Tag Archives: cricket

Why England’s new talisman should heed the warnings of the past

When Ben Stokes picked up the man of the match at Lord’s on Monday, the names Flintoff and Botham were being thrown around, but it wasn’t just for the cricketing comparison. 

When we think Botham and Flintoff, there is a attachment to their individual success, and to them as characters.

It transcends generations, to the point that even young fans that never saw one or either of them, make the comparison.

In other words, they become sporting icons in a theatre of dreams.

With Freddie especially, there was always another side to these sporting heroes.

Yes we saw them as having superhuman powers, but we also saw them as just ordinary blokes. They were fun, fallible, human and when they made mistakes, we kind of understood a little more. 

Importantly, when they made mistakes, they could always make up for it in sheer ability. 

No matter how bleak the situation, Freddie would get us out. Beefy would find a way, and then they’d hit the pub. 

Compared to Andrew Strauss who could have been a member of Parliament, or Kevin Pietersen, who perhaps could have been in a boyband – ‘Freddie’ was just your average a ‘fat lad’ from Lancashire.

Now, It may seem trivial, but it is also highly important not to underestimate the value of ordinariness. It was not only his batting and bowling that won Test matches, but his personality was hugely enfranchising. It got people on side. 

It got people watching, playing cricket, queueing up for hours to get in, and most importantly; it got it onto the front and back pages.  

Cricket became popular, because it was something people could tap into.  

Ben Stokes walks out onto the field with spiky ginger hair, he is tenacious, clearly absurdly talented – but also a bit of a hothead. Nobody is quite sure whether he’ll smash an 80 ball century, pick a fight with the opposition, or be dismissed in the silliest of ways. 

And that is why people watch sport. 

It was commented upon by numerous observers during the last Test, just how hard this guy hits the ball. It is almost like he is using a slab of marble. That is the spine of the Flintoff comparison on cricketing criteria. But when he gets the ball, he also seems to try his heart out. 

He bowled exceptionally well in the first innings at Lord’s but was wicketless. Come the second innings, his two  wickets in two balls, Williamson and McCullum; took England on to another level. Twice in the game, he changed its course, and it put the team on cloud nine.  

He is a kind of player that makes things happen, but like Freddie, it will never just be about ability. He latter will of course be remembered for his Ashes displays, but also for his fallible human antics, including his drinking, for the pedalo incident, for his early career slacking, and no doubt other misdemeanours. 

If one casts their minds back to 2013, Stokes’ misdemeanours have already begun, and we all look on at this rising star, as a potential new Flintoff in this regard too.

He was sent home alongside Matt Coles from an England A tour, for consistent late night drinking. 

In 2014, Ben Stokes broke his hand after punching a locker, putting him out of the World twenty 20.

In the West Indies, he was consistently the one player that was being confrontational with the opposition – and in particular Marlon Samuels; which was never nasty, but noticeable. 

Nobody wants dour cricket played by ECB prototypes 1-11 – but there must be a recognition that a talismanic and highly individualistic and exciting player, will sometimes be hard to control. 

Despite being only 23, he has already taken risks – on and off the pitch.

He has already stunned crowds and won matches. 

He is on a learning curve and will no doubt, just like Flintoff, continue to cross swords with authorities. But there is no doubt that his talent should lead to to substantial success.

Stokes needs to find that crucial balance between being a talisman on the pitch, whilst not letting it get the better of him.

Flintoff managed too nearing the end of his Test career, and it eventually even led to captaincy. 

Stokes is a phenomenal player with the capacity to lift and even carry his team. But he is also a flight risk, if he can’t handle his own ego. 

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Afghanistan’s Calypso Cricket must be shelved, to progress

‘Everyone loved us, we were the Calypso cricketers – we would do the entertaining and they would win’  –  Mohammed Nabi.  Well actually, the quote is by Deryck Murray, ex-West Indies cricketer, but it could very well be the former.

The ‘calypso cricketers’ of the world, are amicable, popular and fun to watch, but ultimately losers.

Historically attributed to the West Indies before their domination began – the terms represents a side which is given only tokenistic respect out of their trying. But everyone knows that if things got serious, the pressure can be turned on. 

