‘Age is just a number’ – This statement has been a huge debate in sports. Are cricketers able to perform efficiently once they are beyond their prime? A lot of it depends on the will-power and the fitness of the player. There is no reason for him to be concerned if he is confident of his abilities.
Older players bring a wealth of experience with them. It is always beneficial to have veterans, even in the shortest format of the game. Even if the players aren’t able to perform, they still have a huge impact on the youngsters who get to learn a lot from them. Ricky Ponting might have had a poor run with the bat in 2013 for Mumbai, but he certainly helped Rohit Sharma lead MI to their first IPL title.
Many cricketers continue to perform at the highest level, regardless of age. This list comprises of legends who have dominated proceedings across all formats of the game.
In the article, let’s look at the top five oldest players to score a half-century in the IPL:
1. 41 years and 181 days – Adam Gilchrist – KXIP vs RCB, 2013 (85*)
Aussie wicket-keeper batsman Adam ‘Gilly’ Gilchrist was one of the best limited-overs batsmen the world has ever seen. He scored 2069 runs in 80 innings at a healthy strike-rate of 138.89 in the Indian Premier League. He was the captain of the title-winning Deccan Chargers in the 2009 edition.
Gilchrist remains the oldest cricketer to have scored a half-century in the IPL. He scored 85* off just 54 deliveries, with 10 fours and three sixes against the likes of Zaheer Khan, Muttiah Muralitharan, and Vinay Kumar. He received support from British-Pakistani cricketer Azhar Mahmood, who scored 61 off 41 balls. Their partnership yielded 118 runs.
KXIP won the match by seven wickets and 11 balls to spare, chasing 175. He was also adjudged the Man of the Match for that sublime display.
2. 41 years and 24 days – Chris Gayle – KXIP vs RCB, 2020 (53)
‘Universe Boss’ Chris Gayle became the second-oldest player to join this elite club in this edition of the Indian Premier League. Gayle has decimated bowling attacks across the globe with his unparalleled six-hitting abilities. With over 4500 runs in 125 innings at a strike-rate of more than 150, the Jamaican is easily one of the best batsmen ever in the history of the tournament and the league.
Gayle finally got a game in Sharjah after KXIP lost six out of their first seven matches in this year’s IPL. However, he was slotted in at number 3- a position where he had batted only once before in IPL. He struggled to connect bat on ball initially, managing to score just six runs off the first 14 balls. However, some baffling decisions from ex-teammate Virat Kohli allowed to him get into the groove.
Gayle launched an assault on Mohammad Siraj and Washington Sundar in the middle-overs. He scored 44 runs off the next 22 balls, bringing up his half-century in just 36 balls. He hit one four and five sixes, and he won the ‘Unacademy Let’s Crack It Sixes’ award.
3. 40 years and 116 days – Rahul Dravid – RR vs DD, 2013 (53)
‘The Wall’ Rahul Dravid was famous for his prowess in Test cricket. However, he was no mug in the shortest format of the game. He scored 2174 runs in 82 innings at a strike-rate of 115.52, which was decent considering he had to play the anchor’s role more often than not. He represented the two ‘Royal’ teams- RR and RCB.
Dravid is the oldest Indian to have scored a half-century in the league. He played the role of a sheet anchor while Rajasthan chased down a target of 155 runs against Delhi. The Daredevils, now Capitals, had a decent bowling lineup, consisting of Morne Morkel, Umesh Yadav, Siddarth Kaul, and Ajit Agarkar at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium. So the chase was certainly not going to be an easy one.
He hit seven boundaries during the span of his knock and stitched a risk-free 108-run opening stand with Ajinkya Rahane. This laid the foundation for the chase, and Aussie all-rounder Shane Watson scored a quick-fire 28* to finish the game off easily. It was a proper captain’s innings that led them to a victory.
4. 39 days and 362 days – Sachin Tendulkar – MI vs DD in 2013 (54)
‘Master Blaster’ Sachin Tendulkar is widely renowned as the most successful batsman to have played the sport of cricket. He played for Mumbai Indians in his six-year-long IPL career. He scored 2334 runs in 78 innings at an average of just a shade under 35 and a strike-rate of 120.
This match was played at the Arun Jaitley Stadium, New Delhi. After Mumbai lost two quick wickets of Dwayne Smith and Dinesh Karthik, Rohit Sharma and Sachin Tendulkar started rebuilding the innings. They had a partnership of 96 runs where Sachin scored 53 runs off 47 balls.
Tendulkar remains the second oldest Indian player to have scored a half-century in the IPL. He hit three fours and two sixes and the remaining 29 runs in singles and doubles.
5. 39 days and 360 days – Michael Hussey – CSK vs RCB in 2015 (56)
‘Mr. Cricket’ Michael Hussey was one of the most consistent batsmen to have ever played in the IPL. He was an absolute match-winner, with 12 MoM awards in just 59 innings. He scored nearly 2000 runs at an average of close to 38 and strike-rate of over 122. He represented Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings while he played for eight years.
It was the all-important second Qualifier between the two arch-rivals. The man of the big moments had to step up and say, “I am going to take responsibility.” And so he did. He compiled a well-crafted 56 off 46 deliveries to ensure that CSK chase 140 runs on a tricky Ranchi surface where most other batsmen struggled to create an impact.
He hit three fours and two sixes in his knock. This meant that 32 of his runs came in singles and doubles, demonstrating the exceptional standards of fitness he had even at that age. It was the second last innings of his IPL career, but he clearly did not make it seem like one.
Source: The source of this content is our cricket news platform Crictracker.
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