Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 18 October 2019

IPL 2019 – Who tops run chart? Spoiler Alert: Not Virat Kohli

Here is a look at the 10 most successful batsmen in the 11-year history of the Indian Premier League T20 competition

In the burgeoning world of Twenty20 competitions, the Indian Premier League (IPL) is no exception in that it is primarily set up for batsmen to flourish.

If cricket has always been considered a batsman's game, the IPL has helped the best willow-wielders on the planet to push the envelope even further over the past 11 years. It is not enough for them to run hard, push singles and doubles and hit the occasional boundary. Today people want them to smash as many sixes as possible.

It is the nature of who we are as cricket viewers: we want to be entertained for a relatively short duration of three-and-some hours after a hard day's work, and nothing makes for better spectacle than a ball being bludgeoned into the stands, or better still, outside the stadium.

But it is both harsh and unfair to say the IPL is little more than a slug-fest that has reduced batsmanship to power-hitting and diminished the role of bowlers to that of hapless onlookers, with the sole purpose being to appeal to cricket fans’ basest instincts.

It is an oversimplified representation.

Batsmen have been afforded room for innovation, both in terms of pacing their innings and unleashing strokes not seen at this level before. For example: Tillakaratne Dilshan’s “Dilscoop” and Glenn Maxwell’s reverse sweep.

And yet, it is the conventional batsmen – of the calibre of Suresh Raina, Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma – who have dominated the run chart.

Sure, they have all tinkered with their techniques, added unconventional shots to their repertoire and raised their strike-rates. But they continue to bat in the classical mould, departing from orthodoxy only on rare occasions.

In the list of the 10 most successful batsmen in IPL history, only Chennai Super Kings captain MS Dhoni and, to a lesser extent, AB de Villiers of Royal Challengers Bangalore stand out as players with unconventional styles. Chris Gayle, too, considered one of the greatest batsmen in this format, plays what purists consider textbook shots most of the time.

And it is not just about hitting maximums either: Raina, who tops the run chart, sits just fourth in the list of all-time six hitters. Even De Villiers, who sits 10th, has more maximums in the IPL.

To see the list of the most successful batsmen in the tournament's history, check out the photo gallery above. To move on to the next image, click on the arrows, or if using a mobile device simply swipe.

Updated: March 23, 2019 05:38 PM

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