get warmer!
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