IPL 2018: Chennai Super Kings' consistency and other unbelievable records in the competition's history

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The Indian Premier League (IPL) has captured the imagination of cricket fans for a decade now with its high-energy concoction of the best of Indian and international talents.

Along the way, the tournament has thrown up a host of records, both personal and team-wise as the world’s best batsmen and bowlers went head-to-head against each other.

Here, we look at the five of the most unique IPL records set in its 10 years of existence.

MOST HAT-TRICKS

With three hat-tricks to his name in the competition, Amit Mishra finds himself in a highly exclusive club of just one. The leg-spinner is the only player to do so in the tournament’s history, achieving his first hat-trick in the maiden edition of the IPL itself while playing for the Delhi Daredevils against the now disbanded Deccan Chargers.

His second came in 2011, this time playing for the Deccan Chargers, in a game against Kings XI Punjab. Mishra’s final hat-trick was achieved against the Pune Warrior in 2013 when he was representing Sunrisers Hyderabad. The leg-spinner is also the second most successful bowler in IPL history with 134 scalps.

Mishra is the king of hat-tricks in the IPL.

Mishra is the king of hat-tricks in the IPL.

THE TWO SIDES TO ROYAL CHALLENGERS BANGALORE

The Bengaluru-based franchise has been the perennial underachievers of the IPL, having made it to three finals without a single title to show for.

They are also prone to great highs and terrible lows. The outfit has registered the highest team score in the IPL, amassing 263-5 against the Pune Warriors in 2013. The highest T20 score ever recorded in international cricket is 263 by Australia.

RCB have also reached the lowest of lows in the IPL. The side was bundled out for just 49 runs in a match against Kolkata Knight Riders in 2017 while chasing a paltry total of 132. That is the lowest team score recorded in IPL’s history.

RCB have shown both the good and the bad over the past 10 years.

RCB have shown both the good and the bad over the past 10 years.

MOST SIXES

Chris Gayle needs no introduction in T20 cricket. It’s a format he has made his own. He has unsurprisingly been a huge draw in the IPL with his destructive batting over the years.

A man who loves to deal in boundaries and sixes, the Jamaican has destroyed numerous bowling attacks in the 10 years of the IPL. In 101 matches in the competition, Gayle has slammed a whopping 265 sixes, the highest in the league by a country mile.

Suresh Raina, who lies in the second spot in the list, has only 173 maximums to his name which tells you how far ahead Gayle has been of the rest of the competition.

Gayle's six-hitting abilities are unparalleled.

Gayle’s six-hitting abilities are unparalleled.

MOST TONS IN A SINGLE EDITION

The 2016 IPL avatar of Virat Kohli was undoubtedly his best so far in the tournament. The Royal Challengers Bangalore skipper was in unstoppable form as he amassed 973 runs in single season.

That is by far the highest scored by any batsman in a single edition of the IPL with the previous highest being 773.

Kohli’s 2016 showing was special for a lot more reasons. He registered four T20 centuries that season, a feat almost unheard of in any T20 league across the globe. The right-hander averaged a staggering 81.1 in that season as his side ultimately fell short at the final hurdle.

Kohli was unstoppable in 2016.

Kohli was unstoppable in 2016.

CHENNAI SUPER KINGS’ AMAZING CONSISTENCY

As the MS Dhoni-led franchise prepares to make an emotional return following a two-year suspension from the league, they will look back on their unwavering consistency in the tournament with great pride.

In its eight years in the IPL prior to the suspension, CSK managed to reach the knock-out stages of the competition in each of those years, a feat unmatched by any other franchise.

Not only that, they have also reached the final on six of those eight occasions, winning the title twice. They are the only side to have successfully defended their IPL crown till date, lifting the trophy in  2010 and 2011.

Consistency has been Chennai's forte over the years.

Consistency has been Chennai’s forte over the years.

