The Indian Premier League (IPL) has been a breeding ground for young talent and a platform for seasoned veterans to showcase their skills. Since its inception in 2008, the IPL has been the biggest cricketing extravaganza in the world, attracting the best players from around the globe. Over the years, many players have made their mark in the IPL, entertaining fans with their batting, bowling, and fielding prowess. In this blog, we’ll take a look at 5 players who have been a constant presence in the IPL since its inception in 2008.
Number 1. Shikhar Dhawan
Shikhar Dhawan, the swashbuckling Indian opener, made his IPL debut back in 2008 for the Delhi Daredevils. The southpaw from Delhi had already made a name for himself in domestic cricket and was eager to make a mark on the big stage.
Dhawan started his IPL journey with a bang, scoring 50 runs off just 33 balls in his very first match against Rajasthan Royals. He followed it up with another solid inning of 34 runs against Chennai Super Kings. Throughout the season, he played some crucial innings and showed his potential as a future star. He scored a total of 340 runs in the season at an impressive strike rate of 123.64, with four half-centuries to his name.
Apart from his batting, Dhawan also showcased his brilliance in the field, taking some stunning catches and affecting a couple of run-outs. His electric presence on the field was a testament to his fitness and agility, making him an all-around package for his team.
Number 2. Dinesh Karthik
Dinesh Karthik, one of the most consistent wicketkeeper-batsmen in Indian cricket, had a modest start to his IPL career in 2008. He was a part of the Delhi Daredevils squad (now known as Delhi Capitals) and was expected to play a crucial role in their campaign.
However, Karthik had a slow start to the tournament, scoring just 145 runs in 13 innings at an average of 18.12. He failed to make any significant contribution with the bat and was even dropped from the team for a few matches.
Despite his struggles with the bat, Karthik was impeccable behind the stumps. He took 8 catches and effected 6 stumpings in the tournament, showcasing his sharp wicketkeeping skills.
Karthik’s performances in the first season of IPL may have been underwhelming, but he has come a long way since then. He has become one of the most sought-after wicketkeeper-batsmen in the league, with a knack for scoring quick runs in the middle order and pulling off stunning catches and stumpings behind the stumps. His journey in the IPL serves as a testament to his determination and hard work.
Number 3. Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli, the Indian cricket team captain and one of the most successful batsmen in modern cricket, had a modest start to his IPL career in 2008. Kohli was just 19 years old when he was signed up by the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) for the inaugural season of the IPL.
Kohli played his first IPL match against Kolkata Knight Riders on April 18, 2008. Batting at No. 4, he scored just one run off five balls before being dismissed by Ashok Dinda. In his second match against Rajasthan Royals, he again failed to impress, scoring just 8 runs off 9 balls.
However, Kohli’s fortunes turned in RCB’s third match against Kings XI Punjab, where he scored a crucial 38 off 29 balls, including four boundaries and a six. He followed it up with a gritty knock of 24 off 22 balls against Chennai Super Kings, helping RCB win their second match of the season.
Overall, Kohli scored 165 runs in 12 matches at an average of 15 and a strike rate of 105. He had a forgettable season in terms of individual performances, but it was just the beginning of what was to become a stellar IPL career for him.
Number 4. Rohit Sharma
Rohit Sharma, popularly known as “Hitman” in the cricketing world, has been a consistent performer in the Indian Premier League (IPL) since its inception in 2008. The stylish right-handed batsman started his IPL career with the Deccan Chargers in the inaugural season of IPL.
In his debut season, Sharma played an instrumental role in helping his team lift the IPL trophy. Though he didn’t have a great start to the tournament, he scored only 11 runs in the first two matches. However, he bounced back in style and scored a crucial half-century against Kolkata Knight Riders in a must-win game for Deccan Chargers. Sharma’s innings helped his team qualify for the semifinals.
Sharma continued his good form in the semifinal against Delhi Daredevils, where he scored an unbeaten 36 off just 23 balls, helping his team reach the final. In the final against Royal Challengers Bangalore, Sharma played a pivotal role in the victory, scoring an unbeaten 50 off just 26 balls. His innings included five fours and two sixes and helped Deccan Chargers post a competitive total of 143/6.
Sharma’s brilliant performances in the first IPL season earned him the title of “Emerging Player of the Tournament.” His aggressive style of batting, coupled with his ability to score runs quickly, made him a valuable asset for his team in the years to come. Sharma’s success in the IPL led to his eventual appointment as the captain of the Mumbai Indians, a position he still holds today.
Number 5. Mahendra Singh Dhoni
Mahendra Singh Dhoni, popularly known as ‘Captain Cool’, is a household name in Indian cricket. He has been the backbone of the Indian cricket team for years and is considered one of the greatest captains of all time. However, Dhoni’s IPL journey began in 2008, with the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) franchise.
In his first-ever IPL season, Dhoni’s leadership skills were on full display as he led CSK to the final against the Rajasthan Royals. Although they lost the final, Dhoni’s performance as a captain and a batsman was highly impressive. He scored 414 runs in 16 matches at an average of 41.40 and a strike rate of 133.90, including three half-centuries. His calm and composed captaincy on the field earned him respect and admiration from fans and fellow cricketers alike.
Dhoni’s success in the first season of IPL was just the beginning of his illustrious career in the tournament. He went on to lead CSK to three IPL titles in 2010, 2011, and 2018, cementing his position as one of the most successful captains in IPL history. With over 4,800 runs and 215 dismissals in IPL, Dhoni’s contributions to the tournament are unmatched. His performances in the first season of IPL set the tone for what would be a legendary career in the tournament, making him a fan favorite and a true legend of the game.