As the 14th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) looms large, we looked back at the Top 10 best knocks played in the IPL history.
Over 13 seasons, the IPL has witnessed some of the greatest innings played in the history of T20 cricket. Year by year, players from India and abroad have taken their game to another level and have enthralled us with some amazing knocks in the toughest T20 league.
With the IPL throwing up innings of such great quality at a remarkable frequency, it becomes difficult for each of them to remain fresh in public memories. Yet, there are knocks that are unforgettable still for many fans, who were fortunate to see them live from the ground or through any other medium.
These are batting performances that make-up our Top 10 best knocks in IPL history, featuring innings of great magnitude, quality in different circumstances.
Top 10 Best Knocks in Indian Premier League (IPL) history (minimum 100 runs)
1. Top 10 Best IPL Knocks – Brendon McCullum 158* versus RCB in IPL 2008
Everyone remembers Brendon McCullum’s stellar knock of 158 not out in the opening match of the inaugural IPL season back in 2008 against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB). The New Zealander blazed his willow to all parts of the M Chinnaswamy stadium and launched the IPL wonderfully.
McCullum’s 73-ball innings saw him smash the RCB attack for 10 fours and 13 sixes. It was a knock glint with breathtaking strokeplay and not only helped KKR get off to a winning start but also raised the IPL as a concept in the imagination of cricket lovers from around the globe. That knock alone makes McCullum one of the league’s greatest contributors.
2. Top 10 Best IPL Knocks – Chris Gayle 175* vs PW in IPL 2013
West Indies great Chris Gayle’s amazing knock of 175 not out in an IPL 2013 match against the now-disbanded Pune Warriors (PW) remains fresh in memories for the sheer dominance. The ‘Gayle storm’ hit Warriors so hard that day at the Chinnaswamy that they never managed to recover from it.
Gayle’s knock, which adds to his legacy as one of T20’s biggest entertainers and legends, saw him hit a whopping 17 maximums through his 66-ball stay and had 13 fours included. That was one of the very best batting efforts in the IPL from former Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) talisman.
3. Top 10 Best IPL Knocks – AB de Villiers 133* vs MI in IPL 2015
How could AB de Villiers not find a place for himself in this list. The great South African batsman has been one of the legends of IPL cricket. De Villiers boasts of an amazing record to his name in the league, with 4,849 runs at an average of 40.40 and strike-rate of 151.90.
De Villiers has made three hundreds in his 169-match IPL career, one of which absolutely destroyed the Mumbai Indians (MI) attack back in IPL 2015 at the Wankhede Stadium. De Villiers made an unbeaten 133 runs off just 59 balls, including 19 fours and 4 sixes, in an amazing exhibition of T20 batting.
4. Top 10 Best IPL Knocks – Rishabh Pant 128* vs SRH in IPL 2018
The 2018 edition of the IPL saw Rishabh Pant play one of his best innings as he smashed a well-recognised Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) attack for 128 runs unbeaten off just 63 balls. The young left-hand batsman was absolutely brilliant on the night for Delhi Daredevils (now Delhi Capitals).
Pant’s innings, which only enhanced his reputation as one of the most promising young batters and dangerous strikers of the cricket ball, saw him hit 15 fours and 7 maximums during a stay of 63 balls at the crease. That stellar effort is remembered best for Pant taking a liking for whatever the SRH attack threw at him, including the bowling of experienced paceman Bhuvneshwar Kumar.
5. Top 10 Best IPL knocks – Virat Kohli 109 vs GL in IPL 2016
RCB captain Virat Kohli scored four hundreds in the 2016 edition of the IPL. Overall, Kohli made 973 runs from his 16 innings of that season with an average of 81.08 and strike-rate of 152.03. Kohli’s record-breaking season saw him score his maiden T20 century and then back it up with three more scores past the 100-run mark.
It may be so easy to forget this innings as it coincided with a century from De Villiers but Kohli’s 109 versus the now-disbanded Gujarat Lions (GL) was a knock filled with some class strokeplay and boundaries to all parts of the ground.
As he usually does, Kohli did take a little bit of time settling down but once he went about accelerating, he batted like a man possessed. There was no bowler able to stop the great batsman when he went about trying to hit the fours and the sixes.
6. Top 10 Best IPL Knocks – Murali Vijay 127 vs RR in IPL 2010
Murali Vijay, the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) batsman, is also part of this lift for his yet memorable knock of 127 against Rajasthan Royals (RR) in the 2010 edition of the IPL. Vijay, known more for his Test match exploits for India with his classy batsmanship, batted like a proper T20 maverick that day at Chepauk.
Vijay smashed 8 fours and 11 sixes during his 56-ball innings in a high-scoring encounter. This remains one of only two hundreds that the Tamil Nadu and India batsman has scored in the IPL history but certainly one that he can look back with fond memories. When Vijay gets going, there are few who could stop him.
7. Top 10 Best IPL Knocks – Ajinkya Rahane 105* vs DC in IPL 2019
Ajinkya Rahane may not be known for his T20 prowess but on his day, he can produce knocks that force you to take notice. The amazing thing about the knock which we’ve chosen from him in this list is how underacknowledged it is. Rahane, playing for Rajasthan Royals (RR) then, was under a lot of pressure because of his form and overall sedate approach to T20 batting.
However, in a league fixture in Jaipur against Delhi Capitals (DC), he smashed 105 runs off 63 balls, including 11 fours and 3 sixes. Those who watched that knock closely are evidence of the quality of Rahane’s effort as it came against the likes of Kagiso Rabada bowling in full steam. Rahane is considered so much of a better limited-overs batsman when the ball comes on to the bat and on a quick track in Jaipur, he vindicated that theory about him.
8. Top 10 Best IPL Knocks – Shane Watson 117* vs SRH in IPL 2018
Australian all-rounder Shane Watson helped Chennai Super Kings (CSK) clinch the final of the 2018 edition of the IPL with a superlative knock of 117 not out against Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH). Watson’s fantastic innings is etched in memories for the slow start he had and the amazing pick-up in his strike-rate thereafter.
Watson batted watchfully against SRH’s new-ball weapon Bhuvneshwar Kumar and then targetted the others in a very sensible and tactically strong batting effort. His knock was glint with 11 fours and 8 sixes as he took CSK to their third title in the IPL history.
9. Top 10 Best IPL Knocks – David Warner 126 vs KKR in IPL 2017
David Warner, the Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) captain, is one of the legends of IPL cricket. The explosive left-hand batsman has made 5,254 runs from his 142 IPL matches at an average of 42.71 while maintaining a strike-rate of 141.54.
Warner’s IPL career tally includes four hundreds, one of which he made in the league’s 2017 edition against two-time winners Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in Hyderabad.
Warner simply dominated the KKR attack that day and scored 126 runs off just 59 balls, including 10 fours and 8 sixes. It was a befitting example of why Warner is rated as one of the most dangerous power-hitters in the world game.
10. Top 10 Best IPL Knocks – Wriddhiman Saha 115 vs KKR in IPL 2014
The final of the 2014 edition of the IPL saw one of the rarely talked about but still among the best T20 knocks in the league’s history as it came from the willow of Wriddhiman Saha. Playing for Kings XI Punjab (KXIP), the wicketkeeper-batsman rocked the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) attack that evening.
Saha smashed an unbeaten 115 off 55 deliveries, including 10 fours and 8 sixes. It was a fantastic display of batsmanship from another very underrated player. Saha wasn’t at all fazed by the magnitude of the occasion or the pressure that comes with it. He batted incredibly well through his 55-ball effort at the M Chinnaswamy stadium.