By Jaideep Varma and Jatin Thakkar
In the four IPL seasons before this one, in the 300-odd matches before 2012 dawned, there were plenty of high impact performances that made the careers of many players, even for events outside of the IPL (including those involving national duty).
Here are the ten highest impact players in the history of IPL before this season. It is interesting that there is only one Indian on the list of 5 highest impact players in IPL history. Amongst the next 5 highest impact players, there are four Indians. So, altogether, only half of the ten highest impact players are Indians.
1. Shane Watson (IPL IMPACT 3.71)
One of the 3 genuine all-rounders (both Batting and Bowling IMPACT over 1) on this list, besides Yusuf Pathan and Chris Gayle. Has the lowest failure rate (the percentage of times he failed to cross an IMPACT of 1) in the history of the IPL – therefore, the most consistent payer in this particular universe. A tournament-defining player.
2. Chris Gayle (3.24)
The 2nd-highest impact batsman in the IPL has also been an all-rounder (his Bowling IMPACT just crosses 1). Has the highest Strike Rate and Chasing IMPACT numbers in IPL history. A low failure rate – which is truly remarkable given his other attributes. Not been a tournament-defining performer, otherwise has been quite the miracle player for RCB.
3. Shaun Marsh (3.02)
The highest impact batsman in IPL history – with the highest Runs Tally IMPACT amongst all the batsmen (proportion of runs made in the match) as well as highest Partnership Building IMPACT. The only single-skill player on this list - a significant fact. However, not a big match player yet (for which KXIP also needs to bear the blame as a team).
4. Suresh Raina (2.97)
The highest impact Indian player in IPL history. Amongst the 5 highest impact batsmen with 2 tournament-defining performances – the highest in the IPL. Perhaps the biggest reason for CSK’s dominance in this tournament.
5. Adam Gilchrist (2.96)
Even though Sangakkara and Rayudu have a higher batting impact than him amongst wicketkeepers, Gilchrist is the highest impact wicketkeeper-batsman in a tournament context, given his Captaincy IMPACT and the tournament-defining performance he has given. Has the 2nd-lowest failure rate as a player in the IPL.
6. Kumar Sangakkara (2.87)
The highest impact batsman amongst all wicketkeepers when it comes to absorbing pressure (Pressure IMPACT) – his hallmark as a player in other formats too. The 11th-highest impact batsman in IPL history but he has not been a tournament-defining player (again, the two teams he played for bear that blame too).
7. MS Dhoni (2.86)
The highest impact captain in the IPL and the 3rd-highest impact batsman amongst wicketkeepers. Tournament-defining player for CSK.
8. Yusuf Pathan (2.81)
The only genuine all-rounder on this list after Watson and Gayle (on a technicality). The fourth-highest when it comes to Strike Rate IMPACT with a surprisingly low failure rate as a player. Has been a tournament-defining player for RR (in 2008).
9. Sachin Tendulkar (2.79)
Almost only the second player on this list with a single skill (had a small impact with the ball and slightly more as captain). Amongst the 5 highest impact batsmen in IPL history – and also specifically in these batting parameters - accumulating runs (Runs Tally IMPACT), absorbing pressure (Pressure IMPACT), building partnerships (Partnership Building IMPACT) and low failure rate as a batsman (denoting consistency). Has not been a tournament-defining player though.
10. Ambati Rayudu (2.75)
Perhaps the biggest surprise on this list – the only player who has not played for his country. The highest impact batsman amongst all wicketkeepers in the IPL, thanks primarily to a low batting failure rate. Yet to produce a tournament-defining performance though.
For more information, please go to www.impactindexcricket.com.