Afghanistan is an emerging force of Associates cricket, but they have also has fought long and hard to be recognised in cricket terms, and not just for their legitimate tale of emerging out of the ashes of a war torn country. 

Afghanistan are also in quite an awkward transitionary period, between being the best of the rest, or the bottom of the elite pile.

This transition is being made during a turbulent time for Associate nations, whereby the World Cup is going to be reduced, and opportunities to play Test playing nations are few and far between. 

The reality for the Afghan side, is that since 2009, they’ve played 51 ODIs, and have won 25, but only 15 of those 51 ODIs have been against Test playing nations. Only three of those games have been wins (against Bangladesh and Zimbabwe.)

Their opportunities for exposure are few and far between, and when they do arise, Afghanistan seemingly resort back to their happy go lucky attitude. 

Against non-Test playing nations, they have won 22 out of 36 games, which is well over half. But it is not going to really inform their progress beyond that stage. 

They are comfortable and cruising, until they face tougher opponents.

Since 01 January 2012, Afghanistan have hit a staggering 40 sixes in 12 matches against Test playing nations (3.3 a game), compared to Ireland’s 18 sixes, in 7 games (2.5 a game).

Ireland have hit three hundreds in that period to Afghanistan’s one, and Ireland average more per batsman. 

Ireland are cautious and concise. Afghanistan are kamikaze and gun hoe. 

Screenshot 2015-03-19 22.55.18 This dosn’t mean that Ireland don’t hit sixes of course.

They do. But instead of walking in to the room and shooting in the air at random, they chose their opportunities. 

Kevin O’Brien’s century against England in 2011 was the fastest in World Cup in history, off just 63 balls. But, it was mature and calculated.

It was not slogging the ball up in the air.

Against the U.A.E. Kevin O’Brien, (50 of 25 balls) and Gary Wilson (80 off 69 balls) similarly took Ireland from a position of mire, to victory through precision. It was brutal at times, but it worked. 

Gary Wilson said in post match interview: “I just poked it for one and he [Kevin O’Brien] hits it out of the ground. It was great” There is a plan.

Ireland now have three of the top 10 highest successful run chases in World Cup history: 328 against England in 2011, 307 against the Netherlands in 2011, 305 against the West Indies. And, for good measure, their successful 2015 World Cup chase against the U.A.E. is in the top 15. 

Ireland are intent on at least trying to win. They don’t panic and just try to blast the ball up in the air. That is why people love to watch them. 

Because Associates get such a minimal opportunity, there is no margin for error. As William Porterfield, Ireland’s captain, pointed out in another post match interview against the U.A.E:  “We need fixtures. We’re crying out for that.. We’ve talked about World Cups and they’re four years apart. We’ve played nine games against top-eight teams since 2011. Nine games in four years is nothing really. We need to be playing more.”

Afganistan without a doubt, use sport as a form of expression, but unfortunately there isn’t much room for emotive cricket, if you’re losing.

In a recent article on ESPN Cricinfo, Afghanistan’s Hamid Hassan was said to have came off the ground crying, during a division three match.  He spoke to the Documentary maker Leslie Knott, (Out of the Ashes) who asked him why. Hassan replied: “I have seen people die and I have not shed a tear. But there is something about cricket that gets me here [pointing to his heart]. Cricket is our chance.”

They clearly don’t fear a game of cricket. They certainly don’t fear getting out or getting hit, given the World Cup is scheduled to be reduced to 10 teams, perhaps they do have something to fear. 

Afghanistan’s fearless emotive cricket is certainly exciting to watch but, it is also potentially blinding them to what they really need.

What do they need?

It is somewhat indefinable. How can one go about methodising injecting patience and consistency? Ultimately it is a team that is poorly funded and has increasingly jeopardised opportunities facing quality opposition? It’s not an easy task. Unlike Ireland’s top order, who all have the option of County cricket, which they take up, Afghanistan don’t. 

Afghanistan needs opportunities to build their abilities domestically to play more games Internationally.

