The Indian Premier League has been the standard-bearer for cricket’s T20 tournaments around the world ever since Brendon McCullum blasted his way to an epic 158* on the opening night for Kolkata Knight Riders and Royal Challengers Bangalore. In response, the hosts (who opened the run-chase with Rahul Dravid and Wasim Jaffer) could manage only just more than 50% of what the former New Zealand captain scored at the Chinnaswamy Stadium on that April night in 2008.
Cricket has never been the same since.
Sure, the tournament has been through its share of controversies over the years (none bigger than the spot-fixing scandal that threatened to shake the very foundations of Indian cricket in the long run) but the IPL has only gone from strength to strength. It would not be an understatement to say it is the Board of Control for Cricket in India’s golden goose.
Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings are, without doubt, the most successful franchises in the tournament’s history, sharing seven out of the 12 championships so far. Out of the 12 finals till date, only three have featured neither side.
As things stand, with coronavirus wreaking havoc on the sporting calendar, IPL 2020 may not happen. The tournament was scheduled to start on March 29, but the 13th edition might have to be called off completely.
History of winners
|2008||Rajasthan Royals||Chennai Super Kings|
|2009||Deccan Chargers||Royal Challengers Bangalore|
|2010||Chennai Super Kings||Mumbai Indians|
|2011||Chennai Super Kings||Royal Challengers Bangalore|
|2012||Kolkata Knight Riders||Chennai Super Kings|
|2013||Mumbai Indians||Chennai Super Kings|
|2014||Kolkata Knight Riders||Kings XI Punjab|
|2015||Mumbai Indians||Chennai Super Kings|
|2016||Sunrisers Hyderabad||Royal Challengers Bangalore|
|2017||Mumbai Indians||Rising Pune Supergiant|
|2018||Chennai Super Kings||Sunrisers Hyderabad|
|2019||Mumbai Indians||Chennai Super Kings|
More than just the winners and runners-up, who are the leading run-getters and wicket-takers, which batsman has the most 50-plus scores, which bowler is the most miserly over the years? From 12 editions of the IPL so far, here’s a look at the table-toppers by various batting and bowling metrics.
(Note: Scroll across or swipe on your mobile screens if all the columns are not visible)
As stated above, MI have won the title a record four times while CSK have managed to win but it is the latter who have the record of qualifying for the semi-finals/playoffs in every season they have competed in. It is also no surprise that CSK and MI have the best winning percentage in the tournament history.
Win % over 12 seasons
|Team||Matches||Win / Loss||Tie+W / Tie+L||Win %|
|Chennai Super Kings||165||100 / 63||0 / 1||61.28|
|Mumbai Indians||187||107 / 78||2 / 0||57.75|
|Sunrisers Hyderabad||108||57 / 49||1 / 1||53.7|
|Kolkata Knight Riders||178||92 / 83||0 / 3||52.52|
|Rajasthan Royals||147||73 / 69||2 / 1||51.37|
|Rising Pune Supergiant||30||15 / 15||0 / 0||50|
|Royal Challengers Bangalore||181||83 / 92||1 / 1||47.45|
|Kings XI Punjab||176||80 / 94||2 / 0||46.02|
|Gujarat Lions||30||13 / 16||0 / 1||45|
|Delhi Capitals||177||76 / 97||1 / 1||44|
|Kochi Tuskers Kerala||14||6 / 8||0 / 0||42.85|
|Deccan Chargers||75||29 / 46||0 / 0||38.66|
|Pune Warriors||46||12 / 33||0 / 0||26.66|
Among the teams to have played more than two seasons, only Delhi Capitals have the unfortunate record of not reaching the summit clash even once.
Playoff appearances over 12 seasons
|Team||Seasons played||Playoff qualifications||Titles (Finals appearances)|
|Chennai Super Kings||10||10||3 (8)|
|Mumbai Indians||12||8||4 (5)|
|Kolkata Knight Riders||12||6||2 (2)|
|Sunrisers Hyderabad||7||5||1 (2)|
|Royal Challengers Bangalore||12||5||0 (3)|
|Delhi Capitals||12||4||0 (0)|
|Rajasthan Royals||10||4||1 (1)|
|Kings XI Punjab||12||2||0 (1)|
|Deccan Chargers||5||2||1 (1)|
|Gujarat Lions||2||1||0 (0)|
|Rising Pune Supergiant||2||1||0 (1)|
|Pune Warriors India||3||0||0 (0)|
|Kochi Tuskers Kerala||1||0||0 (0)|
Over to the men who make it rain sixes and fours.
McCullum’s blitz on opening night has been bettered once so far in the history of the tournament and no surprises it came from the bat of Christopher Henry Gayle. The self-proclaimed Universe Boss belted the Pune bowlers in 2013 for a sensational 175* that will go down in T20 folklore as one of the greatest innings of all time.
