Since the inception of the T20 cricket, it was unofficially declared as the batsmen's favourite format. The T20 cricket suited the batsmen more than the bowlers as it gives them the freedom to play shots of their choice without any hesitation. Many shots like a scoop, Upper-cut or short arm jab got wide popularity because of T20 cricket as players tried to get more innovative in the shortest format of the game.
The Indian Premier League is arguably the most famous domestic T20 league in the world with its wide reach and the involvement of star players. Right from the beginning of the league, it was evident that batsmen will rule the roost here. Brendon McCullum's powerful knock of 158 runs in the very first game of the league in 2008 was just the tip of the iceberg and an indication of the things to come in future. The famous league is now in its 12th edition and true to its nature, the batsmen continue to dominate the bowlers. In IPL, the player who finishes as the highest run-scorer in a particular season gets rewarded with the Orange Cap.
In the current season of IPL, the race for the Orange Cap is wide open, despite David Warner leading the charts with 517 runs. Warner's unavailability in the later stages might present a chance to other players to grab the top position. On the second spot is Warner's opening partner of Sunrisers Hyderabad Jonny Bairstow with 445 runs. In spite of having a dream IPL debut this season, the probability of Bairstow winning the Orange Cap is low as he is all set to leave the SRH camp after Chennai Super Kings clash of April 24 to concentrate on 2019 World Cup preparations. So, Bairstow's departure opens up the opportunity for other players to grab the prestigious cap.
Here is the list of players who might end up with the Orange Cap after the season concludes:
1. David Warner
The Australian southpaw is dominating the current season of IPL after completing the one-year ban due to the ball-tampering fiasco. He started the tournament from where he left in the 2017 season - when he last played in IPL and won the Orange Cap for scoring 641 runs. This year he is the table-topper with 517 runs, but he is expected to leave the tournament early for national team duty. Australia will start the World Cup preparation camp from May 2 and this means that Warner will leave the tournament at the end of this month, leaving the spot up for grabs.
2. Chris Gayle
The reputation which Jamaican power-hitter Chris Gayle holds in this format is unprecedented. From the start of this format, the Universe Boss is ruling the charts with his sheer power. Gayle is the only player to win the Orange Cap for two consecutive seasons and this year also he is a big contender to stake a claim for the cap. Right now, Gayle is third on the list of the batsmen with most runs this season with 421 runs in his kitty. Gayle will be available for the whole tournament that gives him the advantage over Warner to win the Orange cap for the record third time.
3. KL Rahul
Last year KL Rahul lost the Orange Cup to Kane Williamson by a close margin. However, this year he is in no mood to give up his opportunity to others. Rahul has been scoring runs consistently this season and has been rewarded with a spot in India's squad for the 2019 World Cup. Rahul has scored 399 runs this season at an average of 57 which also includes a century.
The Indian opener started the season on a slow note but he is gradually living up to the expectations. Since getting his midas touch back, Dhawan has been smashing every opposition that has crossed his path. After spending years with Sunrisers Hyderabad camp, Dhawan made a sweet homecoming to Delhi Capitals (old name Delhi Daredevils). Under the guidance of greats like Ricky Ponting and Sourav Ganguly, he made an impact with his bat as he has scored 401 runs in 11 matches with the strike rate of 137.32.