Brendon McCullum was the first player to wear the prestigious Orange Cap in IPL 2008 after scoring a majestic 158 in the very first game of the competition. However, he could not hold on to it till the end of the campaign.
On that note, let's have a look at all the IPL Orange Cap winners in the 13-year history of the competition.
IPL 2008 Orange Cap Winner – Shaun Marsh (Kings XI Punjab)
Matches 11 | Runs 616 | HS 115 | Ave 68.44 | SR 139.7 | 100s 1 | 50s 5
Shaun Marsh, son of the former Australian opener Geoff Marsh, became a household name after the inaugural IPL season in 2008.
Batting in the top order for the Yuvraj Singh-led Kings XI Punjab (now Punjab Kings), Shaun Marsh impressed by scoring quick runs without slogging. He ended the tournament 82 runs clear of second-placed Gautam Gambhir, who played three more matches than Marsh.
Marsh's only century that season came against the eventual champions, Rajasthan Royals.
Though his team’s campaign ended in the semi-finals, Shaun Marsh was rewarded for his rich form with a Cricket Australia contract and an international debut during their West Indies tour in 2008.
IPL 2009 Orange Cap Winner – Matthew Hayden (Chennai Super Kings)
Matches 12 | Runs 572 | HS 89 | Ave 52 | SR 144.8 | 50s 5
Fresh off his retirement from international cricket, IPL 2009 witnessed a rejuvenated Matthew Hayden as the tournament moved to South Africa due to the parliamentary elections in India.
Riding on the burly Australian’s exploits, Chennai Super Kings made it to the knockout stage for the consecutive year but failed to reach the final.
Nevertheless, Hayden scored five fifties during the tournament, with a highest score of 89.
Get the full IPL Orange Cap holders list here.
IPL 2010 Orange Cap Winner – Sachin Tendulkar (Mumbai Indians)
Matches 15 | Runs 618 | HS 89* | Ave 47.53 | SR 132.6 | 50s 5
Nearly 37 then, Sachin Tendulkar again rose to the pinnacle of batting greatness in IPL 2010.
After slamming the first double ton in ODI history, Tendulkar enjoyed a fabulous campaign in the IPL, with the Mumbai Indians (MI) hugely benefitting from the Master Blaster’s blazing form.
Like the previous Orange Cap winner Mathew Hayden, Tendulkar also scored five fifties in the tournament, with a best score of 89*.
Tendulkar led MI to their first IPL final and top-scored for his team in the title match despite a split webbing that needed five stitches. But MI failed to cross the final hurdle.
IPL 2011 Orange Cap Winner – Chris Gayle (Royal Challengers Bangalore)
Matches 12 | Runs 608 | HS 107 | Ave 67.55 | SR 183.1 | 100s 2 | 50s 3
It was pretty bizarre that Chris Gayle went unsold in the IPL 2011 auctions. Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) signed him as a replacement for Dirk Nannes. But the rest, as they say, is history.
Gayle went on to stamp his authority on the tournament with never-seen-before hitting. He ended the campaign with 44 sixes, averaging almost four sixes per match. His strike rate read an incredible 183, and he also smacked two hundreds in the tournament.
R Ashwin sealed the deal for CSK in the final by dismissing the in-form Gayle for a nought in a big chase of 206. That helped CSK win consecutive IPL titles, while RCB came second for the second time in four seasons.
IPL 2012 Orange Cap Winner – Chris Gayle (Royal Challengers Bangalore)
Matches 15 | Runs 733 | HS 128* | Ave 61.08 | SR 160.7 | 100s 1 | 50s 7
Chris Gayle continued from where he left off in 2011.
In IPL 2012, he was more consistent yet brutal. He went a step ahead and slammed 59 sixes during the season. His only century in the tournament came against the Delhi Daredevils (now Delhi Capitals), an unbeaten 128 off 62 balls.
Gayle became the first player in IPL history to breach the 700-run mark in a season. Despite the Jamaican’s extraordinary form at the top, RCB failed to make the playoffs.
IPL 2013 Orange Cap Winner – Michael Hussey (Chennai Super Kings)
Matches 17 | Runs 733 | HS 95 | Ave 52.35 | SR 129.5 | 50s 6
Chris Gayle played a game less than Michael Hussey in IPL 2013 and fell short by 26 runs to make it a hat-trick of Orange Caps. This edition of the tournament saw Gayle score the fastest hundred in senior cricket, doing so off just 30 balls.
Not as brutal as Gayle at the top, Michael Hussey was the accumulator that CSK needed at the top. He consistently set the platform for the likes of Suresh Raina and MS Dhoni to thrive as CSK eyed their third title.
However, Mike Hussey failed to get going in the final as Mumbai Indians clinched their maiden IPL title.
IPL 2014 Orange Cap Winner – Robin Uthappa (Kolkata Knight Riders)
Matches 16 | Runs 660 | HS 83* | Ave 44 | SR 137.8 | 50s 5
Robin Uthappa became the first player to win the IPL trophy and the Orange Cap in the same edition of the competition.