Most importantly however, batsmen need to foster a greater sense of collective responsibility to the team. Calypso cricket will never bring them much success beyond being admirable losers. 

ON THIS DAY: Drop it likes it hot – Kamran Akmal is gifted to the world

On this day in 1982, Pakistan’s favourite, wicketkeeper, batsman, Akmal brother… comedian?.. was born.

Famed for his comical and ever deteriorating keeping standards, Kamran Akmal has contributed to making Pakistan one of the most entertaining teams to watch.

Perhaps most controversially, In 2009-10 he  was suspected of match fixing against Australia.

Akmal dropped four straightforward catches in the Australian innings, three of those coming from Michael Hussey, who scored 134*. Hussey was a central player in a 9th wicket partnership stand of 133, which allowed for Australia to eventually win the game after bowling Pakistan out for just 139, winning the match by 36 runs.

Although having always denied it, and since having been barred and recalled to the squad, a cloud of suspicion remains, which will be hard to remove until conclusive evidence is provided.

Other than the catches he drops in matches which are allegedly fixed, sometimes, he dropped catches because he is a generous man.

Bowlers really don’t like it.

All that said, Akmal does sometimes do stuff right.

As a wicket-keeper, he has participated in 206, 169 and 52 dismissals in Tests, ODIs and T20Is (so far). Here is a rare clip of him catching the ball.

When not flapping behind the stumps, he is pretty handy with the bat. His aggressive counter-attacking and often untechnical style has paid off, with a number of former Pakistan players arguing for his reinstating in the side in the top three, especially in limited overs cricket. 

Strong recent domestic form. This has pushed his name into the hat for a spot in the Pakistan side, more-so as a batsman than a keeper.

“I don’t want to comment on our chances in the World Cup until I am selected. But honestly speaking, I myself still don’t know why they discarded me all of a sudden after the T20 WC. I was not even considered good enough to the make the pool of 40 players, which was very disappointing,” Kamran said according to Cricbuzz.

He scored this fabulous ton against arch rivals India in a Test, which was one of four impressive centuries against them, between 2005-7.

In ODI cricket, he is an especially strong cutter, puller and driver, which can be very effective during the power play, and has delivered him success especially in the top four

Someone rescue Alastair Cook before it’s too late.

Alastair Cook is the England captain, and a phenomenal batsman, but the captaincy that he has been saddled with is crushing the team, and him, and its too heavy a price to pay any longer, especially when he just isn’t that special with captaincy.

He is currently being held to ransom. Unable to escape due to the criticism he would come under for shelling it, Cook is waiting for someone to pull the trigger. Cook is putting on a brave face. He is trying to improve his captaincy.

He is trying to cope. But, like an injured animal that tries to get back up; he is just not able too.

One could understand persevering with Alastair Cook as a captain if he was Mike Brearley. But he isn’t. In holding captaincy across Tests and ODI teams, he is placing so much unwarranted pressure on his batting, that it is causing him to fail.

He is holding his primary attribute (his batting) hostage.

As the captaincy causes him to buckle under pressure in the middle, his runs have dried up due to his mind being elsewhere.

As his runs dry up, he can no longer justify his place alone on runs, and in a horribly dynamic fashion, his captaincy comes under even more pressure as a result.

Yet, even through bad form, the talk is not really about dropping him. It is about getting the old Cook back. 

As Test captain, his runs have remained broadly the same as a captain, and as not captain; as he averages around 45. It’s very steady. Taking the captaincy away, may help his batting by allowing him to refocus.

But, the statistics would suggest he can probably do it both ways. Removing the captaincy would be done more to assist the team’s handling, than Cook’s form.

He is a world class player, and needs no lectures on how to bat.

As ODI Captain, he has scored 4 out of his 5 hundreds as captain, albeit not for two years has he actually produced one.

Unfortunately, these runs are in vain, when one considers that In the last two years, both his form has slowly deteriorated, and the team has suffered as his morale has been projected onto the overall unit.

In Tests, since the start of 2013, he has averaged around 33 for both 2013 and 2014, and has just 9 fifties and 2 centuries to his name. In terms of his personal record, it is pedestrian.

