The Indian Premier League (IPL) was inaugurated in 2008 and since then the tournament has seen immense rise in popularity and brand value. The IPL has witnessed plenty of superstars in world cricket light up the stage. From Virat Kohli to AB de Villiers to Lasith Malinga to MS Dhoni to Sunil Narine, have treated the fans with memorable performances over the years.
Today we will be talking about batters who have done well in the IPL. As you know batters are judged on two parameters – batting average and batting strike rate. Strike rate means how fast the batter is scoring while batting averages show us how consistent they are. To judge the best batters, a combination of both these parameters should be taken into account. But we're not judging the best batters here so let's talk about the players with the best batting averages in the IPL.
Since we need a good enough sample size, we have set a criteria of a minimum of 2000 runs in the IPL to come up with this list.
KL Rahul (2013-present)
It's no surprise that KL Rahul is at the top of this list of players with the best batting averages in the IPL. The Indian batter has been the most consistent batter in the league. His early years weren't great as he was still young but since 2016, he has amassed runs for fun.
KL Rahul has 4044 runs in the IPL to date at a batting average of 47.02. He strikes at 135 and has scored four hundreds and 32 fifties. He has represented Sunrisers Hyderabad, Royal Challengers Bangalore and Punjab Kings in the past while currently leading Lucknow Super Giants. Since 2018, Rahul has piled on 590 or more runs in each of the previous five seasons.
David Warner (2009-present)
Australia's David Warner occupies the second spot on the list of best batting averages. He has been part of the IPL since 2009 and has etched his name in history as one of the greatest players the league has seen.
A young hard-hitting batter joined the then Delhi Daredevils before moving to Sunrisers Hyderabad in 2013. Warner had a very mixed stint with SRH, where he led the side to an IPL trophy once but was involved in mud-slinging in 2021. He returned to Delhi Capitals in 2022.
Warner has amassed 6109 runs in the IPL from 167 innings at 42.13 average and 139 strike rate. He has registered four hundreds and 58 fifties in the league.
Shaun Marsh (2008-2017)
Shaun Marsh is third on the list of players with the best batting average in the IPL. The Australian batter was a key part of Kings XI Punjab during the early years of the tournament. He played nine seasons for the franchise from 2008 to 2017. Marsh was a mainstay on the side till 2013 but did not get many opportunities afterwards.
Marsh ended up with an outstanding record in the league, scoring 2477 runs at an average of 39.95 and strike rate of 133.74. He registered 20 fifties and a hundred in his time in the IPL.
Jos Buttler (2016-present)
England's T20 World Cup-winning captain occupies the fourth spot on this list. Jos Buttler has built a legacy as one of the best limited-overs players of all time. Buttler started with Mumbai Indians in 2016 and 2017 before Rajasthan Royals secured him. Moving to the top of the order was a huge turning point in T20 cricket for Buttler and he hasn't looked back.
Buttler is one of the most impactful batters in the league and is in a league of his own when it comes to opening. He has scored over 3000 runs in the IPL, averaging 39.93 at a strike rate of 150.54. Buttler has smashed five centuries and 18 half-centuries in the tournament's history.
JP Duminy (2009-2018)
Jean Paul Duminy sits at fifth position on the list of all-time best batting averages in the IPL. He has had quite an underrated career in T20 cricket whether at international level or in the Indian Premier League. Duminy played for Mumbai Indians in 2009 and 2010 before moving to Deccan Chargers for the next two seasons. He had three very good editions for the then Delhi Daredevils from 2014 to 2016.
Overall, the South African batter scored 2029 runs from 77 innings at an average of 39.78 while striking at 124. Duminy recorded 20 half centuries in his IPL career.
Chris Gayle (2009-2021)
Chris Gayle is next on the chart of the best batting averages in the league. One of the greatest players in the history of T20 cricket, Gayle has done incredibly well in the IPL despite going through several ups and downs.
Gayle played for Kolkata Knight Riders in 2009-10 but was dropped ahead of the 2011 season and he went unsold in the player auction. Royal Challengers Bangalore brought him in as a replacement and he had a season that still remains unmatchable. Gayle scored 608 runs at 67.6 average and 183 strike rate. He amassed over 700 runs in each of the next two seasons as well. Gayle also represented Punjab Kings in the last few editions of his career.
Gayle scored 4965 runs in IPL from 141 innings at a batting average of 39.72 and strike rate of 148.96. The Jamaican superstar registered six hundreds and 39 fifties in his IPL career.
AB de Villiers (2008-2021)
Seventh on the list of best batting averages in IPL is none other than ‘Mr 360' AB de Villiers. One of the greatest players to ever step on the cricket field, de Villiers excelled in the IPL like no other. He represented Delhi Daredevils in the first three seasons of the league before Royal Challengers Bangalore acquired his services.
It is at RCB where ABD achieved the legendary status, often carrying the entire batting line-up on his back. The Protea maestro finished his career as one of the greatest players in the IPL. He amassed 5162 runs from 170 innings at an average of 39.70 while striking at 151.68. De Villiers recorded three hundreds and 40 fifties during his time in the IPL.
MS Dhoni (2008-present)
Talking about the batting averages and MS Dhoni not there? How could it be! One of the greatest finishers the game has ever seen, Dhoni has led Chennai Super Kings with his sharp cricketing brain and with his willow. He has won CSK countless matches with his finishing at the back end and he continues to give hope to millions of his fans even now.
Dhoni, who led CSK to four IPL trophies, has scored over 5000 runs in the league at a batting average of 39.34 while striking at 135.77. He recorded 24 half centuries in the IPL but more than that, has played countless crucial cameos at the end to take his side over the line.
David Miller (2012-present)
‘The Killer Miller' was a nickname coined after David Miller produced an insane knock against Royal Challengers Bangalore in 2013. He smashed a brutal 101 not-out in just 38 balls to take Kings XI Punjab over the line while chasing 191.
Miller was excellent for Punjab in early years before having a string of bad years for Punjab and Rajasthan Royals. He found his mojo back at Gujarat Titans last year and is amongst the best middle order batters going around.
Miller averages 37.51 at a strike rate of 137.89, having made over 2500 runs.
Virat Kohli (2008-present)
Occupying the 10th spot on the list of best batting averages is none other than Virat Kohli. The Indian superstar is the leading run-getter in the history of the IPL. Kohli has produced some very impactful seasons for Royal Challengers Bangalore, which is the only franchise he has represented.
Kohli amassed 973 runs in IPL 2016, averaging 81 at a strike rate of 152. It remains the highest-scoring season by a player. Overall, Kohli has over 6800 runs in the league at an average of 36.59 while striking at 129.67. He has registered five hundreds and 47 fifties in the Indian Premier League.