He also became the first Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) player to claim the prestigious honour. With Gautam Gambhir struggling to find runs at the top, Uthappa's consistency played a crucial role in KKR's successful campaign.
Uthappa top-scored with a 30-ball 42 in Qualifier 1 against KXIP to help KKR into their second IPL final, which they went on to win against the same opponent.
IPL 2015 Orange Cap Winner – David Warner (Sunrisers Hyderabad)
Matches 14 | Runs 562 | HS 91 | Ave 43.23 | SR 156.5 | 50s 7
For the third consecutive season, David Warner scored over 400 runs in the IPL. Even in 2014, he had breached the 500-run mark.
Coming off as one of the heroes in Australia’s 2015 World Cup-winning campaign, Warner thrived as the Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) captain, leading his team from the front with aplomb.
Warner, who scored seven fifties with a top score of 91, was SRH’s saving grace in a dismal campaign where they finished sixth in the points table.
IPL 2016 Orange Cap Winner – Virat Kohli (Royal Challengers Bangalore)
Matches 16 | Runs 973 | HS 113 | Ave 81.08 | SR 152 | 100s 4 | 50s 7
David Warner led SRH to IPL glory in 2016. He led them from the front by scoring 848 runs. No IPL Orange Cap winner had previously breached the 750-mark in the tournament. Despite doing everything right, Warner only finished second in the Orange Cap standings that year.
That was because a certain Virat Kohli was in the form of his life. He was the Player of the Tournament in the 2016 T20 World Cup and carried that form to the cash-rich league.
Kohli had no century in the T20 format before IPL 2016. But by the time the tournament ended, he had four. No player has ever scored as many hundreds in an IPL season. Never has the mark of 900 runs in an IPL season been breached again. Kohli almost got to a 1,000!
Chasing 209 in the IPL final against Warner’s SRH, RCB were 114 for no loss in the 11th over. However, Kohli's dismissal for 54 opened the floodgates, and not for the first time in their history, RCB lost the plot after the departure of their captain.
IPL 2017 Orange Cap Winner – David Warner (Sunrisers Hyderabad)
Matches 14 | Runs 641 | HS 126 | Ave 58.27 | SR 141.8 | 100s 1 | 50s 4
David Warner was quick to reclaim the Orange Cap in IPL 2017. One of the highlights of his campaign was his hundred against KKR that came off 43 balls, which is the joint-fifth-fastest hundred in tournament history.
Warner brought up his fifty in the fifth over, hundred in the 11th and at one stage looked good for a double hundred. He played his role to perfection, but that wasn’t enough to help SRH defend their title, as the Hyderabad-based team only finished third that season.
IPL 2018 Orange Cap Winner – Kane Williamson (Sunrisers Hyderabad)
Matches 17 | Runs 735 | HS 84 | Ave 52.5 | SR 142.4 | 50s 8
With David Warner missing IPL 2018 due to the ball-tampering controversy in Cape Town, Kane Williamson took over SRH's captaincy for the season. The elegant New Zealander didn’t let the Hyderabad franchise miss their stalwart.
Williamson led from the front, scoring eight fifties, and was consistent throughout the tournament. He dismissed doubts over his strike rate, producing an innovative range of improvised strokes. Unfortunately for SRH, they couldn’t topple the CSK hurdle.
Returning to the tournament after a two-year ban, CSK, often ridiculed as Dad’s Army, steamrolled SRH in the final to win the IPL for the third time. But Williamson did enough to shed off perceptions about his inability to flourish in T20 cricket, almost taking SRH to the title without Warner.
IPL 2019 Orange Cap Winner – David Warner (Sunrisers Hyderabad)
Matches 12 | Runs 692 | HS 100* | Ave 69.2 | SR 143.9 | 100s 1 | 50s 8
David Warner returned to the IPL with a bang in 2019, reclaiming the Orange Cap by almost registering 700 runs. Playing under Kane Williamson, Warner ensured the Orange Cap wouldn’t leave the Orange Army for the third season running.
In Jonny Bairstow, Warner found a perfect enforcer at the top. The duo went on to share many destructive opening stands in that campaign.
Despite Warner’s return, SRH couldn’t repeat their 2016 or 2018 heroics and only finished fourth in the tournament.
IPL 2020 Orange Cap Winner – KL Rahul (Kings XI Punjab)
Matches 14 | Runs 670 | HS 132* | Ave 55.83 | SR 129.3 | 100s 1 | 50s 5
For three consecutive IPL seasons, KL Rahul hovered around the 600-run mark before finally winning the Orange Cap.
IPL 2020 was staged on the sluggish surfaces in the UAE because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Captaining Kings XI Punjab (now called Punjab Kings), Rahul played the anchor’s role, giving the likes of Mayank Agarwal, Chris Gayle and Nicholas Pooran the licence to go after the bowling.
Despite Rahul’s consistent show - 670 runs with five fifties and a hundred - Kings XI Punjab only finished sixth after a disastrous start to their campaign.
One of the highlights of Rahul's campaign was his 132 not out against his former franchise, the Kohli-led RCB. It remains the highest score by an Indian player in the IPL.