As Cook has dropped off, so have England, winning just eight out of their 22 Tests since the start of 2013. Not for one second would I suggest that his bad form is the reason for England’s. There are many many factors as to why; but it certainly would help to have a rock solid opener at the top of the order, that isn’t perpetually thinking about the pressure he is under due to external factors.

In the coloured kit, he has scored just over 900 runs in the last two years in ODI cricket, with just six fifties in 35 innings.

Similarly to the Test arena, just 19 out of 45 ODIs have been won under Cook since the start of 2013,  with just 3 wins in 2014.

Cook is like a really valuable ornament, that is currently being used as a doorstop. A valuable ornament would probably make quite a good doorstop, provided it was heavy.

But, nobody in their right mind would place such a valuable piece in such a potentially damaging position.

Alastair Cook needs to be protected for his primary role. Batting. He is not a dreadful captain, but it is certainly not worth jeopardising his primary attribute for his secondary attribute.

Let’s get him out before it’s too late, especially in One Day cricket. Please.

Hampshire Sign Ajmal To Cover Bailey

Hampshire have agreed for Saeed Ajmal to sign for them in the latter stages of the 2013 season. For the majority of the season, Australian T20 captain George Bailey will be Hamshire’s overseas batsmen, and for most of August and September, Ajmal will fill in for Bailey whilst he is fulfilling International commitments.

Saeed Ajmal in his delivery stride

Saeed Ajmal in his delivery stride

Saeed Ajmal is certainly one of best spinners if not the best spinner in the world and is currently ranked third in the ICC rankings for bowling. He is surely a world class performer, and is about to play division two county cricket. It is a great grab.

 For Pakistan he has been an utter revelation, with 122 wickets in 23 Tests at an average of 27.09, including 6 five wicket halls. Ajmal flawed England with 24 wickets in three Tests  in the UAE earlier in the year.

English batsmen are infamous for their ineptitude against regular spin, let alone mystery spin, so should Ajmal find a liking to division two county cricket, he could be the difference between winning or losing games, and essentially promotion or staying in the lower tier.

This is Ajmal’s second short stint in county cricket after first division experience at Worcestershire in 2011, where he bagged 17 wickets in three first-class matches. Hampshire is a fertile ground for spin. High quality spinners have graced the club in the past, most notably Shane Warne who captained Hampshire for some time, but also Imran Tahir, Shaun Udal and more recently Danny Briggs have all gained International attention from spin success at Hampshire.

This is certainly a very good signing for Hampshire, and should he do well, it would certainly bolster Hampshire’s late season charge for promotion.

Eng v Aus series preview

England are Test champions and number one as well as T20 champions and ranked number one. The Australians are perhaps still clinging on their World number one space in One day cricket but will be a big challenge as they always are.

We have learnt that at home England are formidable though and have now won six consecutive home one day series. On paper i think England are stronger in the bowling and the Aussies are in the batting , but we all know that we do not play on paper we play on grass. Anything can happen when it is England v Australia. England named an unchanged 14-man squad for the one-day series against world number one side Australia. A great mix of experience and youth. Well oiled, tried and tested. Successful. England squad: A Cook (capt), J Anderson, J Bairstow, I Bell, R Bopara, T Bresnan, S Broad, J Dernbach, S Finn, C Kieswetter, E Morgan, S Patel, G Swann, J Trott.

Australia named a squad with some experience but a lot of unknown names to many. There is uncertainty as to their first team lineup and they are not as well oiled as England. Australia squad: M. Clarke (capt), S. Watson (vice-capt), G. Bailey, P. Cummins, X. Doherty, B. Hilfenhaus, M. Hussey, D. Hussey, M. Johnson, B. Lee, C. McKay, J. Pattinson, S. Smith, M. Wade (wk), D. Warner

To open: Cook and Bell. Of late these two have been successful both in the test match series and more recently the One day series. Ian Bell is now a really fluent and stylish player in all forms and his lovely hundred in the first one dayer struck a spot among many England that he is the replacement for Pietersen at the top. Alastair Cook’s ODI career comparison  of his form after January 2010 shows a radical change. Averaging over 50 with a strike rate of 90 hitting 4 tons and 8 fifteis.