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IPL 2018: Kagiso Rabada, Martin Guptill and other big names missing from the tournament

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Rabada will be one of the biggest misses from this year's IPL.

The 11th edition of the Indian Premier League is upon us with the nearly two-month long T20 extravaganza all set to get underway on Saturday.

While the IPL has drawn the most sought after cricketers in the world, there have been plenty of big names who have not featured in it. This year too, there are a few stars who will be giving the event a miss due to various reasons.

Here, we look at 10 of the biggest such names.

STEVE SMITH

The now former Australia skipper was one the biggest casualties of the ball-tampering episode that rocked the cricket world. He was set to lead the Rajasthan Royals in the IPL after being retained on a mammoth contract but sadly for Smith, he will only be watching the competition from his television screen after he stepped down as the franchise’s skipper in the aftermath of the ball-tampering row.

Smith is paying the price for the ball-tampering episode.

Smith is paying the price for the ball-tampering episode.

DAVID WARNER

Like Smith, Warner too saw his lucrative IPL contract with the Sunrisers Hyderabad put aside following the tampering saga. The most successful overseas batsman in the competition’s history, Warner’s absence will be felt by the Hyderabad side who he led to the title in 2016.

Fan-favourite Warner's loss will be felt greatly by his franchise.

Fan-favourite Warner’s loss will be felt greatly by his franchise.

MITCHELL STARC

Unlike Smith and Warner, Starc’s absence from this year’s IPL has nothing to do with the ball-tampering controversy. One of the premier fast-bowlers in international cricket, the Aussie bowler was snapped up by Kolkata Knight Riders but will miss the tournament for the third time in a row after suffering a tibial bone stress in his right leg in the recent Test series against South Africa.

Starc injured himself in the Test series against South Africa.

Starc injured himself in the Test series against South Africa.

KAGISO RABADA

One of the biggest stars to miss this year’s IPL will be 22-year-old Proteas pacer Kagiso Rabada. The No1 ranked Test bowler in the world has established himself as of the best in cricket in a short span but a back injury in the series against Australia means that Delhi Daredevils will be without his services.

Rabada's injury-blow was a late one and will really hurt the Daredevils.

Rabada’s injury-blow was a late one and will really hurt the Daredevils.

ISHANT SHARMA

The veteran India pacer went unsold in the IPL auction, meaning he will be missing the competition for only the second time in its history after sitting out due to an injury in 2012. The Test ‘specialist’ has made up for that disappointment by signing up with English County outfit Sussex for a two-month stint.

Ishant will miss the IPL for only the second time in its history.

Ishant will miss the IPL for only the second time in its history.

JOE ROOT

When the England Test skipper threw his hat into the IPL auction ring for the very first time this year, he shockingly found no takers. Considering Root’s record in ODI and T20I cricket where he averages 51.1 and 39.1 respectively, it is the IPL franchises and Indian cricket fans who will be the ones missing out in the end.

Root's IPL auction snub was very unexpected.

Root’s IPL auction snub was very unexpected.

EOIN MORGAN

The England limited-overs skipper was another one who went unsold in the IPL auction. The limited-overs specialist is a seasoned pro, having represented a host of franchises around the globe. With over 5,000 T20 runs to his name and the added experience of having participated in five previous IPL editions, Morgan finding no takers was surprising to say the least.

Morgan has plenty of experience and pedigree in the format.

Morgan has plenty of experience in the format.

ISH SODHI

Now ranked fourth in the ICC T20 bowler’s rankings, Ish Sodhi was leading it just a few months back. The Blackcaps leg-spinner has a healthy career economy-rate of less than eight in the format and is a key figure in New Zealand’s T20 setup. Given the success wrist-spinners are currently enjoying in limited-overs cricket, the fact the Sodhi was not picked up by any franchise despite being available for a very nominal base price was astonishing.

Sodhi has done admirably well in his T20 cricket career so far.

