Vivo IPL 2021: The 14th Edition of the Indian Premier League
With Vivo IPL 2021's inaugural match a mere four days away from today (Mumbai Indians vs Royal Challengers Bangalore on April 9), excitement among cricket fans worldwide is building for the return of the world's richest and most popular T20 league to India. With thirteen years of history to now fall back on (this will be the 14th edition of the IPL), the Indian Premier League has given us a plethora of unique numbers and statistics, some of which undoubtedly highlight the immense quality of the world-class cricketers who have taken part in the tournament. As with all forms of the game, these statistics also serve as a useful benchmark with which to compare performances and trends of individual players and teams across the years.
Get the updated IPL 2021 stats here.
In Part 1 of this series, we shall cover some of the Indian Premier League's most profound batting statistics from over the years. Part 2 will focus on stats from the bowling side of IPL history.
1. 5878: Highest aggregate run scored in the Indian Premier League by Virat Kohli for Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB). The next four batsmen on the list, Suresh Raina (5368), David Warner (5254), Rohit Sharma (5230) and Shikhar Dhawan (5197), are a significant distance behind, meaning barring a dramatically bad season or unavailability due to injuries or any other reason, Kohli is likely to keep this record until he retires from the game.
2. 5878: Highest aggregate runs scored in the Indian Premier League for a single franchise, again by Virat Kohli for Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB). With Kohli's association with RCB since the beginning of the IPL likely to continue until his retirement from the game, and the next three batsmen on this list - Suresh Raina (4527 - CSK), AB de Villiers (4178 - RCB) and Rohit Sharma (4060 - MI) very far behind and/or close to retiring - this is another IPL record that to stay with Kohli for a while to come. Kohli also ostensibly holds the record for the highest number of aggregate balls faced in the IPL, with 4496, again comfortably ahead of the chasing pack.
A word on Virat Kohli: his regular batting exploits in the IPL and his relative consistency in doing so have also catapulted him to the top of the batting charts in T20 cricket as a whole. With 9731 T20 runs, Kohli is 6th on the all-time list of leading runscorers in T20 cricket, and along with David Warner (9824), should comfortably cross the 10,000-run mark in T20s during IPL 2021. Kohli's genius lies in achieving this milestone in record quick time - he will comfortably become the fastest batsman to 10,000 T20 runs in terms of the number of innings taken. Being less than four thousand runs behind "The Universe Boss" Chris Gayle (13720), Kohli might even overtake his former team-mate and one day become the leading T20 run-scorer of all time.
3. 44.86: Highest all-time batting average in the Indian Premier League (min. 30 innings*), by KL Rahul (72 innings), now playing for the newly rebranded Punjab Kings. While Rahul has often been a hit and miss whenever he's taken the step up to the international game, his IPL numbers are undoubtedly top-class and show why he's so highly regarded in white-ball cricket. His superlative 14-ball fifty in IPL 2018 against the Delhi Daredevils remains the fastest fifty in IPL history, and is a reminder of how destructive he is in the shortest format of the game.
*Ruturaj Gaikwad (51.00 in 6 innings) and Adam Voges (45.25 in 7 innings) have a higher average but with a much smaller sample size
KL Rahul reached a fifty in fourteen balls against the Delhi Daredevils in IPL 2018, an innings which remains the fastest fifty in the history of the IPL.
4. 182.33: Highest all-time strike rate in the Indian Premier League, by Andre Russell, now playing for the Kolkata Knight Riders. Russell's T20 hitting exploits are the stuff of legend, with the West Indian's brute power and sheer bat-speed enabling him to send nearly any type of delivery sailing into the stands. He holds the IPL record for the best sixes-to-fours ratio of any batsman in the league's history with a minimum of 100 sixes (129 sixes vs 105 fours). His 48* in just thirteen balls against RCB in IPL 2019, where he smashed seven sixes in just thirteen balls (another IPL record), was T20 power-hitting at its very best, allowing KKR to chase down over fifty runs in the last three overs of the second innings. IPL 2019 saw Andre Russell in career-best hitting form, scoring 510 runs that season at a strike rate of 204.81; no other batsman has even scored 200+ runs at a strike rate over 200 in a single IPL season - an incredible statistic that shows why Russell at his peak is perhaps the most dangerous T20 batsman of our era.
Russell, being a true fast-bowling all-rounder and gun fielder, has proven to be immensely valuable to the Kolkata Knight Riders over the years, even though the IPL 2020 was a poor tournament by his lofty standards. He has been crowned MVP twice in the Indian Premier League (2015 & 2019), and is also one of a select group of elite all-rounders in T20 cricket to register 5000+ runs and 300+ wickets in the format (Dwayne Bravo and Shakib Al Hasan are the only two others to have accomplished this feat - Kieron Pollard is currently on 293 T20 wickets).
5. 48: Highest number of fifties in IPL, by David Warner of Sunrisers Hyderabad. Warner has achieved this (along with 4 IPL centuries) in just 142 IPL innings, meaning he averages better than a fifty every three games, an incredible level of consistency for T20 cricket. David Warner has been the most consistently prolific IPL batsman in the league's history ever since he was purchased by the Sunrisers Hyderabad in 2014, having scored 500+ runs in six of the last seven IPL seasons (he missed IPL 2018 due to his ban for Sandpapergate). He is also the leading orange-cap winner in IPL with three years at the top of the batting charts (Orange Caps in IPLs 2015, 2017 and 2019). As the most prolific overseas player to have played in the IPL, Warner is well on course to become the first batsman to score fifty IPL fifties this year, and as mentioned earlier, even crossing 10,000 runs in T20 cricket.
6. 349: Highest number of sixes in IPL, by Chris Gayle (AB de Villiers at 235 is a distant second). No IPL batting preview would be complete without mention of "The Universe Boss" Chris Gayle, who at 41 years of age is still going strong in T20 cricket and still deserving of a spot in the Punjab Kings batting lineup. Chris Gayle holds a plethora of records in the IPL from his time with three franchises (Kolkata Knight Riders, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Kings XI Punjab / Punjab Kings) and from having been a part of the IPL ever since its inception. He is still the only batsman to have hit 300+ sixes in the league, the batsman with the highest number of boundaries in the league's history (733 - 384 fours and 349 sixes) and the leading century-maker in the league with six hundreds. His career-crowning 175*(66) for RCB in IPL 2013, a monstrous display of power-hitting and boundary scoring (13 fours and 17 sixes), was an innings that broke a slew of T20 records that have still stood the test of time: the highest individual score in T20 and IPL history, the fastest ever century in the history of T20 cricket (30 balls), the innings with the highest number of sixes (17) in the history of the IPL and the innings with the highest number of boundaries (30) in T20 cricket history.
Part 2 of this series will cover some of the best bowling statistics from the history of the Indian Premier League. Stay tuned!