The Indian Premier League (IPL) grabbed the attention of the masses in its very first game in the 2008 edition. The main reason behind it was the performance of a certain opener, Brendon McCullum. The former Kiwi skipper scored a monumental unbeaten 158 while playing for the Kolkata Knight Riders in the inaugural edition of the IPL. That knock of his against the Royal Challengers Bangalore on the 18th of April 2008 set the tone for what was to follow over the next decade.

From then on, the excitement for any IPL game remains high, and it highlights the importance of the impact openers (sometimes the opening pair itself) have on not just a T20 game but also the entire tournament. IPL has given us many big names; unsurprisingly, many are openers. They are the ones who can make a truckload of runs most often than the batters coming down the batting order.

So most batting records are held by the Openers, which is obvious to those who followed the game closely. At the same time, not everyone succeeded in that role, and only those who could adapt to different conditions prevailed.

Here are 10 of the Top batsman in the history of the IPL based on their longevity and the number of runs they have accumulated at that coveted position.

Most Runs as Openers in IPL

BATSMANRUNS AS OPENERSINNSAVERAGESTRIKE RATE50s/100s
Shikhar Dhawan636220235.54128.1147/2
David Warner591016339.93140.8156/4
Chris Gayle448012241.87151.428/6
Virat Kohli435211345.81138.3731/8
KL Rahul41839948.63136.9235/4
Faf Du Plessis380211037.27138.3033/0
Ajinkya Rahane368412533.18122.2224/2
Gautham Gambhir359712332.12124.8534/0
Quinton De Kock315710731.25134.2223/2
Jos Buttler30037841.70149.6218/7

The above field shows the top-10 IPL aggregates of batsmen who paying as an opener in their IPL careers for different teams. Here we can see some of the big names in the cricketing world.

Key insights from the above table

5587 – Shikhar Dhawan, one of India’s great white-ball ODI players in history, sits pretty at the top as the top run-getter in IPL as an opening batsman. The left-hander, now leading the Punjab Kings side in the 2023 IPL, has consistently performed in the league and has rarely failed in this hugely competitive tournament. He could occupy the top spot for more years as the players behind the veteran are getting younger, too. His great numbers surely make him an IPL legend.

175 – It is the highest individual score ever made in the IPL (check the top ten here) and belongs to the Universe boss Chris Gayle. The legendary West Indies opener is a pioneer in T20 cricket, and this knock of 175 while playing for the Royal Challengers Bangalore will forever be written in the folklore of amazing IPL stories over the years to come. This decade-long standing IPL record of Chris Gayle may never be broken, and it will take a monumental effort from some batter to even get close to the mark.

6 – Chris Gayle once again holds the record for scoring the most number of centuries as an opener in IPL history (check the players with 3 or more IPL centuries here), and this is also the most by any batter in the entire IPL. Former Indian skipper Virat Kohli & current England white-ball captain Jos Buttler scored 5 centuries as openers in IPL cricket and came in 2nd place.

4 – The number of centuries Virat Kohli and Jos Buttler scored in a single season of IPL as an opener. While the champion Indian batsman Kohli created this feat in the 2016 edition of IPL, Jos Buttler equaled the tremendous milestone by scoring 4 tons in the 2022 IPL season. In a coincidence, their respective teams, RCB & RR, ended up runner-up in the season.

52.26 – KL Rahul has the best average among the openers in the IPL, having scored over 2000 runs. The Lucknow Super Giants skipper has been a run machine for the IPL and has scored over 3000 runs in just 75 innings with a decent enough strike rate of 138.88. Rahul has also smashed 4 centuries in his growing IPL career, and it might not be a surprise if he ends up the top run-getter in this already great list.

50 – David Warner is the only player to score 50 half-centuries as an opener in IPL cricket. The Aussie legend and the current Delhi Capitals skipper is arguably the best-ever overseas batter to play the IPL, having already won 3 orange caps in his glittering IPL career. He is the 3rd most run-getter in the league with 5937 runs, and this is the most by any overseas batter in the IPL.

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0 – Gautam Gambhir and Faf Du Plessis are the only players in this coveted list not to have scored a single century as an opener in the IPL. Both of them have not made any centuries in the league. Faf is leading the RCB side in this year’s IPL and has a chance to correct this record, while on the other hand, Gambhir is long retired from professional cricket. Find out the 10 players with most IPL runs without scoring a century.

This list surprises us with the names of underrated IPL players like Ajinkya Rahane, Faf du Plessis, and Quinton de Kock popping. This list could significantly change with the trio still playing in the coming days. And players like Jos Buttler, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Shubman Gill, and Ishan Kishan can still disturb this list in the years to come if they stay consistent.

Relevant Read: Most Runs in Powerplay Overs in IPL

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