In any IPL or T20 game for that matter, steady partnerships play a critical role in helping a team post a competitive total on the scoreboard. Cricket, especially in its shortest format, is innately batsman-friendly. The past has seen multiple occasions of batsmen ruthlessly exploiting some bowlers to turn the game around in their favor.
However, at the end of the day, the game of cricket is a team sport and requires contributions from each and every member of the playing XI to complete a successful victory.
As Rohit Sharma once famously said: Individuals can win you games, but it takes an entire team to win a title.
Every batsman needs a steady partner to compliment his game. A set pair of batsmen at the crease hold the capacity to cause much more destruction than a pair that are yet to settle in.
Highest Partnerships in IPL History
The IPL, in its history, has seen a number of match-deciding partnerships. On many occasions, top-class batsmen have come together to build up the innings for their teams and take the opposition bowling attack to the cleaners.
Having said that, we take a look at the top 5 highest partnerships in IPL over the past 13-year long history of the tournament.
#5 David Warner & Naman Ojha (189*): IPL 2012
In the 2012 season of the IPL, David Warner alongside wicket-keeper batsman Naman Ojha built an unbroken partnership of 189 runs for the 2nd wicket.
Chasing 188 runs against the Deccan Chargers (now Sunrisers Hyderabad), the Delhi team lost Virender Sehwag in the 2nd ball of the innings. However, Naman Ojha walked in at No. 3 and stitched a massive 189 run partnership with David Warner to help the Delhi franchise cross the line comfortably.
#4 Virat Kohli & Chris Gayle (204*): IPL 2012
Put into bat first in a crucial encounter against the Delhi Daredevils in the IPL in 2012, the RCB team got into trouble as they lost opener Tilakaratne Dilshan early in the innings.
However, the moment Virat Kohli joined Chris Gayle in the middle, things took a turn. The duo stitched up a huge, unbeaten partnership of 204 runs to help RCB post a gigantic total on the scoreboard. While Chris Gayle was responsible for most of the destruction, scoring 128 off just 62 deliveries, Virat Kohli's supporting role was equally important in the partnership.
#3 Adam Gilchrist & Shaun Marsh (206): IPL 2011
During IPL 2011, the Dharamshala crowd saw a breathtaking onslaught as Adam Gilchrist and Shaun Marshlitt the game up with a massive 206-run stand.
With two hard-hitting Australians at the crease, the partnership was as pleasing as it could be. Gilchrist scored 106 off 55 deliveries while Shaun Marsh played anchor and remained unbeaten on 79.
#2 Virat Kohli & AB de Villiers (215*): IPL 2015
When the two arguably best T20 batsmen get going together, there's no bowling attack capable enough to stop them. Such was the case during RCB's game against the Mumbai Indians in IPL 2015.
Sent into bat first, the RCB team got off to a poor start after they lost Chris Gayle cheaply. However, things completely changed from the moment AB de Villiers walked into the middle. De Villiers and Kohli pulled off a remarkable partnership and the helpless Mumbai bowling attack had no answer to their 360-degree strokes.
The South African wrecked havoc at the Wankhede Stadium as he stormed his way to 133 in just 59 deliveries. Kohli, on the other hand played a crucial knock of 82 from 50 deliveries, but more importantly helped AB de Villiers play his strokes freely.
#1 Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers (229*): IPL 2016
About a year after their onslaught on the Mumbai Indians franchise, the pair of Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers were back with a monstrous partnership once again. This time, they bettered their previous record by 14 runs.
The story remained similar. Playing against the Gujarat Lions, the RCB franchise lost opener Chris Gayle early in the innings. Enter AB de Villiers, and the Kohli-ABD pair exhibited some explosive stroke-making with the willow. The pair spared none of the Gujarat bowlers and dispatched almost every delivery to the boundary rope.
While de Villiers remained not out on 129 off just 52 balls, Kohli was unfortunate to lose his wicket in the last over after a scintillating 109 off only 55 deliveries. The duo helped RCB post a mammoth total of 248 on the scoreboard, which till date remains the 2nd highest team total in the history of the IPL.