IPL is undoubtedly one of the best tournaments in the world. The league keeps giving us players who go on to shine on the world stage. Players have often represented multiple franchises through the course of the league.
We at StumpsandBails bring to you team-wise the best IPL player across the 13 editions of the IPL:
#8 Rajasthan Royals (Shane Watson)
Shane Watson was surprisingly ignored in the first draft of player auctions in IPL 2008. But better sense prevailed and the owners of Rajasthan Royals chose to punt on Watson in the second round. Shane Watson amassed 450 plus runs and picked up crucial wickets right through the tournament. He went on to justify the faith shown by helping the RR franchise win the inaugural IPL and also won the Man of the Series award in the process.
#7 Chennai Super Kings (Mahendra Singh Dhoni)
MS Dhoni is IPL’s most sought after player. He is the single largest brand of the franchise. Dhoni was picked up by CSK in IPL 2008 for INR 6 crores which back then was the highest price paid to a player. But Dhoni has justified every ounce of the money spent on him. He won the side 3 IPL titles, became their much-revered son. Dhoni not just Ranchi on the India map, he reignited Chennai’s love for cricket.
#6 Kings XI Punjab (KL Rahul)
Kings XI Punjab bought KL Rahul in IPL 2018 player auctions for INR 11 crores. But the move paid off instantly for KXIP. As Rahul emerged the top scorer for the team in 3 consecutive seasons. He has scored more than 575 runs in the last 3 seasons of the IPL. Rahul has even led the mercurial KXIP side with dignity. KL Rahul has appointed as the captain in 2020 thanks to his consistent showing in the last 2 seasons for the franchise. He is here to stay.
#5 Kolkata Knight Riders (Gautam Gambhir)
Gautam Gambhir was acquired by KKR in 2011 for a whopping INR 11 crores. The KKR team was in disarray before Gambhir walked into the setup. He was appointed the captain and he led KKR to playoffs every time for four straight years. KKR won the title twice in 3 years under the outstanding captaincy of Gautam Gambhir. It was KKR’s golden run and Gambhir was Kolkata’s adopted son. Sunil Narine and Andre Russell may contest for KKR’s best player tag, but the fact that they blossomed under Gambhir’s leadership is another feather in Gambhir’s cap.
#4 Royal Challengers Bangalore (Virat Kohli)
It won’t be wrong to say that Virat Kohli is Royal Challengers Bangalore. The RCB franchise continues to enjoy massive fanfare thanks to its iconic leader, Kohli. He hasn’t played for any other team in the history of the IPL. He has scored the most runs for the team and in the league as well. RCB’s brand value is synonymous with Virat Kohli. And Kohli we all know is a legend!
#3 Sunrisers Hyderabad (David Warner)
David Warner defines the Hyderabad, SRH franchise. He was picked up in the 2014 IPL auctions for a decent sum of INR 5.5 crores. But if you look at it now, then the SRH management did place their best bet on him. Warner has been an instrumental figure for SRH. He has led the team from the front and managed to bring home the cup in 2016. You will find it hard to come across a strong player and team combination than Warner-SRH.
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#2 Delhi Capitals (Rishabh Pant)
Delhi Capitals started investing in youth post-Rahul Dravid came in as the team’s mentor. The move paid huge dividends as the likes of Shreyas Iyer, Prithvi Shaw, and Rishabh Pant flourished for DC. Pant was bought for a miserly sum of INR 1.9 crores after his exploits at the U-19 level created a buzz. He is easily one of the better T20 batsmen not just in India but in the world. For the last 3 seasons, Pant has been scoring heavily for the Capitals. He is one of the members responsible for the resurgence of the Delhi side. Amit Mishra comes a close second to Pant in the pecking order for Delhi.
#1 Mumbai Indians (Rohit Sharma)
Mumbai Indians were the costliest team in the IPL. They were valued at INR 480 crores when the league started in 2008. But until 2013 the franchise did not have a single title to its name. Then entered a certain Rohit Gurunath Sharma who won MI 5 titles in 8 years. Sharma was bought by MI in IPL 2011 player auctions for INR 9.2 crores. Many critics questioned the move. But Sharma took to MI as fish takes to water. He was handed the captaincy of MI midway during the 2013 IPL and the rest as they say is history.