The Indian Premier League is undoubtedly one of the most dynamic and thrilling cricket tournaments across the globe. It is the most awaited sports tournament in India and there are a number of very valid reasons for the same. The Indian Premier League globalized the T20 format to the world, way before it was cool and it is the prime reason why the shortest format of the game is gradually turning into the highest grossing format as well.
But what is it about the IPL that makes it so attractive to the masses? Well to be precise, it is the big sixes, high scores and quirkiness of IPL that has turned it into a global spectacle.
We can thus assume that a lot of IPL’s fame is associated with its players and thus, the BCCI makes sure that they reward the players heavily due to their brilliant performances in a season. The Orange cap and Purple cap awards were created keeping the same notion in mind.
As we all know, the 2022 season of the Indian Premier League is going to be one of a kind. For the first time there has been a permanent inclusion of two new franchises (Lucknow, Ahmedabad) and it has heightened the excitement of the competition tenfolds.
In this article, we shall be talking about 5 Players who can win the Orange cap award in IPL 2022.
1. Ruturaj Gaikwad – It will be only logical to start the list with the Orange cap winner of last season, i.e, IPL 2021. Ruturaj Gaikwad was simply phenomenal last season in both the phases – in India and UAE. He was undoubtedly the best player of Chennai Super Kings and also one of the key factors that led them to victory.
In IPL 2021, he was the highest run-scorer with 635 runs in 16 matches. His highest score was 101*. With a strike rate of 136.26, he averaged 45.35 runs. Ruturaj was equally brilliant in IPL 2020 as well which was his debut season. He scored 204 runs in 6 matches in IPL 2020. The fact that Ruturaj Gaikwad won the IPL orange cap in his very second season speaks loads about what a bright future the youngster has in store. As of now, Ruturaj is just 24 years old as of today. He is the youngest player to have ever won the Orange cap award.
Ruturaj’s performance in the Syed Mushtaq Ali trophy was also very impressive. Although he did not have a great performance with the national team due to lack of opportunities, he was very active in domestic cricket and there is no reason not to believe that he will not repeat the performances from last season in IPL 2022 as well. Gaikwad has been retained by CSK for 6 crores.
2. Virat Kohli – Not adding RCB captain Virat Kohli in this list, will be an act of crime. Jokes apart, it is not unknown that Virat Kohli is the highest run scorer in the history of IPL. He is a modern day legend as arguably the best players in the world when it comes to the shortest format of the game.
Virat Kohli won the Orange cap award in the year 2016 and he broke many records that season, In IPL 2016, Kohli scored 973 runs which is till date the highest runs scored by an individual player in a single IPL season. And it will probably never be broken again as no other batsman till date has even gone close to that number.
Virat scored 405 runs in IPL 2021 and 466 runs in IPL 2020. Although his numbers have gone considerably down since IPL 2016, you can never write him off. Afterall he is probably the best talent to have played the game after the legendary Sachin Tendulkar. Moreover, Virat is slowly returning in his original form. We could see sparks of it in the India vs South Africa series.
3. KL Rahul – KL Rahul has undoubtedly been the best and the most consistent performers in the Indian Premier League over the past few years. He won the orange cap award in IPL 2020. That year, he scored 670 runs in 14 matches.
His performances in the last 4 seasons have been nothing but commendable as he has consistently stayed around the 600 runs mark. He scored 659 runs in IPL 2018, 593 runs in IPL 2019, and 626 runs in IPL 2021. As we can see, he has remained in the top 3 positions of the highest run scorers in every season since IPL 2018 and he is thus a strong contender to win the orange cap award in IPL 2022.
KL Rahul has been drafted for 17 crores by the new franchise Lucknow SuperGiants ahead of IPL 2022 and he will be their captain.
4. David Warner – David Warner might have had his worst seasons ever in IPL 2021 but when it comes to Orange cap awards, there is no batsman better than David Warner. Warner has won the Orange cap award thrice in his career – in IPL 2015, 2017 and 2019. He scored 562, 641 and 692 runs in those seasons respectively.
However, it is true that he has not at all done well in the last two seasons, especially in IPL 2021. Last season, he scored 195 runs in 8 matches. In IPL 2020, he scored 548 runs in 16 matches which is good but not up to his standards. His best performance came in IPL 2016 where he scored 848 runs in 17 matches.
Warner is slowly getting back in form though. He was the man of the tournament in the 2021 T20 World Cup and he might very well come back with a bang in IPL 2022. He is yet to find a team and will be one of the hottest prospects in the Mega auction.
5. Faf du Plessis – Faf du Plessis was the second highest run-scorer in IPL 2022. He was beaten by his fellow teammate Ruturaj Gaikwad to win the orange cap award by just 2 runs, but it did not matter as their side Chennai Super Kings won the IPL trophy.
Faf du Plessis scored 633 runs in IPL 2021 and was a key player who led CSK to victory last season. 2021 was also Faf du Plessis’ best IPL season ever.
Chennai Super Kings let go of Faf du Plessis ahead of IPL 2022 as they could retain only 4 players but the former South African captain is a strong contender to win the orange cap award this season as he has been in red hot form in the last few seasons.