A T20 hundred was at one time unfathomable. The whole narrative around hundreds in T20 cricket, however, changed on the opening day of the Indian T20 League way back in 2008. In a game between Kolkata and Bangalore, Brendon McCullum smashed a daddy hundred (158) to show what is actually achievable in the format. Since then, centuries have flooded in the league and here we take a glance at the ones with the most tons.
Chris Gayle - 6
Chris Gayle is a phenomenal T20 hitter and a record holder for the highest individual score in a T20 game; a 175 he smashed for Bangalore against Pune.
In the 2013 edition of the league, Gayle smashed this record score at the Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore. This was his fourth ton in the league. He had already notched up scores of 102* (v Kolkata, 2011), 107 (v Punjab, 2011) and 128* (v Delhi, 2012). The frequency of tons from the West Indian reduced since then. His next one after the record-breaking 175 came in 2015 against Kings XI Punjab and the final one in 2018 against Sunrisers Hyderabad.
Virat Kohli - 5
Virat Kohli hadn’t scored a T20 ton until the 2016 edition of the league. He wasn't seen as a big-hitter or someone who could notch up hundreds within 20 overs. A switch to open the batting worked wonders for the Bangalore skipper.
He slammed four hundreds in the 2016 edition alone - vs Gujarat (twice), Pune and Punjab. Last year, he added a fifth to the list at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata to climb to second in the list of most hundreds in the Indian T20 League.
David Warner - 4
The Australian opener was among the first 10 centurions in the Indian T20 League when he hit a 69-ball 107 for Delhi against Kolkata in 2010. In 2012, he added another against Deccan Chargers when he made a 54-ball 109* in Hyderabad, a ground he would go on to own a few years later for the new franchise that would be formed.
Warner's third ton in the league came after he switched to Hyderabad. The opener smashed a 59-ball 126 against Kolkata in 2017. In 2019, he and Jonny Bairstow hit a hundred apiece against Bangalore to take Warner's tally of league hundreds to 4.
Shane Watson - 4
Shane Watson has a unique record of scoring centuries. While playing for Rajasthan in 2013, Watson had hit a century at Chepauk against Chennai.
He later moved to the MS Dhoni-led Chennai franchise, and in 2018 at Pune, he cracked a century against Rajasthan, his old franchise. Watson scored another century in the final of the 2018 Indian T20 League against Hyderabad to win the title for Chennai. He had one other ton when playing for Rajasthan (against Kolkata in 2015).
AB de Villiers - 3
Like with Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers has a penchant for cracking those big knocks irrespective of the formats. The South African was, however, quicker than Kohli to get his maiden T20 ton.
In 2009, while playing for Delhi, de Villiers smashed the seventh ever ton when he hit 105* in 54 balls. It took a while for de Villiers to make another ton in the league. Six years to be precise, but when it did materialise, it was a terrific knock against Mumbai at the Wankhede in 2015. The South African hit a 59-ball 133* then. The following year, he made a 52-ball 129* against Gujarat at the Chinnaswamy Stadium to take his total number of tons in the league to three.
Feature image courtesy: AFP / Chandan Khanna