Period Matches Runs Average Strike rate 100s/ 50s
Till Dec 2008 23 702 30.52 68.15 1/ 3
Jan 2010 onwards 24 1191 54.13 91.47 4/ 8
Career overall 47 1893 42.06 81.17 5/ 11

The Aussies will open up with Watson and Warner. This is possibly the strongest aspect of the entire side.  Warner has a great ODI record hitting two tons and 4 fifites in under 30 games. He can really hit it big bringing a flavor of T20 into ODI. I would say that Watson although a good player and a brilliant allrounder, has a conversion problem with 151 games but only scoring 6 tons. He can play astonishing cricket though with knocks such as his 151 against Bangladesh in april ’11 in which he hit a world record 15 SIXES. It is arguably honours even with the openers. England are more steady and reliable but Australia could be more explosive. However England have better opening bowlers than Australia. They will pose more of a problem and master the conditions better.

Trott at three with  Bopara at four have a blend of obdurate defense and swashbuckling attack. Bopara has been in and out and Trott has a question mark as to his place in the ODI side as he is a slow scorer. However Trott has 3 tons and 15 fifties, averaging nearly 50 and is in the top 10 in the world. Arguably it would be better to have a more attacking player at three to get on with it but no one can argue with Trott’s place in this team really. The likes of Morgan, Patel, Kieswetter and Bairstow  etc have barely batted due to success in the top 4 and there is a lack of assurance on their permanent position in the order.

Australia’s middle order in most of the West Indies one dayers back in March, was made up of Forrest and Bailey with a smattering of Wade. A few fifities here and and there.  Forrest does however have a ODI ton. He could be a surprise. Clarke was absent from that specific WI tour but it is likely that the Aussie skipper will be at three. Clarke is averaging 45  with  7 tons and 51 fifties. He is the player the openers can accelerate around without the team falling apart and also the player the likes of Hussey x2 can kick on later whilst he keeps a steady ship. Michael Hussey in particular has a  great record averaging a shade under fifty. He has shown he can anchor the innings or explode at the end. I don’t honestly think England have that kind of anchor in the middle like Clarke or Hussey.England’s only real performer with the bat consistently has been Cook with 435 at an average of 72 and 3 tons.

England in the past 6 one dayers  have had two incredible stats: Firstly that in all 6 of them an opening batsmen has hit a ton and secondly, that  there has not been a single 5 wicket hall.  There have been 4 wicket halls for Finn, Dernbach and Bresnan but the wickets have been very spread out. This in my view indicates they do not rely on anyone but there is a constant pressure on the batsmen from every bowler. When Anderson and Finn end their first spell, Broad comes on with Bresnan. When they have finished then the world class Swann comes on. England’s bowlers; Anderson, Bresnan, Broad, Dernbach and Finn are formidable. It is likely  Broad, Anderson, Finn and Bresnan will play first up with Dernbach in reserve or rotated. With England it is crystal clear and only one or two changes are possible. Even those have been regular changes of the last year. England may be lacking ever so slightly with the bat but the bowlers will win England the game more often than not if the batsmen do not perform. Especially in their own conditions. Even with injuries

The aussies have a hell of a lot of options with seam and they have picked both Doherty and smith in the spin department too. Australia have  Hilfenhaus, Johnson, Lee, McKay, Pattinson, Cummins  and ( Watson.) No one is sure who the Aussies will play for the simple reason that Hilfenhaus has only recently returned to form, Mitchell Johnson has been re selected after a period of being dropped  and the likes of Cummins, Pattinson and Mckay are all vying for one spot. CJ McKay (Aus) in 2012 has 13 matches 22 wickets at average of 22.90  and .   B Lee (Aus) 13 matches 22 wickets  at 26.22. Both solid and we expect Lee to play but not so certain about Mckay. If they go for Hilfenhaus it will benefit them in the swing and seam department. If they go for Pattinson they will get a bit of everything but little experience overall and none of English conditions. The outside chance is for Cummins who is apparently very quick but i would say lower in the pecking order, and Johnson depending on if Australia still trust him. Australia  are unsettled.

