This time, I’m talking about individual players. We know that ‘Baap’ means father, but which player is the Baap of the IPL?
Who is the Baap of the IPL?
The overall Baap of the IPL is MS Dhoni. According to most Indian cricket followers, Dhoni is the player most deserving of this award.
He’s been involved in the IPL since the start and his quality is another reason for his inclusion.
Why is Dhoni known as the Baap of the IPL?
There are a number of reasons why MS Dhoni is known as the Baap of the IPL. Firstly, he’s been involved in every single edition from 2008 to 2022. At the end of the 2022 Indian Premier League, he also held the record for number of appearances, having played in 234 games.
Dhoni has been very loyal to the Chennai Super Kings. Apart from the two years when CSK were suspended, this has been his only team. When we include his great leadership and his finishing qualities as a batter, few would argue that MSD is the all-round Baap.
Baap of IPL Captains – Rohit Sharma
While MS Dhoni is seen as the overall father of the IPL, there are other ‘Baaps’ in separate categories. In terms of captaincy, the general opinion is that Rohit Sharma deserves the award.
Mumbai Indians are the most successful team in the history of the Indian Premier League with five titles between 2013 and 2020. Rohit has been in charge of the team across all of those wins so he’s the skipper with the most IPL trophies behind him.
He is second in the list of most games won as a captain with only MS Dhoni ahead of him. He’s clearly been a great leader and that’s why Rohit Sharma is the Baap of IPL captains.
Baap of Batting – Virat Kohli
He already heads the list of leading run scorers in the IPL and Virat Kohli has more time to add to his total. He’s also set a number of Indian Premier League batting records and that’s why he’s considered to be the Baap in this category.
In the 2016 edition of the IPL, Kohli came so close to becoming the only man to score 1,000 runs in a season. His final total of 973 remains a record for a single edition.
The former Indian skipper is also third on the list for scores of 50 or more in the tournament. He’s second only to Chris Gayle on the list of centuries: Gayle has six to Kohli’s five so this is another record that is within his reach.
On the back of that brilliant 2016 season and his consistency with the bat since 2008, Virat Kohli is surely the undisputed Baap of IPL batting.
Baap of Bowling – Jasprit Bumrah
He’s a more recent addition to the Indian Premier League, but Jasprit Bumrah has achieved a lot in a short period of time. Bumrah made his debut for Mumbai Indians in the 2013 IPL but, by the end of the 2022 edition, he had already taken 145 wickets in 120 games.
That haul currently puts Bumrah in the top ten of leading wicket takers in the competition. That’s a significant achievement for someone who didn’t play in the first five editions of the IPL and he will continue to climb that list in the years that follow.
Jasprit Bumrah’s best figures of 5/10 are also the best for anyone inside that top ten. He has exceptional averages and economy rates and, while it’s still fairly early days in his career, I would say that he has definitely earned the title of the Baap of bowling.
Baap of Consistency – Shikhar Dhawan
Consistency means delivering high quality performances every time and that’s why many say that Shikhar Dhawan has been the Baap in this category. He has moved around the franchises and, after featuring for Delhi in 2022, the left hander has now played for four different teams.
Dhawan has been effective for all of his franchises and he’s second only to Virat Kohli in the list of all-time leading IPL run scorers. He also set an impressive batting record in 2020 as the first man to score two consecutive centuries in the competition.
He’s made 49 scores of over 50 so far and, while he may be nearing the end of his career, he has some time left to climb the list. Who knows – if Virat Kohli has a quiet tournament, Dhawan may even finish the 2023 IPL as the overall leading run scorer.
That may be an unlikely scenario, but many big scores across his Indian Premier League career make Shikhar Dhawan the Baap of consistency.
This list is open to some debate. Some supporters will have different views, but this is what the majority have decided. MS Dhoni is one of the most popular cricketers in the game and it’s easy to see why he’s considered to be the overall ‘Baap’.
MSD could have also had a claim to the captaincy Baap. He’s led some successful Chennai Super Kings sides, but he cannot quite match the achievements of Rohit Sharma at the Mumbai Indians.
It’s also hard to argue with the theory that Virat Kohli is the Baap of IPL batting. He is the leading run scorer and he had that incredible 973-run season in 2016.
The other names are, perhaps a little more debatable but Shikhar Dhawan has undoubtedly been consistent, and I’m fairly certain that Jasprit Bumrah will be the all-time IPL leading wicket taker by the time he finishes his career.