Sodhi has done admirably well in his T20 cricket career so far.

MARTIN GUPTILL

The most successful batsman in T20I cricket with 2,271 runs to his name, Martin Guptill was another one who went unsold in the IPL 2018 auction. The Kiwi opener has long been a hit in the format but that has not translated into lucrative IPL deals. He showed the franchises what they will be missing out on as he slammed his second T20I ton and the fastest by a Kiwi (49 balls) in the series against Pakistan.

Guptill is the most successful batsman in T20I cricket.

Guptill is the most successful batsman in T20I cricket.

MITCHELL SANTNER

The Kiwi bowling all-rounder’s career economy-rate in the format is just seven and he is regularly ranked among the top T20I bowlers. He was set to make his maiden IPL bow after being picked up by Chennai Super Kings but a bone defect has ruled him out of action from cricket for nine months.

Santer has been ruled out for nine months with a bone defect.

Santer has been ruled out for nine months with a bone defect.

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IPL 2018: Three key battles that could decide tournament opener between Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings

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Rohit Sharma's Mumbai Indians take on Dhoni's Chennai Super Kings.

The 11th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) is all set to get underway on Saturday as defending champions Mumbai Indians take on two-time winners Chennai Super Kings at the Wankhede Stadium.

For the Rohit Sharma led Mumbai Indians, it will be a case of getting their IPL campaign off to the perfect start in front of a packed home crowd. On the other hand, the MS Dhoni led Chennai Super Kings are making an emotional return to the IPL after serving a two-year suspension.

As two of the most successful sides in IPL history get ready to lock horns, we look at the key battles that could decide the outcome on Saturday.

SURESH RAINA V JASPRIT BUMRAH

One man has been synonymous with CSK’s success over the years and that is Suresh Raina. He has been the batting lynchpin for the franchise for some time and is the highest run-scorer in the history of the competition with 4,540 runs.

He will face up against his India T20 side team-mate Jasprit Bumrah, one of the best T20 bowlers in international cricket at the moment, let alone the IPL. With Bumrah’s ability to pick up early wickets and his excellent bowling at the death, his battle with IPL maestro Raina will be a rather intriguing one. With Lasith Malinga now taking up the role of a mentor, the onus of powering Mumbai’s bowling attack will lie on the young shoulders of Bumrah.

The two India team-mates will have their work cut out against the other.

The two India team-mates will have their work cut out against the other.

HARDIK PANDYA V HARBHAJAN SINGH

Ever since the IPL started, Harbhajan Singh has been a key figure for the Mumbai Indians. The off-spinner is the third most successful bowler in the tournament’s history with 127 wickets and has played a vital role in all three of the side’s title wins.

He will now line up for a different franchise and as fate has it, he will square up against his former employers in his very first outing in CSK colours.

His battle against Hardik Pandya will be a very important one given how destructive the India all-rounder is against the spinners. There is nothing Pandya likes more than using the long handle against the slower bowlers and Harbhajan will have to use all his experience to get the better of the 24-year-old Mumbai Indians star.

How Pandya handles Harbhajan's spin will be key.

How Pandya handles Harbhajan’s spin will be key.

SHANE WATSON V PAT CUMMINS

If Australia’s Pat Cummins does lead Mumbai’s pace attack in the match, CSK opener Shane Watson will be up against his compatriot.

Cummins has been excellent in the past one year in the Test arena and gave a great account of himself in the subcontinent during Australia’s tours of India and Bangladesh. A fast-bowler willing to bend his back and bowl his heart out in every spell is what makes Cummins such a formidable foe for any batsman.

IPL veteran Watson, who will be making his debut for CSK, will burden the responsibility of getting the side off to a great start. The all-rounder was the player of the tournament in the inaugural edition in 2008 and will want to show that he is still a force to be reckoned with in T20 cricket.

The two Aussies will go head-to-head against each other.

The two Aussies will go head-to-head against each other.

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