Despite the high-risk nature of T20 cricket, scoring a century isn’t an uncommon phenomenon and one can expect a few in IPL 2023. The tournament is still a good couple of months away at the very least, although the buzz and excitement around it is always palpable.
Over the years, a number of batters have made it a habit to set the stage alight with their flamboyant batting. It’s hard to look past a certain Chris Gayle in that regard. The ‘Universe Boss’ holds the record for the most centuries scored in the league’s history, having struck six of them.
Virat Kohli holds the Indian record with five and will be keen to add a sixth and join his former Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) teammate come IPL 2023. With regards to overseas players, though, there are a fair few superstars who could well lay down a marker in the new season.
On that note, let’s assess five overseas batters who could rock up with a century come IPL 2023.
#1 Jos Buttler (Rajasthan Royals)
A pretty obvious choice, isn’t he? Jos Buttler had a ball in IPL 2022, blasting four centuries and powering the Rajasthan Royals (RR) to the final. He finished with the Orange Cap for the most runs in the season, while also walking away with the award for the Most Valuable Player of the tournament.
Buttler is widely regarded as the best batter in the world at present in the T20 format. Given that he opens the innings, he has a full set of 20 overs to cash in upon and maximize to the fullest. It should definitely not come as a surprise if he scores a century or two in IPL 2023 as well.
#2 Jonny Bairstow (Punjab Kings)
Jonny Bairstow enjoyed a purple patch in 2022, before a freak injury on a golf course ended his calendar year prematurely. The belligerent English opener is on the path to recovery and is expected to turn out for the Punjab Kings (PBKS) in IPL 2023.
Bairstow was shored up to open the innings last year after he was initially used at No. 3. He is as destructive a batter as any against pace bowling and with the field restrictions in place, there are fewer batters who can utilize it as well as the Yorkshireman.
IPL 2023 is set to be played in the traditional home-and-away format and the Kings should play a good chunk of their matches in Mohali. It is as good a batting track as any in India and it’s hard to look past Bairstow scoring a century in the upcoming season.
#3 David Warner
Australian superstar David Warner has been one of the most consistent performers in the IPL. Year after year, the southpaw has churned out the big runs and is as big a match-winner as any doing the rounds.
With Rishabh Pant’s participation in IPL 2023 under a huge cloud, Warner will have a massive role to play for the Delhi Capitals (DC). He could potentially lead the outfit too should Pant not make it to the tournament and his performance with the bat could have a direct correlation with the Capitals’ returns.
Expect Warner to have another fine season with the bat, as is the norm with him. A century off his blade followed by that trademark celebratory leap isn’t beyond the realms of possibility either.
#4 Rahmanullah Gurbaz (Kolkata Knight Riders)
One of the biggest moves made by the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) was trading Rahmanullah Gurbaz from the Gujarat Titans (GT). The Afghan wicketkeeper-batter is expected to slot in at the top of the order and open the innings for the two-time IPL champions.
On what is expected to be a good batting wicket at Eden Gardens, Gurbaz should enjoy going all out in attack in the powerplay. This should set him up for big scores and lay the foundation for KKR to cash in.
It’s one of the most exciting factors to look forward to in IPL 2023 and scoring a century should see him leave a long-lasting imprint on the tournament.
#5 Faf du Plessis (Royal Challengers Bangalore)
For a format as volatile as T20, Faf du Plessis has been an extremely consistent batter as he has shown over the years for South Africa and the Chennai Super Kings (CSK). He was picked up by the Royal Challengers Bangalore in last year’s mega auction and appointed their captain as well.
Even in an average season by his standards, he churned out 468 runs at an average of 31.20 and a strike rate of 127.52 last year. Du Plessis will lead RCB again in IPL 2023 and will look to better their Qualifier 2 finish from last season.
He equaled his IPL career-best of 96 in 2022, while also striking a century in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) later that very year.
He has lately looked to attack the bowlers in the powerplay and if he bats 20 overs in a game, expecting a century off his blade in IPL 2023 wouldn’t be a stretch.