As a tall, hulking, left-handed opening batsman from the West Indies Evin Lewis could only really have one idol: Chris Gayle, and it is Gayle who Lewis seeks to emulate. Like his hero, Lewis is an enormously powerful batsman, combining strength with rare timing and combining a rapid scoring rate with impressive consistency. It is in white ball formats - particularly T20, that Lewis is most suited and here that he has made his name. After making his List A debut, aged just 19, Lewis burst onto the global scene four years later in the 2013 Champions League T20, playing for the hugely successful Trinidad and Tobago Red Steel and finishing the tournament as their leading run-scorer with a strike rate of 141.61. Lewis’ continued good form in T20 in the Caribbean Premier League won him an ODI debut in October 2016 and a contract in the Bangladesh Premier League. A 65-ball century in the BPL and a tough examination against spin took Lewis’ game onto the next level and the 2017 CPL represented a breakthrough tournament for him as he plundered 371 runs at a strike rate of 184.57, including an astonishing 97 not out off just 32 balls. After 22 ODIs - and one hundred, Lewis only averaged 24 in ODI cricket but in September 2017 he finally translated his T20 form to the ODI arena with a spectacular 176 not out off 130 balls against England at The Oval. Lewis was forced to retire hurt in the innings but had he remained at the crease he was on track to become only the second West Indian to score an ODI double century after Gayle himself. An IPL contract at the start of 2018 underlined Lewis’ global appeal. There is little doubt Lewis - a phenomenal ball-striker - has a special limited overs career ahead of him, whether that is for the West Indies or domestic T20 teams around the world remains to be seen.
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