Each year, the IPL brings along with it a plethora of records that are challenged and broken by talented cricketers participating in the T20 extravaganza. At the end of every game, the commentators collectively decide on the best performer of the match, who is then rewarded with the Man of the Match award at the post-match presentation.
Fair or unfair, historically, the Man of the Match award list in cricket has always been dominated by batsmen who score the most runs in a particular game. While there have been a few bowlers who have clinched the award, the top 5 names on the list are all batsmen.
Here's a look at the five IPL stars who have won the most Man of the Match awards in the tournament history.
Most Man of the Match awards in the IPL
#5 MS Dhoni - 17
The Chennai Super Kings (CSK) captain has produced some quality knocks down the batting order for his side, and for his efforts, he's won the Man of the Match award in the IPL 17 times. MS Dhoni has been a part of every edition of the cash-rich tournament, right from its inception in 2008.
In the 182 innings he has played for CSK, Dhoni has scored over 4500 runs. In addition to his other accolades, the 39-year-old happens to be the 8th highest run getter in the tournament. He also has an outstanding record as a captain, having led CSK to 12 playoff berths and three title victories over the tournament's 13-year history.
#4 David Warner - 17
David Warner has been one of the most consistent batsmen in the IPL. The SRH captain has played 142 IPL matches thus far and has scored over 5000 runs. The southpaw has 4 IPL centuries to his name, and he's won the Man of the Match award on 17 occasions - equalling MS Dhoni's tally.
David Warner boasts a stellar IPL record, and he would be hungry to score more runs this season. IPL 2021 could possibly be the season in which Warner becomes the recipient of the highest number of Man of the Match awards.
#3 Rohit Sharma - 18
Mumbai Indians skipper, Rohit Sharma, is 3rd on the list and holds the top-spot amongst Indians with 18 Man of the Match awards. Rohit Sharma began his IPL journey with with the Deccan Chargers and then shifted to the Mumbai Indians in IPL 2011. Since taking over MI captaincy, Rohit has led the team to a record 5 IPL titles.
From 200 IPL games, Rohit Sharma has 5230 runs at a strike rate of 130.61 complemented by 39 fifties and one century to his name.
#2 Chris Gayle - 22
Universe Boss Chris Gayle has, time and again, proven to be one of the greatest T20 batsmen in the history of the game. It is close to impossible to speak of an IPL record without mentioning Gayle's name on the list.
The big-hitting Jamaican has clinched the Man of the Match award in the IPL 22 times over the history of the competition for his pyrotechnics with the bat. Gayle is the third-highest run-getter in the IPL in terms of foreign players, with 4772 runs to his name at a strike rate of 150.11 from only 132 matches.
#1 AB de Villiers - 23
AB de Villiers holds the top spot for most Man of the Match awards in the cash-rich league. The dynamic dasher has been a key player for the RCB franchise and has delivered innumerable match-winning performances for the Virat Kohli-led side. In the process, he has won as many as 23 Man of the Match awards for his batting exploits.
Over the years, de Villiers has proven himself to be one of the best finishers in world cricket. In the 169 IPL games he has featured in thus far, the South African has notched up 4849 runs, striking at over 150. The RCB middle-order batsman has 3 centuries and a record 38 fifties to his name in the history of the tournament.