Indian Premier League has been the most popular league in the world since its emergence in 2008. There are other prominent t20 leagues but none came close to IPL yet.
It is advertised as “India ka Tyohaar” which means “Festival of India”. It started with a bang when Brendon McCullum hit 158(73) runs in the first match entailing 13 skyrocketed sixes which were very rare those days.
This assured that IPL is going to reach heights in the future. It is so satisfying to see the success of India’s very own league over the years. There have been numerous joyous instances and myriads of crazy seconds.
Cricketers from all over the world have lit up its charm in every way possible. And the fans are taking this league to a whole new level.
Over the years, there have been many cricketers who stood apart and performed like a king in the IPL. In this blog, we discuss which cricketer deserves the title of the ‘King of IPL’. Read on…
Who is the King of IPL? Which Cricketer Deserves this Title?
Le’ts see which cricketers deserve to be called the King of IPL:
1. Chris Gayle
There hasn’t been a better love story than Chris Gayle and T20 cricket. A giant boxer-like body and intimidating eyes upon a furious face are enough to freak out the life of any person with a bowl in hand.
The aura of Chris Gayle is deeper than an ocean. Even a thick outside edge against a ball that races towards the boundary is enough for the audience to go crazy. And God help the bowler when he’s on-song and he decides to middle the ball with the bat. His impersonation of Hulk when he steps out to slap the ball is monstrous and equally disastrous.
The beginning of Gayle in the IPL was not a fairy tale. It was a nightmare as he was ruled out of season 1 without playing a single delivery for Kolkata Knight Riders after failing to recover from a groin injury. In season 2, he played a couple of decent forties but was unable to make any impact.
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After a bad show in the next season, he was released by KKR and entered Royal Challengers Bangalore in 2011 that was a game-changing fortune for both RCB and Gayle as he hit 2 monstrous tons and 3 impactful fifties that led the team to enter their first IPL final. In further seasons, he continued to dominate the league.
In 2013, he hit a dreamy 175 not out off just 66 balls against Pune Warriors India. He made a record of highest individual score in T20 and most 17 sixes in a single knock.
After a couple of bad seasons, RCB released him. But Gayle again took a dream ride for Kings11Punjab. He hit 104* against Hyderabad in 2018 to bag most tons (6) in IPL.
Gayle has aged above 40 but his batting prowess is still capable of outshining most of the T20 specialist batters. He might not get to play all of the matches due to fitness but he makes sure to amaze every one of us whenever he steps out to bat.
2. Ab de Villiers
Abraham Benjamin Devilliers is the most complete and versatile batsman of this era. He wears a humble and calm look over his persona but his accomplishment in the game makes him no less than any superman of cricket.
He is famously referred to as Mr. 360 for his ability to play all around the ground. It is hard to take the eyes out of him when he bats on his potential. He is a match-winner who can hold up his side through the deepest troubles. Even when the knife is on your neck, just imagine ABD, it will itself back off.
ABD has been the life of the IPL throughout the seasons. He started with Delhi Daredevils with a below-par first season
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RCB persisted with him over the years. He too played crucial knocks. In 2015, he hit a flabbergasting 133 runs against the likes of Lasith Malinga and Jasprit Bumrah. And no one can forget his 41 off just 11 deliveries against Mumbai Indians in a losing effort.
In the 2016 IPL qualifier 1, he single-handedly rallied RCB from 68 for 6 wickets into the finals with his 79 not out off 47 balls in the chase of 159. After retiring from international cricket in 2018, he is even more committed to IPL.
He has made 16 half-centuries in 3 seasons after 2018 with a scintillating average of around 50. Now he relies more upon straight bat drives which are even more lustrous. He has hit 245 sixes to date and many more to come.
RCB management knows his importance in the team. It seems that AB will last till the end with Virat Kohli’s team. But the dream of an IPL trophy is still incomplete for both de Villiers and RCB. It is a little bit disheartening to see a player of such calibre without the glory.
No matter what happens in the future, AB’s class will forever remain in the hearts of fans, especially Indians.
3. Rohit Sharma
Rohit Sharma wouldn’t have made this list without his captaincy prowess. But that doesn’t make him any less of a class willow holder.
With a spacious walk through the field and a composed character in the act, Rohit has already made the long way to the hearts of cricket fans. His elegant drives and a pitch-perfect pull shot can make anyone drop their jaws.
He has been one of the best Indian cricketers in the IPL over the years. He played the initial 3 seasons with Deccan Chargers, two of which saw over 400 runs from Rohit’s bat. In 2009, he proved his utility as a bowler too. He took a hat-trick against Mumbai Indians.
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Later DC, went on to win their first title. In 2011, Mumbai Indians bagged him in the auctions. Two years later, he replaced Ricky Ponting as MI captain. In his inaugural leadership year, he led the team to its first-ever IPL glory.
After that, he never looked back. He went on to lead Mumbai Indians to record 5 IPL trophies. He made the team invincible with his pinpoint decisions within the team and on-field tactics.
