The Indian Premier League (IPL) has been a platform that has catapulted numerous cricketing talents into the limelight, showcasing exceptional skills and performances over its years of existence. Among the various accolades and recognitions within the IPL, the Orange Cap stands out as a prestigious symbol of batting excellence. Awarded to the highest run-scorer in a season, the Orange Cap has adorned the heads of some of the most illustrious batters in the cricketing world.
Iconic names as Orange Cap holders
From iconic names like Chris Gayle, who set the IPL ablaze with his explosive batting, to consistent performers like David Warner and Virat Kohli, who have repeatedly topped the run charts, each Orange Cap winner has left an indelible mark on the tournament. Notably, Warner is the only player to win the Orange Cap thrice (2015, 2017 and 2019) in the competition. Similarly, Kohli (7263) is the leading run-scorer in the history of the cash-rich league and the only player with over 7000 runs.
Beyond individual accolades, winning the Orange Cap is a testament to a player’s dedication, skill, and contribution to their team’s journey in the IPL. It serves as a reminder of the unforgettable batting displays and moments of brilliance that make the IPL a premier cricketing spectacle.
However, amidst the glittering array of stars who have claimed this honor, there exists a select group of players who, despite their exceptional talent and consistent performances, have never clinched the coveted Orange Cap. Let’s have a look at some remarkable cricketers who, despite their contributions to their respective teams, have remained elusive to this particular accolade throughout their IPL careers.
10 players who have etched their names into IPL history without donning the Orange Cap:
10) Faf du Plessis (CSK/RPS/RCB)
Faf du Plessis, the South African stalwart, has been a mainstay in the IPL since his debut in 2012. Known for his elegant stroke play and athleticism in the field, Du Plessis has been a consistent performer for the franchises he has played like Chennai Super Kings (CSK) Rising Pune Supergiant (RPS) and Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) being the current one.
Du Plessis has played crucial roles as an opener and in the middle order, contributing valuable runs under pressure. Despite his consistency and match-winning knocks, du Plessis has not managed to secure the Orange Cap, showcasing the tough competition in the IPL batting lineup. In the previous season, Du Plessis, with 730 runs reached really close but lost the race against Shubman Gill, who finished with 890 runs.
9) Gautam Gambhir (DC/KKR)
Gautam Gambhir, the former Indian opener and two-time IPL-winning captain with Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), was renowned for his grit and determination at the crease. Gambhir’s leadership and batting prowess played a pivotal role in KKR’s triumphs in 2012 and 2014.
As a batter, he was known for anchoring innings and scoring crucial runs in pressure situations. His contributions to Delhi Capitals (formerly Delhi Daredevils) and KKR have been significant over the years, but despite his consistency and leadership qualities, Gambhir never clinched the Orange Cap.
8) Ambati Rayudu (MI/CSK)
Ambati Rayudu, a versatile batter capable of playing both anchor and aggressive roles, has been a consistent performer in the IPL. Rayudu started his IPL journey with Mumbai Indians (MI) before becoming a vital cog in the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) lineup.
The former Indian cricketer has played numerous match-winning innings in the middle order, displaying his ability to accelerate the run rate when required. Despite his consistency and ability to play crucial innings, Rayudu has not won the Orange Cap, showcasing the competition among top-order batters in the IPL. In the 2018 season, Rayudu scored 602 runs but was overtaken by Kane Williamson (735), Rishabh Pant (684) and KL Rahul (659).
7) Ajinkya Rahane (RR/RPS/MI/KKR/DC/CSK)
Ajinkya Rahane, the Indian Test specialist, has been a part of various IPL franchises throughout his career. Rahane’s elegant stroke play and ability to anchor innings have made him a valuable asset in the IPL. He has represented Rajasthan Royals, Rising Pune Supergiant, Mumbai Indians, Kolkata Knight Riders, Delhi Capitals, and Chennai Super Kings.
Rahane’s consistency at the top of the order and ability to build partnerships have been commendable, but he has never won the Orange Cap despite his contributions to different teams. He did come close to the Orange Cap during 2015 season. Rahane scored 540 runs but Warner won the race with 562 runs.