To sum up this series in my opinion will be a series of England’s top quality bowlers against Australia’s settled and experienced aggressive batsmen. Both sides have batsmen that have performed in the last year and diverse bowling attacks. It should be an absolute cracker of a series that will have the hype that surrounds any England v Australia series. Hopefully it will help to ignite the summer of English cricket and prepare us all for the ultimate test match series v the South Africans later on. My prediction 2-1 England

Most prolific T20 players – Batsmen

The  current World rankings are very preliminary  for T20 and i don’t think are reliable. They only take into account the international fixtures and not enough T20 Internationals are played to accurately reflect who the best in the world really is for T20. For the batting i have looked at a few sources including statistics and records, The IPL, Domestic tornaments and of course international T20 competitions. The current top 10 for international batting is as follows: Guptill, Morgan, Mccullum, Raina, Jayawardene, Dilshan, Sangakarra, Warner, Duminy.  ( http://www.google.co.uk/search?sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8&q=2020+batting+rankings)

I want to quickly look at why they are there and if they deserve it before saying what i think it should really be.

1. MJ Guptill – Does not get picked for the IPL due to existing contracting commitments with Derbyshire.  I do not doubt Martin Guptill’sability in the format and he deserves his place in the rankings for sure, but he is just not the most prolific batsmen in the world. I would argue he isn’t the most prolific even in New Zealand with Ross Taylor and Brendan McCullum both ahead of him. That just shows how strong NZ are with 3 in the top 10 in my books.
2. E. Morgan -Plays limited amounts in the IPL. Not as effective as when he first burst onto the side. His unorthodox technique means crouching at the crease he has been consistently found out against the short ball. Morgan only averages 27 in T20, Only has seven fifties and no tons. Totally out of his depth in a statistical sense.
3. B McCullum – Fair enough but if he is there so too should Ross Taylor
4. SK Raina – Fair. Both Suresh Raina and Virat Kohli have been brilliant in the T20 format. What about Dhoni though ? Surely Dhoni is a renowned hitter ?
5. DPMD Jayawardene –  Arguably more a longer format specialist. Averages under 30 with only 70 odd sixes. A bit out of his depth one thinks. Then again he brings the innings some stability amongst all the chaos.
6. TM Dilshan – A little overrated averaging 27 with only 50 odd sixes. He did however invent the ‘Dilscoop..’ and help to transform inovation in the game.
7. SR Watson – Under achiever. Doesn’t get enough runs or tons. Good average and SR but no tons.
8. KC Sangakkara – fair enough but averages under 30 with no tons. He brings experience of Test and ODI cricket and for that reason is ever reliable. He does have the ability to hit out, but like Jayawardene he is more a settled steady middle order player that the likes of Pollard or Gayle would anchor around.
9. DA Warner – Should be higher one feels. More to follow..
10. JP Duminy – Not always a permanent fixture of the side. Good average, stady strike rate, no tons.
When compiling what i think are the most prolific, the records and stats show a few names that keep popping up and it is largely not the names above. Guptill is certainly no where to be seen, having not put himself up for auction in the IPL. He has a decent record but one feels he dosn’t play enough t20 to have had an impact oon T20 as a whole and not just the International format.
The name that appears a lot is D.Hussey . Hussey has an astonishing record with 187 matches but 4666 runs. He has only ever got 1 hundred but is a solid middle order batsmen. He has 27 fifties and just under 200 sixes. He has been playing from the start and outscores even the mighty Chris Gayle.  Not just statistically but Hussey is a prolific batsmen technically. Not able to play tests, he regularly plays international too in the T20 format and is one of the best in the world. He hasn’t been as prolific as Gayle and co in the IPL so perhaps he isn’t as dominant as he once was.
Chris Gayle has  the most unbelievable records. He was the top scorer for the last two IPL’s and the first scorer of an international T20 hundred.  Having only played 107 games he has taken T20 by storm and bulldozed records down to size: Gayle has accumilated 3970 T20 runs, including 8 hundreds which is the most. He has-281 Sixes, also the most. This year in the IPL he averaged around 60 which is incomparable to the next best run scorer, Gambir with 39  . He is utterly prolific. Utterly dominant and utterly incomparable and done it all at an astonishing rate. He is my Number 1 batsmen

