Chennai Super Kings luminaries MS Dhoni and Suresh Raina have been a driving force of the franchise since the inaugural edition of Indian Premier League (IPL). MS Dhoni, a veteran wicketkeeper-batsman, who also leads the side, has won CSK many matches with the bat and led them to title victories in 2010, 2011 and 2018 editions. Meanwhile, Suresh Raina is the second-highest run-scorer in IPL history and is only behind Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) captain Virat Kohli in an illustrious list.
Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) star Mandeep Singh is set to reprise his role in the now-postponed IPL 2020 season. The right-handed batsman previously represented RCB before re-joining KXIP in IPL 2019 for his second stint with the Punjab-based unit. The 28-year old was recently involved in an Instagram Live session with CricTracker where he was asked to pick his top five IPL batsmen of all time. Without wasting much time, Mandeep Singh named David Warner, Andre Russell and his former RCB teammates Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers and Chris Gayle.
While he named Indian and RCB skipper Virat Kohli in his list, it came as a surprise to many fans that Mandeep Singh excluded the likes of CSK’s star-performers MS Dhoni and Suresh Raina. Both MS Dhoni and Suresh Raina boast of impressive IPL records. In the all-time highest run-scorers list across all IPL seasons, MS Dhoni is co-incidentally at his favourite number, i.e. 7 with 4,432 runs in 170 innings at an average of 42.20.
Apart from his finishing abilities in the middle and lower order, MS Dhoni also provides additional benefits with his charismatic leadership and exuberant wicketkeeping skills. Suresh Raina, on the other hand, has scored 5,368 runs in 189 innings at an average of 33.34 and is one of the most consistent batsman in the history of the tournament.
Four out of Mandeep Singh’s top five batsmen, namely Virat Kohli, Chris Gayle, AB de Villiers and David Warner also feature in the list of top 10 highest run-aggregators across all IPL’s. Kolkata Knight Riders all-rounder Andre Russell is the only cricketer from Mandeep Singh’s top picks, who do not feature among the leading scorers. However, the West Indian T20 heavyweight makes it up with an exceptional strike-rate of 186.41.