By Jatin Sharma
Some players in the IPL have not only won matches and titles but have also won hearts of the fans as well. Their records apart, they make fans go crazy whenever they come out to bat or bowl, or simply step onto the field.
Here are 10 such current IPL players who are extremely fan favorites:
The Indian captain in limited-overs has been a crowd favorite ever since he won the World T20 in 2007 and then took his IPL team into the finals in the inaugural year of 2008. He then went on to win the IPL title back-to-back in 2010 and 2011. Since then he has been the Chennai crowds’ biggest fan. They are behind their captain, whether his team wins or not.
Suresh Raina, who was one of Dhoni’s premier players in Chennai Super Kings, is also a big fan favorite. His ability to get on with the game from ball one and win matches from near-impossible situations has made not only the Chennai crowd, but wherever he plays, go “Raaaina…Raaaina…”
AB de Villiers
AB de Villiers has made himself a huge fan favorite not only because of astonishing cricket shots and brilliant fielding, but also due to his affable nature. He spends time with crowds; signs autograph and has a chit-chat, always with a smile. He is someone who fans of any team respect and cheer for.
Chris Gayle is The Man. He is someone who brings life and fun into the game. His game speaks for his, especially his ability to send the ball into the orbit with ease and he is also a guy who loves to live the life to the fullest. You can checkout his Instagram and Facebook accounts and you will come to know why the fans come to see him bat.
Dwayne Bravo is another West Indian character who has a lot of fan-following, no matter which team he plays for. One of the most talented players in the world, Bravo is also known for his dancing celebrations and his champion’s dance at the 2016 WT20 and his performance during the opening ceremony of IPL 9 just increased his fan base the world over.
Indian ODI vice-captain and Test captain Virat Kohli might be a hot-headed fella during his initial years and who can forget the “middle finger” act in Australia. But by his hard work and consistent batting performances, he has one of the biggest fan bases in India. He comes in second after MS Dhoni in having the most fans in the IPL and his exploits outside the ground too endear him to his fans.
Indian opener and Mumbai Indians captain Rohit Sharma may be thought of as one of the most talented players in the world. For his dedicated fans, his inconsistent record in recent times does not matter as they are fiercely loyal to him. The number of Rohit fan pages on Facebook outnumber the fan pages for any other player and his loyal fans fight it out on the social media platform if anything negative is written about him.
The former New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum got instant fame the moment he blasted the magnificent 158* in the very first match of the IPL way back in 2008. From then on, cricket watchers have been attracted to him like an iron to a magnet, thanks to his daredevil batting and innovative captaincy. His IPL record is stellar and his sportsmanship just makes the fans like him more than anybody else.
Mitchell Starc may not be available for this year’s IPL due to an injury, but his exploits in the previous IPL has made him a fan favorite just because he can bowl extremely fast and give it back to the best of the best in a format which favors the batsmen. His fans are surely missing him this season. Hopefully they will see him in action the next season
Yuvraj Singh’s IPL record may not be very impressive, but people still want to see him play and repeat the “six sixes in six balls” feat once more before he hangs his gloves. After his brilliant performance in World Cup 2011 and his battle with cancer, his fan base has not only increased, but became increasingly loyal and it has motivated him to come back stronger than ever.