Highest individual scores over 12 seasons
But when it comes to amassing runs season after season, the battle has been between Virat Kohli and Suresh Raina for the top spot. The two one-franchise men had recently been involved in a game of musical chairs for the top spot but for now, the position belongs to the Indian captain. His numbers make for extraordinary reading and he remains the only person to score more than 900 runs in one season: an incredible tally of 973 in 2016 when he hit four of his five T20 centuries. Don’t bet on any other batsman bettering that tally as long as IPL remains a 10-team event.
It is also worth noting that while only three Indian batsmen feature in the top 10 individual scorers list, the overall run-scorer list features seven.
Most runs in 12 seasons of IPL
|PLAYER||Inns||Runs||HS||Avg||SR||100s / 50s|
|Kohli||169||5412||113||37.84||131.61||5 / 36|
|Raina||189||5368||100*||33.34||137.14||1 / 38|
|Rohit||183||4898||109*||31.60||130.82||1 / 36|
|Warner||126||4706||126||43.17||142.39||4 / 44|
|Dhawan||158||4579||97*||33.42||124.80||0 / 37|
|Gayle||124||4484||175*||41.13||151.02||6 / 28|
|Dhoni||170||4432||84*||42.20||137.85||0 / 23|
|Uthappa||170||4411||87||28.83||130.50||0 / 24|
|De Villiers||142||4395||133*||39.95||151.23||3 / 33|
|Gambhir||152||4217||93||31.23||123.88||0 / 36|
When it comes to 50-plus scores in the tournament though, David Warner has the advantage over Kohli despite playing nearly 50 fewer matches. The Australian has been Mr. Consistent in the tournament and can legitimately stake a claim to be the best overseas batsman in IPL currently and one of the best all time.
Most 50-plus scores in 12 seasons
One of the most sought-after attribute in a good T20 batsman is the Strike Rate. (It is a metric that has evolved over the years into more specific sub-categories with the emergence of smarter statistics, ones that are divided over the phase of the innings as well as compare to the overall scoring rate in the match). But the conventional SR (runs per 100 balls) still remains a firm indicator of who makes the most impact over time. And it is no surprise to see West Indies players, led by Andre Russell, dominate this list. Among Indians, two swashbuckling youngsters Rishabh Pant and Hardik Pandya are the flagbearers.
Best batting Strike Rate over 12 seasons
And finally, where the most entertainment lies: the six-hitters. The top three in this list are arguably the greatest entertainers of this generation: Chris Gayle, AB de Villiers, MS Dhoni. But Gayle is, expectedly, in a league of his own.
It is worth noting how de Villiers and Gayle find themselves in all the important batting metrics: two men who have lit up the tournament over the years with their outrageous batting skills.
Also, India’s six-hitter extraordinaire in the international arena (Rohit Sharma) has some catching up to do in the IPL with the table-toppers but he is on his way to becoming the host nation’s most prolific.
Most sixes in 12 seasons
Good batsmen win you matches, good bowlers win you tournaments. There is a reason why the top 10 wicket-takers of all time is a list dominated by bowlers who have won titles galore, led by the incredible Lasith Malinga. And the Indian-overseas split is 7-3 in this list, as most teams stock up on Indian bowling talent. The top-five is another indicator of the conditions that one encounters in the IPL: three spinners and one cutter-bowler masquerading as a pacer in Dwayne Bravo.
Most wickets over 12 seasons
The individual honours board in IPL makes for a fascinating collection of names. Alzarri Joseph tops the chart for his sensational spell against SRH last season but currently finds himself without a contract. A rare Pakistani appearance in any of these lists is made by Sohail Tanvir from the first season. Adam Zampa has the other six-wicket performance in the list.
Best bowling figures over 12 seasons
When it comes to taking four wickets or more in an innings, Narine and Malinga are comfortably ahead of the pack but Andrew Tye has a sensational record of four 4-fors in just 26 matches.
Most 4-plus wicket-hauls over 12 seasons
Another bowling list with an interesting collection of names. Kagiso Rabada’s incredible SR of 13.2 balls per wicket puts him on top of the pile. It is a shame he has been injured a bit too often for Delhi’s liking. This list also features Fervez Maharoof, one of the rare non-Malinga presence in these tables from Sri Lanka.
Best bowling Strike Rates over 12 seasons
Dot balls are like gold dust, the commentators say on air all the time and the reflection of a bowler who bowls plenty of those is seen in the Economy Rate tables. In the past couple of seasons, there have been the odd occasion when Rashid Khan has been hit all over the park (against CSK, a couple of times) but his ER of 6.55 reiterates what a weapon he is in this format.
Best Economy Rate over 12 seasons
Another metric to judge how miserly a bowler is in the tournament is the ratio of dot balls. Deepak Chahar has been a revelation in that respect for CSK in the last two seasons and it is no surprise to see him top the charts, followed by Dale Steyn. It is also interesting how players who have played for CSK occupy quite a few places in this table. Leave it to MS Dhoni’s team to know the importance of bowling dot balls in the shortest format.
Best dot ball frequency over 12 seasons
|PLAYER||Mat||Wkts||Econ||Dot ball ratio|
All statistics courtesy iplt20.com and ESPNCricinfo Statsguru