Another huge Gayle hit

Warner is too low down on the International rankings in my view. Despite being a little on the side he is a big hitter. He has adopted the sweep and reverse sweep as trademark shots and boy does he know how to hit it.  In 127 games he has produced 3682 runs with 5 tons. He is a prolific batsmen from down under where the grounds are absolutely enormous.  Like Gayle he has a high strike rate, Gayle’s being over 150, Warner being 143. This is not to shabby. Having only played 8 games in this IPL in 2012 one could see why he wasn’t the top run scorer, but even in that time he hit a scintillating ton.
Ross Taylor records are up there with the best arguably . He has 3200 runs at an average of 31 and  has a 145 strike rate. Very solid.  He is 4th on the list of 6’s behind Gayle, Pollard and D. Hussey with 186. He is ahead of Brendan Mccullum, his fellow countryman who has a few less with 177. He is even ahead of Warner.  Taylor however had a shockingly bad IPL scoring 1 fifty in 12 matches.  A record could be ruined if he carries on like that
Kieron Pollard is a player on my list in spite of his slighlty shaky stats. He can literally destroy a bowling side. He is an even more prolific hitter than Gayle arguably as he is a right hander so can really smash the off spinners with the Spin. He has 199 sixes which is unbelievable baring in mind he only has 2817 runs (near;y 1200 in sixes alone ). He has an extremely high strike rate of 160 however. He is obviously a player that to an extent under achieves with few tons and not enough runs, but his raw ability to hit gets him on the list.
AB De villiers and  Kevin Pietersen most notably are arguably up there with Gayle and Warner. Pietersen made a name for himself early on in his career as a hitter, smashing Warne all across England, Reverse sweeping Murali with distain and most brilliantly hitting McGrath over his head on to the Pavillion. KP and De villiers of course should be on the list but not only due to hitting. They are both seen as class players not just smashers.

De villiers launches it

 Pietersen has some what toned himself down and now uses his brilliant technical ability and fast hands to score big runs. De Villiers arguably the most improved player on the planet also one that can use deft touches and paddles whilst also possesing an ability to smash the ball out the ground. I personally think as good as Morgan is, for Pietersen to not be in the top ten yet be Englands player of the tornament in the world cup for T20 is a crime. He is awsome.

Pietersen hits out in whites

 There are a few others that are simply raw talent and are consistent performers. Sehwag has a decent record. Not incredible but steady, yet we all know from other forms how utterly unrelentingly destructive he can be. Then there is Dhoni, Yuvraj, Afridi and Tamim Iqbal. These four players deserve a mention due to reputation not records and stats. We all know that Dhoni can really hurt a bowling side with his trademark unorthodox yet effective style. Yuvraj famously hitting 6 sixes, Afridi nicknamed ‘Boom Boom’ yet a professional under achiever in an under achieving side, and surprisingly both Tamim Iqbal and Shakib Ul-Hasan have really good techniques and reputations. Tamim in particular was really ruthless and powerful against England a number of years ago.  One last name that simply must have a mention is Dwayne bravo. regularly picked in the IPL and a big big hitter. Not sure he is the best but he is up there.
It is unfortunate Pakistani players are not allowed in the IPL because he likes of Umar Akmal and Afridi would be on the list if they had better records i think. Its too unsubstantial to include them and they are also often very inconsisten despite being champions of the last world cup.
To finish this, i will pick my top 10.  I cannot include every big hitter or international batsmen, so just bare with it 🙂
1. Chris Gayle WI
2. Dave Warner AUS
3. Kevin Pietersen ENG
4. AB De villiers SA
5. Ross Taylor NZ
6. David Hussey AUS
7. Martin Guptill NZ
8.  Brendan Mccullum NZ
9. Suresh Raina IND
10. Kieron Pollard WI
(few that missed out are DuminySA , Yuvraj IND , Dhoni IN)