News APP

NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  gplay  » Cricket » IPL V: Does age really matter in Twenty20?
This article was first published 12 years ago

IPL V: Does age really matter in Twenty20?

Last updated on: April 2, 2012 12:42 IST

Image: Chennai Super Kings players celebrate after winning IPL IV

Ahead of the fifth edition of the IPL, Bikash Mohapatra takes a look at the oldest players to grace the tournament this year. 

Twenty20 cricket is essentially a young game.

Well, quite literally. In a format where agility, reflexes and brute force more often than not ensures a favourable result, one expects a team to comprise 11 young players, in their 20s or early 30s, at most.

In fact, the game's shortest format has given rise to a new bunch of cricketers, players who possess all the required attributes and rightly labeled the 'T20 specialists.'

Consequently, those in the late 30s, and in the twilight of their careers so to speak, either opt out of the format themselves or are conveniently ignored, especially when the stakes are high.

The Indian Premier League is no different, with most of the franchises opting for the first category.

Having said that, over the past four seasons, there were examples of players who defied age, besides adapting to the new format, to deliver what is required.

These players, by virtue of their performances, made sure that factors like experience, fortitude and elegance are also taken into consideration when the squads are picked.

Ahead of the fifth edition of the IPL, takes a look at the oldest players to grace the tournament this year.

IPL V: Does age really matter in Twenty20?

Image: Adam Gilchrist

Adam Gilchrist
Age: 40 years 140 days

Kings XI Punjab has named the Australian wicketkeeper-batsman as their captain, coach and mentor.

In the previous years, Gilchrist notched an aggregate of 1603 runs in 60 matches, with an impressive strike rate of 142.74, having scored two centuries and nine half centuries.

Besides, he led the Deccan Chargers -- his previous team -- to the title in the second edition in 2009. Suffice to say, the abovementioned figures justify the choice of the Mohali outfit.

IPL V: Does age really matter in Twenty20?

Image: Muttiah Muralitharan

Muttiah Muralitharan
Age: 39 years 351 days

The wily off-spinner will turn up for Royal Challengers Bangalore this season.

Having played for Chennai Super Kings in the first three years, with considerable success, the Sri Lankan endured a forgettable season with the ill-fated Kochi Tuskers Kerala last year.

A change of team might just do the trick for the world's highest wicket taker in both Tests and ODIs.

For the record, the veteran offie, who will celebrate his 40th birthday during the tournament, has so far snared 42 victims in 45 IPL matches.

IPL V: Does age really matter in Twenty20?

Image: Sourav Ganguly

Sourav Ganguly
Age: 39 years 269 days

The Prince of Kolkata will lead Pune this season.

Having endured three tumultuous seasons with Kolkata Knight Riders -- where he led the team in the first, was stripped off captaincy in the second and re-instated in the third, it came as no surprise when the KKR bosses preferred not to pick him in the auction ahead of the fourth edition.

However, it did surprise when Ganguly, with almost half the season over, decided to don the Pune colours.

With captain Yuvraj Singh ruled out, the Pune owners had no hesitation in asking Dada, as he is affectionately called, take over captaincy of the fledgling outfit.

IPL V: Does age really matter in Twenty20?

Image: Rahul Dravid

Rahul Dravid
Age: 39 years 81 days

He may have recently announced his retirement from international cricket, but Rahul Dravid hasn't bid adieu to cricket.

The veteran batsman will lead Rajasthan Royals this season.

Having had three decent seasons with his home franchise -- Royal Challengers Bangalore -- Dravid moved to Rajasthan last season and succeeded in making an impression.

With Shane Warne, the former captain who led Rajasthan to a surprise title win in the first of his four years in charge, deciding to call it quits at the end of last season, the management at the Royals handed over the captaincy to a batsman who has defied age in this tournament – his aggregate of 1241 runs in 55 matches being testimony to the fact.

IPL V: Does age really matter in Twenty20?

Image: Sachin Tendulkar

Sachin Tendulkar
Age: 38 years 344 days

No words can describe Sachin Tendulkar.

The Master Blaster will expectedly lead Mumbai Indians, as he did in the past four seasons, and will try and finish unfinished business – the side finished third last season.

For someone, who has been bestowed the divine status, numbers hardly matter. However, for those who are keen on statistics, Tendulkar has so far amassed 1723 runs in 51 IPL matches with an impressive strike rate of 120.15.

IPL V: Does age really matter in Twenty20?

Image: Herschelle Gibbs

Herschelle Gibbs
Age: 38 years 39 days

The South African veteran will turn up for the Mumbai Indians this seasons, with the franchise having bought him at his reserve price (US $50,000).

Having played the first three seasons (2008-2010) for the Deccan Chargers, Gibbs scored 805 runs in 33 matches at a strike rate of 111.96.

Besides, he was part of the winning squad in 2009. The South African though missed out last year.

A new team might just be the platform he needs to reassert his class.

IPL V: Does age really matter in Twenty20?

Image: Brad Hodge

Brad Hodge
Age: 37 years 94 days

From Kolkata Knight Riders to Kochi Tuskers Kerala to Rajasthan Royals, Brad Hodge has been a journeyman in the IPL.

He has aggregated 761 runs (in 33 games) en route.

One of the success stories in an otherwise ill-fated Kochi outfit, the Australian will be keen to impress in his new colours.

IPL V: Does age really matter in Twenty20?

Image: Azhar Mahmood

Azhar Mahmood
Age: 37 years 34 days

The former Pakistan player will turn up for Kings XI Punjab this season.

Before you jump the gun let's inform you Mahmood has obtained a British passport, thereby justifying his entry.

The veteran of 21 Tests and 143 ODIs will be the first player of Pakistani origin to figure in the IPL since the inaugural edition in 2008.

Mahmood has won T20 titles with Surrey, Auckland and Dhaka. No wonder the Mohali team snapped him up for US $200,000 -- double his base price.

IPL V: Does age really matter in Twenty20?

Image: Mike Hussey

Michael Hussey
Age: 36 years 311 days

If you thought Mike Hussey has an impressive average in only Tests and ODIs, think again.

For Mr Cricket also has an impressive average (43.56) when it comes to the IPL. An aggregate of 697 runs in just 21 matches, with a strike rate of almost 125, are impressive numbers.

No wonder the Australian has been retained by Chennai Super Kings.

IPL V: Does age really matter in Twenty20?

Image: Jacques Kallis

Jacques Kallis
Age: 36 years 169 days

Having Jacques Kallis in a side is an asset, the format notwithstanding.

As regards the IPL, Royal Challengers Bangalore was the first to realise this. And now it is the Kolkata Knight Riders who are benefitting from his services.

Having paid in excess of a million to acquire him, the franchise has seen the player justify every penny paid.

For the record, the South African so far aggregates 1556 runs in 57 IPL matches. Besides scoring 14 half centuries, Kallis also has an impressive strike rate (112.18).