After all, it was not an easy cup of tea to beat MS Dhoni’s team in three finals, two of which were very close encounters that needed the nerves of steel. His captaincy for MI would surely be the highlight of his career.
With the bat, he has done pretty well for the team at the top order. He stands tall with 40 half-centuries and a ton at an average of 31.49. He has over 5000 runs. He sits at 3 in the list of most sixes. Whatever be the situation, he seems tireless. He is ready to fetch more glories in the coming years.
4. Lasith Malinga
Lasith Malinga was one of the greatest bowlers in white-ball cricket. He used to come with an awkward flat low side-horizontal action but his effective execution is no less than any work of craft. He had been known for his pinpoint yorkers with immaculate accuracy throughout his career.
If we talk about T20 cricket, he was the best in the business of a fast bowler. This curly colorful wig-like hair guy had perpetrated numerous times for his country and even more for Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League.
He started his IPL career with Mumbai Indians in 2009 by picking 18 decent wickets at an average of 17.33. Malinga’s best came in the 2011 season where he took a paltry 28 wickets at a dreamy average of 13.39
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Malinga was no less than a demon in death overs. He gave a heart-stopping performance when he defended 9 runs in the final over of the final match in IPL 2019 against CSK, which led MI to a 1 run victory outshining the splendid batting by Shane Watson who kept batting even after the knee injury. It was his last match in IPL and he got a grand finish to his career.
We might not see him in further seasons of the IPL but Lasith Malinga will be the foremost highlight of this prestigious league. His sheer dominance will echo in our hearts for years. Hope he showers his skills and experience on the youngsters in his second term as a veteran.
5. Ms. Dhoni
Mahendra Singh Dhoni has been a superstar ever since the commencement of T20 cricket in India. He was the earliest earner of glory when he led the Indian team to the 2007 World Cup.
One year later, Chennai Super Kings initiated their IPL campaign with MS Dhoni as captain. Who else would be the better choice than the Helicopter himself? CSK has been proved to be the helipad for him.
Dhoni led the CSK to the finals of the inaugural IPL edition but failed to clinch the title. In the next season too, CSK lost the semifinals. But they won the next two consecutive IPL titles in 2010 by beating Mumbai Indians and 2011 by thrashing RCB.
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A year later, he played a crazy 20 balls 51* knock in the eliminator of the 2012 season which helped the team to get into qualifier and then into semifinals. But they lost to KKR in the final. Dhoni-led CSK constantly made it to the knockouts till 2015. CSK suffered a 2-year ban for 2016-17 IPL due to fixing allegations.
Dhoni played for Rising Pune Supergiants during the period but was sacked as captaincy went to Steve Smith. In 2016, he hit 2 sixes off the last 2 balls requiring 12 runs against Punjab.
In 2018, when CSK returned, Dhoni not only retained the captaincy but led the team to a historic IPL victory. In 2019, CSK again fought till the final but lost.
2020 was a bad year for MS Dhoni but he knows very well how to come forward when laid against the wall. He has now retired from the international arena but we are glad that he has some more IPL years.
Note: Suresh Raina would have made this list if we undermine Rohit and Dhoni’s captaincy prowess. But for now, they are ahead.
Who is the Ultimate King of IPL?
If we consider overall skill and performance, Rohit Sharma would surely be the king of IPL. He has been the most consistent batter among all.
In 13 seasons of IPL, he crossed the 300 run mark in 12 of them. He made over 400 runs in 6 IPL seasons. Rohit has hit 224 sixes which brings him in the top 3 players to hit most sixes in IPL. As a captain, he won MI 5 IPL trophies, which is a record in itself.
Rohit Sharma is the ultimate king of IPL for sure. He has left a lot of years in him and that makes MI fans joyous.
Who is the King of IPL teams?
According to win percentage, Mumbai Indians is the Kings of IPL teams.
Rajasthan Royals won the inaugural season followed by Deccan Chargers in 2009. But Chennai Super Kings dominated the league by winning the next two seasons. CSK has played 8 finals in 11 IPL editions, won 3 of them, and all under the captaincy of MS Dhoni.
Super Kings would surely be termed as King of IPL teams only if Mumbai Indians wouldn’t exist. MI was trophyless until the 6th season when Rohit Sharma led them to their first IPL victory in 2013.
From then on, MI has stood apart from other teams. It has won 5 titles. Over the years, this team has become unconquerable. All 11 players are no less than combatants. Even their bench strength is indomitable.
From their management to the on-field strategics, every one of them has done their job amazingly. MI is probably the most professional T20 team in the World. Mumbai Indians is surely the Kings of IPL teams.
Who is the King of IPL: Conclusion
So, these were our top 5 contendors for the king of IPL title. Some more players could have easily made it to the list but they have been left for another day. Honorable mentions: Suresh Raina, Dwayne Bravo, Virat Kohli, Ravindra Jadeja, and David Warner.
Which player you think deserved to be a King of IPL contender? Let us know by tweeting us at @weknowcricket !