The IPL, in its 15-year-history, has seen both the batsmen as well as bowlers dominate the game in equal proportions. From batsman Virat Kohli to bowler Lasith Malinga, the IPL has seen sensational performances from a lot of players over the years. In no particular order, here’s a list of 10 most successful players in IPL history.
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10 Most Successful Players in the IPL History
Former captain of the Royal Challengers Bangalore, Virat Kohli is the leading run-scorer in IPL history with 6624 runs. A 19-year-old Kohli donned the RCB jersey for the first time in the tournament’s inaugural edition in 2008, and has been with the same team all throughout his career. However, it was not until 2010 when he proved his mettle, scoring 307 runs at a strike rate of 144.81. In the 2013 season, when he was handed the RCB captaincy, Kohli smashed 634 runs. But his best came in 2016, when he scored a mammoth 973 runs in 16 matches at an average of 81.08 including four centuries.
An ambassador of T20 cricket, Chris Gayle has been one of the most destructive batsman seen in the IPL. Gayle has smacked the most number of sixes (357) in IPL history and overall scored 4965 runs at an average of 39.72 and a strike rate of over 148. Since his debut in 2009, the southpaw has played for KKR, RCB and Punjab Kings. Among many records, he has scored the best individual score in the IPL – an unbeaten 175 runs off 66 balls at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in 2013. During the course of the knock, Gayle reached a century in merely 30 balls. Gayle also holds the record for most number of centuries in in the IPL (six).
Regarded as Mr IPL, Suresh Raina is CSK’s highest run-scorer of all time with 5528 runs at an average of 32.52 from 205 matches. This includes a century and 39 fifties. He has also hit the fifth-most number of boundaries in the tournament (506). The batsman’s consistently was so brilliant, that he is the only player in the tournament’s history to score more than 400 runs in nine different seasons. Raina announced his retirement from IPL on 6th September 2022, after announcing international retirement in 2020.
Indian opener Shikhar Dhawan is also the second-highest run-scorer in the tournament history with 6244 runs at an average of 35.07 and a strike rate of almost 127. Dhawan has hit the most number of fours in IPL (701), while also hitting 136 maximums. The southpaw’s best season was in 2020, when he scored more than 600 runs at an average of almost 45 and a strike rate of over 144. Dhawan has represented the Deccan Chargers, Delhi Daredevils, Delhi Capitals, Mumbai Indians, Sunrisers Hyderabad and the Punjab Kings. He will be at the helm of the Kings in the upcoming IPL 2023.
Apart from being the most successful captain in the IPL with five titles, Mumbai Indians’ Rohit Sharma is also one of the most prolific batsmen in the tournament’s history. Sharma is the all-time fourth-highest run-scorer in the tournament with 5879 runs at an average and strike rate of almost 130. This includes 40 half-centuries and one century. The skipper led the Mumbai Indians to the title in 2013, 2015, 2017, 2019, and 2020 and has overall led them in 143 matches, winning 79 and losing 60.
Dwayne Bravo is IPL’s highest wicket-taker with 183 wickets in 161 games. Bravo started his IPL career with the Mumbai Indians in 2008 but spent only one season with them, before joining CSK in 2009, for whom he played until 2022. He won the Purple Cap twice – in 2013 for 2 wickets in 18 matches at and in 2015 for 26 wickets in 17 outings. Bravo won CSK several matches with both his bowling and batting. Bravo retired from international cricket in 2021, and from the IPL in 2022. He will serve as CSK’s bowling coach in IPL 2023.
Lasith Malinga, who played extremely significant roles in Mumbai’s title wins in 2013, 2015, 2017, and 2019, is the second-leading wicket-taker in the IPL with 170 wickets in 122 IPL matches at an average of 19.80. The Sri Lanka spinner won the Purple Cap in 2011 for taking 28 wickets in 16 matches while bowling at an economy rate of 5.95. Malinga’s deadly yorkers made him one of the most unplayable bowlers in the IPL. He retired from T20 franchise cricket in 2021.
The CSK skipper, despite not having been able to deliver the goods in the last few seasons, is still considered one of the greatest finishers in IPL history. He has hit the most sixes for CSK (199), while also taking the most catches for them (204). Dhoni is the seventh-highest run-scorer in IPL history with 4978 runs at an average of almost 40 and a strike rate of over 135. He has the second-most IPL trophies as captain (4) and second-most runs as captain in IPL (4556). Dhoni also has the best overall win percentage for any captain in the IPL (58.85).
The swashbuckling opener holds quite a few records in the IPL. Apart from winning the coveted Orange Cap three times, he is also the third-highest run-scorer in IPL history, and the highest run-scorer among foreign players, with 5881 runs at an average and strike rate of 42 and 140.69. After being released by the Sunrisers Hyderabad, whom he led to IPL glory in 2016, Warner was picked by the Delhi Capitals at the mega auction in 2022, and he will also be their captain this season in absence of injured Rishabh Pant.
Afghanistan all-rounder Rashid Khan started playing the IPL in 2017, but went on to become one of the most dangerous bowlers in the tournament in a short span of time. In 92 IPL matches, Khan has taken 112 wickets at a strike rate of 19.60 and he has bowled at an excellent economy of 6.38. Among many feats, he holds the record for the most economical bowler in an IPL season. He conceded just 6.28 runs per over in the 2017 season. He has also delivered with the bat, boasting a batting strike rate of almost 152.
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