Top Ten Contenders of ‘Orange Cap’ in the IPL 2019
From Shaun Marsh in IPL 2008 to Kane Williamson in 2018, a few of the foreign players have worn the Orange Cup in the Indian Premier League. Meanwhile, ahead of IPL 2019, the local Indian players will fight for the hat – for which they need to shine throughout the tournament. Though there have been players including Virat Kohli, David Warner and even Robin Uthappa who had won the Orange cap in IPL before; the youngsters, this time, could well be in line to bag the coveted prize.
1. Virat Kohli (Royal Challengers Bangalore)
Is there anything Virat Kohli cannot do on a cricket field? He is the best batsman in the world by a distance, and his numbers are only getting better with each passing day. Coming to the IPL, Kohli is one of the most successful players, piling up 4948 runs in 163 matches with four hundreds (which Virat hit in one season itself) and has a strike rate of 130.76. Though the RCB captain had won the Orange cap in the past, he is due to lift the IPL trophy since the inception of it.
Meanwhile, the right-handed batsman is in top form and can well win the Orange Cap for the second time in his career. If it happens, RCB might just put their hands on the coveted title in IPL 2019.
2. Suresh Raina (Chennai Super Kings)
The most successful IPL batsman, Suresh Raina will be among the contenders for the Orange cap in IPL 2019. Since 2008, Raina had featured in almost every match his franchise has played. Be it for Chennai Super Kings and Gujarat Lions; the left-handed batsman has been a top-performer. Though much like Rohit Sharma, Raina also hadn’t bagged the Orange Cap in the past but had been among the top scorers.
He likes to bat at one drop, and if he gets more chances under his belt, Raina will make the most of it. In the past 11 seasons, he had scored 4985 runs in 176 matches at a strike rate of 138.43.
3. KL Rahul (Kings XI Punjab)
The star batsman of last year’s IPL, KL Rahul is very much in line to bag the Orange cap in IPL 2019. Though the year hasn’t begun on the best of notes – be it with the bat or his off filed controversy, KL will all but want to come good for Punjab.
Since he had been around for a while now, it was in 2018 when he struck gold – rendered himself fit for international cricket across formats. His strokeplay was as pleasing to the eyes as any in the recent past. However, he might have done well with that bat, KL failed to guide his team to the playoffs.
Meanwhile, he is yet to achieve daddy numbers in the Indian Premier League. So far, he has played 53 matches and scored 1384 runs at a strike rate of 139.38.
4. Ab de Villiers (Royal Challengers Bangalore)
Ab de Villiers has to be on the list, didn’t he? Yes, he had retired a few months back from international cricket and had not won an Orange Cap in the IPL before; he still stays as a strong contender to bag it in IPL 2019. He’s ageing, but it doesn’t hamper his game. Despite not playing regular cricket, the former Protean still can score most number of runs in a single season of IPL.
In the Indian Premier League, de Villiers had fared well more often than not – scoring 3953 runs in 141 matches. He has three centuries to his name at a strike rate of 150.94.
5. Shane Watson (Chennai Super Kings)
Former Australia all-rounder, Shane Watson. For Chennai Super Kings in IPL 2018, he stood as the difference in the finale against SRH – scoring an unbeaten hundred and helping CSK lift the title for the record third time. The right-handed batsman has been active in franchise cricketing; playing in the BBL, PSL and even CPL.
Since he bats at the opening slot, Watson would have a higher probability of going for the Orange cap than the others. Meanwhile, looking at his IPL numbers, anyone would believe why is he on the list. In 117 matches, Watson has 3177 runs with four tons at a strike rate of 141.2.
6. Rohit Sharma (Mumbai Indians)
The best T20 batsman for India, Rohit Sharma cannot help but be on the list. His international numbers are too much for anyone not to think the Mumbai captain will win the Orange cap. Though he didn’t fare well in IPL 2018, the right-handed batsman could well hit the purple patch, and pile runs at will this time around.
Surprisingly, notwithstanding his reputation as the top-order batsman in world cricket, Rohit is yet to win the Orange cap in the IPL. Meanwhile, looking at the current setup of the MI franchise, the skipper could break the ice in IPL 2019.
His numbers in the Indian Premier League are also proof of his credentials. In 173 IPL matches, Rohit has 4493 runs at a strike rate of 131.03.
7. Quinton de Kock (Mumbai Indians)
The South Africa opener in limited-overs cricket, Quinton de Kock could surprise everyone with his batting prowess in IPL 2019. His current form has been all but exceptional – he scored a hundred against Pakistan in Jo’burg Test and hit twin fifties against Sri Lanka in the Durban Test. With the bat in hand, de Kock has been fluent ever since; thus giving himself a chance of winning the Orange Cap in IPL 2019.
In his brief IPL career, Quinton de Kock has scored 927 runs in 37 games at a strike rate of 130.38. This time, the Protean will ply his trade for Mumbai Indians.
8. Chris Gayle (Kings XI Punjab)
The list would look incomplete without the greatest T20 batsman, Chris Gayle on it. On paper, he’s old, but ask his bat, it isn’t ready to rest. Aged 39; perhaps playing his last IPL season too, Chris remains in line to win the Orange Cap in IPL 2019. Though when he last won it, Virender Sehwag was part of the India team, and Rohit Sharma hadn’t hit a double hundred in ODIs.
Meanwhile, if anyone doubts Gayle could aim for it, go and look at his numbers against England in his returning ODI. Not only he notched his 24th ODI ton, but he also smashed 12 massive sixes. For Kings XI Punjab, he could play a vital role this season too.
However, his numbers in the IPL are enough to keep him in consideration. In 112 IPL games, Gayle has 3994 runs with six centuries and a strike rate of 150.72.
9. Rishabh Pant (Delhi Capitals)
Rishabh Pant fell short of winning the Orange Cap last year despite scoring 684 runs. Every shot he played seemed to go past the ropes, but his best wasn’t enough; as Kane Williamson grabbed the honours by hitting 735 runs. One year later, the Delhi Capitals batsman looks all set to take the IPL 2019 by storm.
So far, Pant has played 38 IPL matches, scoring 1248 runs at a whopping strike rate of 162.71. Meanwhile, if given a chance to bat up the order, Rishabh could surely topple anyone to win the Orange Cap in the upcoming edition.
10. Shreyas Iyer (Delhi Capitals)
The Delhi Capitals captain, Shreyas Iyer could be one of the star performers in the forthcoming IPL. Lately, he created a record for scoring most runs by an Indian in a T20 match. He registered 147 (55) against Sikkhim in Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy – hitting 15 sixes. Given his recent run-of-form, the Mumbai batsman could win the Orange Cap in IPL 2019.
Last year, after Gautam Gambhir stepped aside as the skipper of Delhi, the responsibility fell on the shoulders of Iyer. Though he failed to create an impact in 2018, Shreyas could help Delhi Capitals break the duck and go for glory this time. Meanwhile, in 46 matches, Iyer has hit 1218 runs at a strike rate of 129.85.