In the groove: Batsmen with best IPL averages
Strike rates are the most important metric for ranking batsmen in T20 cricket, but averages are significant nonetheless. If a team has all six or nothing batsmen, each one of them may hit a couple of sixes and then throw his wicket away, which would not lead the IPL franchise anywhere.
Without any cutoff, players like Adam Voges and Hashim Amla feature on the list, which would not be a fair representation as they have not played enough matches. Among batsmen having played a minimum of 50 IPL matches, here are the batsmen with best averages in the first 12 editions of the league:
Having won the Orange Cap in 2015, 2017 and the 2019 seasons of the IPL, SRH opener David Warner sits at the top of the list. Warner led Sunrisers Hyderabad to a title victory in 2016 and has been going from strength to strength.
The Hyderabad skipper has scored 4706 runs in 126 innings at an average of 43.17, including four hundreds and 44 fifties.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni
Expectedly, Mahendra Singh Dhoni is only behind Warner in the list. He is one of the few batsmen who can maintain both a superb average and strike rate. Once set, Dhoni hardly gets out, scoring at a quick clip at the same time.
The seasoned cricketer has scored 4432 runs in 170 innings at a brilliant average of 42.20 through his IPL career. Dhoni has also done a great job at leading CSK.
The Kings XI Punjab skipper KL Rahul has been a revelation in the IPL. Rahul is now one of the best T20 openers and is breathing down the neck of Shikhar Dhawan.
The stylish batsman has amassed 1977 runs from 58 IPL innings at an average of 42.06, striking at 138.15.
The West Indian T20 legend Chris Gayle just doesn’t hit the ball hard, he does it on a consistent basis. Over the years, Gayle has scored 4484 runs from 124 IPL innings at a commendable average of 41.13.
Gayle also has the highest Individual score of 175 not out in the tournament and features in the list of batsmen to have hit the most sixes as well.
AB de Villiers
At the fifth place in this list is Mr 360, AB de Villiers. From 142 IPL innings, de Villiers has scored 4395 runs at an average of 39.95 and has played some breathtaking knocks for RCB alongside Virat Kohli.
The Protea has three IPL hundreds and 33 fifties.