The 12th edition of IPL will begin in four days time with Chennai Super Kings taking on Royal Challengers Bangalore at the MA Chidambaram stadium. Each team will bring their A-game to get their hands on the IPL trophy, and apart from the teams even individuals are likely to come out all guns blazing in order to grab the spotlight with the World Cup close as it is.
In terms of individual performances, Team India skipper Virat Kohli currently stands peerless. King Kohli's record of 973 runs in the 2016 IPL season is as-yet unbeaten, but here's a list of star batsmen who will most certainly try:
1. David Warner: The Australian had led Sunrisers Hyderabad to an IPL victory in 2016. He is a destructive left-handed opening batsman who can take the game away from the opposition in no time. Warner could not play last year's IPL due to the infamous ball-tampering incident which shocked the Cricket world. He is sure to be back in action this year and will be hungry for redemption. He has won the Orange Cap twice in 2015 and 2017. Therefore, Warner can give Kohli a run for his money this season.
2. Steve Smith: Just like his Australian team-mate Warner, Steven Smith will be looking to make an impact in this year's IPL. Smith will be back in Rajasthan colours after three seasons. He was not selected last year as due to the ball-tampering incident which also involved Warner. Smith had led the now-defunct Rising Pune Supergiant to the final in 2017 where they went down to Mumbai Indians in a thriller. Smith also had a great season as a batsman then as he had scored 472 runs from 15 games.
3. AB DeVilliers: The stylish South African athlete is one of the most loved entertainers around the globe. He can not only bat in his unique style but can also take catches out of nowhere. The 'Superman' of World Cricket has all the ingredients to outscore his RCB skipper. 'Mr.360' has never won an Orange Cap and this might be his best chance make a statement.
4. Chris Gayle: The explosive West-Indian opener is a delight to watch. The 'Úniverse Boss' always makes an impact wherever he goes. He plays franchise Cricket all over the world and never fails to bring the fans on their feet. Gayle has won the Orange Cap twice in 2011 and 2012. Therefore, even the two-time World T20 winner can compete against Kohli. The duo were in RCB till 2017 before Gayle was released last season and was bought by Kings XI Punjab whom he will be representing this season as well.
5. Rishabh Pant: All eyes will be on this dashing youngster from Delhi. He has had an impressive IPL since the last two seasons. The wicket-keeper batsman had a very good IPL last year where he had scored 684 runs in the 14 games that he had played. He has got the batting abilities which are suitable for T20 cricket. Even young Rishabh can give a tough competition to his Virat 'Bhaiya'.
6. Ambati Rayadu: This right-handed middle-order batsman has the ability to fire at will. He had an excellent season last year and played a huge role in Chennai's triumph. He scored 602 runs in all the 16 games that he played. Even this year, he will be hoping that his bat does the talking so that his team can reach even greater heights.
7. Robin Uthappa: Uthappa comes in a different zone during IPL. He has been a great asset for Kolkata Knight Riders since 2014. In his debut season for KKR, he was a chief architect their second IPL victory. He had also won the Orange Cap in that season where he had scored 660 runs in all the 16 matches that he played.
8. Rohit Sharma: Last but not least, Virat's Indian team-mate can also challenge the King's supremacy in this edition of IPL. Both are also compared with each other while they represent their country. Rohit Sharma has won the IPL title four times and three of those wins have come as a captain. The Mumbai Indians skipper does not have an Orange Cap and would definitely like to add one to his collection.