6) Dinesh Karthik (DC/GL/KKR/PBKS/MI/RCB)
Dinesh Karthik, the wicketkeeper-batter known for his explosive batting and agile glovework, has been a consistent performer in the IPL. Karthik has represented several franchises over the years, including Delhi Capitals, Gujarat Lions, Kolkata Knight Riders, Punjab Kings, Mumbai Indians, and Royal Challengers Bangalore.
Karthik’s ability to finish games with his aggressive batting in the lower middle order has been crucial for various teams. Despite his versatility and ability to play match-winning innings, Karthik has not clinched the Orange Cap in the IPL. In the 2013 season, Karthik scored 510 runs but was quite behind with Michael Hussey, who bagged the Orange Cap with 733 runs.
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5) MS Dhoni (CSK/RPS)
MS Dhoni, the iconic figure in the cash-rich league and captain of Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Rising Pune Supergiant (RPS), is one of the most celebrated cricketers in IPL history. Known as “Captain Cool” for his calm demeanor under pressure, Dhoni’s leadership has been instrumental in CSK’s success in the tournament.
As a batter, Dhoni is renowned for his finishing abilities, often delivering match-winning performances with his powerful hitting in the death overs. Despite his consistent contributions with the bat and leading his team to multiple IPL titles, Dhoni has never clinched the Orange Cap, reflecting the depth of batting talent in the tournament.
4) AB de Villiers (DC/RCB)
AB de Villiers, the South African batting maestro, is widely regarded as one of the most innovative and destructive batters in modern cricket. De Villiers showcased his exceptional batting skills for Delhi Capitals (formerly Delhi Daredevils) and Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in the IPL. Known for his 360-degree stroke play and ability to hit boundaries at will, De Villiers has enthralled fans with his breathtaking performances.
Despite consistently being among the top run-scorers in the tournament and his ability to single-handedly change the course of a game, De Villiers has never secured the Orange Cap. The extraordinary batter scored 687 runs in the 2016 season but was outdone by his teammate and then RCB skipper Kohli, who amassed a massive 973 runs and won the Orange Cap.
3) Suresh Raina (CSK/GL)
Suresh Raina, fondly known as “Mr. IPL,” was one of the most consistent and prolific batter in IPL history. Raina was the integral part of Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and captained Gujarat Lions (GL), contributing significantly with the bat over the years. Known for his aggressive yet elegant batting style, Raina has amassed runs consistently in the middle order for his teams.
The former India cricketer is still part of the top 5 highest run-scorers in IPL history, showcasing his longevity and consistency in the tournament. Despite his remarkable achievements and being a vital cog in CSK’s success, Raina has never clinched the Orange Cap. He rocked the charts in 2010 and 2013 season but couldn’t win the prestigious cap.
2) Rohit Sharma (DC/MI)
Rohit Sharma, the elegant Indian opener and one of the most successful captain in IPL history with five titles for Mumbai Indians (MI), is known for his ability to score big runs at crucial junctures. Rohit’s captaincy and batting prowess have been pivotal in MI’s dominance in the tournament. As a batter, Rohit has displayed his ability to anchor innings and accelerate when needed, often delivering match-winning performances for his team.
Despite leading his team to numerous IPL triumphs and being among the leading run-scorers in the tournament, Rohit has never won the Orange Cap, highlighting the competitive nature of the IPL. He is only the fourth player in IPL history to have over 6000 runs. Rohit has 6211 runs to his credit in 243 matches with 42 half-centuries and a hundred.
1) Shikhar Dhawan (SRH/MI/DC/PBKS)
Shikhar Dhawan, the explosive left-handed opener, has been a consistent performer in the IPL for various franchises, including Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH), Mumbai Indians (MI), Delhi Capitals (DC), and Punjab Kings (PBKS). Dhawan’s ability to provide aggressive starts at the top of the order and build crucial partnerships has been instrumental for his teams.
The left-handed batter has consistently been among the top run-scorers in the tournament but has never managed to clinch the Orange Cap. Despite his remarkable consistency and impactful performances, Dhawan’s quest for the Orange Cap continues, symbolizing the competitive nature of batting in the IPL. In the 2020 season, Dhawan managed to amass 618 runs but was outdone by KL Rahul, who ended up scoring 670 runs and bag the Orange Cap.