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Is Chris Gayle's Record Number of IPL Sixes Unbeatable?

Cricket fans around the globe are more than familiar with Chris Gayle's boundary-hitting abilities. Within modern cricket, few players possess the power, technique, and timing of the 41-year-old left-hander. To date, he holds the record for the most sixes in one Indian Premier League season. In 2012, Gayle hit an unprecedented 59 maximums in 15 games, 39 more than second-ranked Kevin Pietersen. With a strike rate of 160.74 and a high score of 128 not out, the Universe Boss powered his name into the history books. So, let's consider who could beat the record.

Andre Russell Came Close in 2019

Over the last eight IPL campaigns, only two players have been within touching distance of Gayle's record number of maximums. In 2013, the 41-year-old continued his fine form as he struck 51 maximums from 16 matches. Once again, the Universe Boss was well ahead of the competition. Kieron Pollard trailed the West Indies international by 22 sixes, while Rohit Sharma was 23 maximums behind the Universe Boss.

Having both played internationally for the West Indies, Gayle and Andre Russell are well aware of the other's power-hitting abilities. In the 12th edition of the IPL, the 32-year-old knocked 52 maximums in 14 matches. Having played a game less, it's unclear as to how close Russell could have got to the Universe Boss' record. However, with a strike rate of 204.81, he unquestionably had the form to hit the ball over the boundary in more matches had KKR qualified for the play-offs.

Who Could Beat the Universe Boss' Total?

The IPL's standard seemingly goes up a level each year. As such, there are a handful of promising batsmen coming through that may have Gayle's record in their sights. In 2018, the newly-appointed Delhi Capitals captain, Rishabh Pant, took the prize for the most sixes after hitting 37 in 14 matches. Aside from Delhi's talisman, Ishan Kishan will also back himself to hit a record number of sixes. In 2020, the top-order striker for the Mumbai Indians hit 29 sixes as Sharma's team clinched their fifth title.

Although there are no guarantees that Kishan or Pant will come close to Gayle's record, their age and the strengths of their respective teams means that they will have several opportunities to do so. It's a testament to both Mumbai Indians' and Delhi Capitals' rosters that they're among the favourites to lift the IPL trophy in 2021 at Mr Green, an award-winning online casino. At the operator, players can explore an array of sports betting opportunities, as well as video slots and table games. Cricket is one of many sports covered at the mobile-friendly provider, and the platform hosts IPL-related markets. Currently, Delhi are the joint-second favourites to win the competition, as of April 28th, and going all the way would grant Pant additional opportunities to hit further maximums.

The Current Crop Face a Near-Impossible Challenge

Few can argue that it will take a monumental effort for anyone to beat Gayle's record of 59 sixes over the coming years. The IPL's growth means that existing teams are more well-balanced, and bowlers can take more chances on unpredictable surfaces. The likes of Kishan and Pant have the talent, but talent alone may not be enough to beat the Universe Boss' tally.