Make runs, it is Indian Premier League (IPL) time – is Twenty20’s way of urging the batsmen to make hay while sun shines. Little doubt over the format which is skewed heavily in favour of batsmen, who will once again look to wield their bats to smack the white orb around during the Indian summer.
The 12th edition of the IPL is just around the corner as we look back at orange cap holders in the history of the tournament so far:
2008 – Shaun Marsh, Kings XI Punjab
616 runs at 66.84
The curtain-raising season of the IPL turned out to be a breakthrough year for Australia’s Shaun Marsh. The Western Australian left-handed batsman made quite an impression smashing a century and five half-centuries to light up the league. Marsh scored at healthy strike-rate of 139.68 and went on to carve his name in the orange cap holders list. The success in the IPL saw Marsh make limited overs debut for the national side in the same year.
2009 – Matthew Hayden, Chennai Super Kings
572 runs at 52.00
With the IPL moving to South Africa, it wasn’t the best news for the Indian batsmen as only three batsmen finished in the top ten run-scorers, and only only Suresh Raina in top eight. The conditions were exploited perfectly by Aussie great Mathew Hayden. On the back of five scores in excess of 50, the burly opener smashed 572 runs, becoming the second Australian to brag the rights for the orange cap.
2010 – Sachin Tendulkar, Mumbai Indians
618 runs at 47.53
No surprise there as Sachin Tendulkar went on to become the first Indian to wear the orange cap at the end of the IPL 2010. The year that saw Tendulkar roll back time as he went on to pile a staggering 1562 runs in Tests becoming the highest run scorer in the calendar year. The maestro also became the first male player to score a double century in ODIs. He carried his purple patch and the bat with a bruised sweet spot to clinch top honours in the IPL. Unfortunately, he couldn’t see his team to the title losing to Chennai Super Kings in the finals.
2011 – Chris Gayle, Royal Challengers Bangalore
608 runs at 67.55
Called in as a late replacement for Dirk Nannes, Chris Gayle joined Royal Challengers Bangalore for the 2011 edition, after spending three ordinary years with KKR. Change in franchise resulted in change in fortunes for Gayle in the IPL, one that would be remembered for a long time. The explosive West Indian opener became a crowd favourite at Bangalore for his big-hitting prowess. The Jamaican roared his way to 608 runs from 12 innings including two centuries and three half-centuries.
2012 – Chris Gayle, Royal Challengers Bangalore
733 runs at 61.08
As if to say his pyrotechnics in 2011 weren’t enough, the ‘Gaylestrom’ struck twice in the IPL for the second year in a row. Gayle’s brilliance saw him earn a full contract with RCB ahead of the fourth edition. Gayle breached the 700-run mark to script his name in the annals of IPL. Gayle’s reputation as power-hitter reached its crescendo in 2012. The juggernaut hammered one ton and seven fifties in the season.
2013 – Michael Hussey, Chennai Super kings
733 runs at 52.35
Michael Hussey pipped ‘Universe Boss’ by 25 runs to claim the orange cap and halt Gayle from completing a hat-trick of the coveted prize at the end of the 2013 edition. Mr Cricket reiterated that age was no bar even in the youngest format of cricket, as the opener played an instrumental role in Chennai’s campaign with the team falling agonisingly short of the title in the finals. Hussey went on to slam six half-centuries in the season.
2014 – Robin Uthappa, Kolkata Knight Riders
660 runs at 44.00
Robin Uthappa’s consistency in the seventh edition bore fruit as he topped the run charts in 2014 including a string of eight 40+ scores and five fifties. Uthappa became only the second Indian to win the Orange cap scoring. He forged a formidable opening combination with skipper Gautam Gambhir that inspired Kolkata Knight Riders to their second IPL title.
2015 – David Warner, Sunrisers Hyderabad
562 runs at 43.23
David Warner set the stage ablaze racking up seven half-centuries as he went on to compile 562 runs in the 2015 season. Another Australian, another left-hander to feature on the top run-scorers list. The diminutive dynamo along with Shikhar Dhawan formed a robust alliance at the top of the order for the Sunrisers, but couldn’t catapult their team to the play-offs as they finished sixth with 14 points in the eighth edition.
2016 – Virat Kohli, Royal Challengers Bangalore
973 runs at 81.08
Nobody besides Kohli deserved to don the orange cap at the end of 2016 season. Like he so often does in International cricket, the RCB captain went on shatter one record after the other. Kohli's appetite for runs saw him finish with Bradmanesque numbers with 973 runs in 16 games that were scored at a jaw-dropping strike rate of 152.03 including four centuries – the most in a season – and seven fifties.
The numbers will stand the test of time and if there is anybody who can scale down the colossal figures set by Indian captain, it will most likely be the man himself.
2017 – David Warner, Sunrisers Hyderabad
646 runs at 58.27
Not difficult to fathom as to why Warner is rated so highly in the IPL and why he is the vital cog in the Hyderabad side. Despite amassing 848 runs in the ninth IPL season, Warner fell 125 runs short of.. who else, but Kohli. However, southpaw smashed 646 runs the following year and won his second orange cap in the space of three years. Unfortunately for Sunrisers Hyderabad, they will be without their talismanic opener for the upcoming season as he serves the yearlong ban that was handed to him for his involvement in ball tampering scandal in the third Test in South Africa by Cricket Australia.
2018 — Kane Williamson, Sunrisers Hyderabad
735 runs at 52.50
Kane Williamson led the Sunrisers Hyderabad from the front after Warner had stepped down from the position due to the ball-tampering scandal that took place a month before the 2018 edition kicked off.
The New Zealand skipper was at his fluent best throughout the season, collecting 735 runs at an average of 52.50, slamming eight half-centuries along the way. His contributions with the bat, along with vital performances from the bowling unit, helped the then-defending champions reach the final for a second season running, before they were vanquished by Chennai Super Kings.