The glitz, glamour, and talent on show in the IPL are unparalleled in T20 cricket. It has also been a powerful platform for Indian cricketers to flourish and accelerate their progress into the Indian Cricket team - Suresh Raina returned to the Indian team after an impressive inaugural IPL season, and the Pandya brothers have a large part of their success owing to the IPL.
The top seven run-getters of the IPL are unsurprisingly Indians with Suresh Raina, Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma occupying the top 3 spots. However, there have been a few foreign batsmen who have consistently made a mark in the IPL and have translated that success for their national teams as well.
Without further ado, let's look at the top-scorers from foreign countries in the IPL.
#5 Brendon McCullum: 2880 runs in 109 innings
Brendon McCullum announced the IPL in style, with a mammoth 158* in the inaugural match of the tournament in 2008. McCullum has always had an aggressive batting style, hence there was never really any doubt about the impact McCullum would have on the tournament and he has not disappointed in the last decade.
2880 runs in 109 innings at a strike rate of 131.74 reflects the immense contribution of the Kiwi batsman in the IPL. He has played for KKR, Kochi Tuskers Kerala, CSK, Gujarat Lions and RCB and won the tourney in 2012 with KKR.
Sadly, it may have been the last that we've seen of McCullum in the IPL after going unsold in the 2019 IPL auction. He has given fans numerous memories to cherish, and he will always be heralded as one of the IPL greats.
#4 Shane Watson: 3177 runs in 113 innings
Shane Watson had been injured for a long time when Rajasthan Royals drafted him into the side in the first IPL auction, without too much hope pinned on him. Fast forward to 1 June 2008, Rajasthan Royals were crowned champions and Watson grabbed the Player of the Series trophy. It was the tournament that propelled Watson into the forefront of T20 cricket.
Shane Watson scored 472 runs and bagged 17 wickets in what ended as a dream inaugural season. He ended up being picked again in the Australian squad in 2008 and went on to become a premier opener for his national team.
Watson's IPL record speaks for itself - 3177 runs in 113 innings at a strike rate of 141.20. He has been a lethal player for every side he's played. He won the Player of the Tournament award again in 2013, scoring an impressive 543 runs at a strike rate of 142.
His IPL stints have formed the foundation for an extremely successful international T20 career, from which he retired in 2016, ranked as the world's No. 1 all-rounder. Watson also played a key role in CSK's title win in 2018.
#3 AB de Villiers: 3953 runs in 129 innings
RCB bought AB de Villiers for 5.6 crores in IPL season four. In retrospect, that buy has probably been the steal of the IPL so far. AB de Villiers has been an absolute revelation in the tournament. In fact, he is so loved by fans all over India that his name has been chanted in India vs South Africa games in India.
Also known as Mr. 360, AB de Villiers is hailed as one of the best batsmen in the modern era. In the IPL, he has destroyed teams so often with his brilliant batting which can also be inferred from his statistics.
He has scored 3953 runs in 129 innings at a staggering strike rate of 150.93 and scored 3 hundreds in the process. It is disappointing that he has not been able to win an IPL so far, but he definitely has engraved his name in the IPL history books. AB de Villiers retired from international cricket in May last year and hence, we may witness de Villiers for the full campaign this season.
#2 Chris Gayle: 3994 runs in 111 innings
Chris Gayle was brought into the RCB setup as a replacement for Dirk Nannes midway through the fourth season of the IPL, and thereon he has become the face of explosive batting in T20 cricket.
Gayle struck two centuries in his first season with RCB before which he had scored one with KKR as well. Since then, he has been one of the leading run scorers in almost every season and also broke the first-class record for the fastest hundred (30 balls) with his impossible 175* off 66 balls against Pune Warriors in 2013.
He has scored 3994 runs in 111 innings at an explosive strike rate of 150.73. Gayle is a batsman who became synonymous with the hardest hitter of the cricket ball, and this can be asserted by the statistic that he has scored a mind-boggling 292 sixes in his IPL career.
He moved to Kings XI Punjab last year and will sport their colors again this year. Gayle's batting records will be very difficult to emulate in the IPL and he may be remembered as the most explosive batsman ever in T20 cricket once he hangs up his boots.
#1 David Warner: 4014 runs in 114 innings
David Warner is the highest run-scorer among foreign batsman in the IPL. He has featured in 9 seasons of the IPL between 2009 and 2017, and has been an instrumental figure in Sunrisers Hyderabad's success in recent seasons.
While Warner is well-known for his belligerent batting attitude, the improvement in his consistency must be lauded, both in the IPL and for Australia. Warner has scored 4014 runs in 114 innings, and a majority of those runs have come since 2015. He ended with the Orange Cap in 2015 and 2017, and finished second in 2016 with his highest season total of 848 runs helping his team lift the trophy.
Warner was involved in the ball-tampering scandal in 2018 due to which he was suspended from the IPL as well. His absence was felt though, and the team will be thankful that he will be back at the helm in 2019. With a few more years of cricket left in him, Warner will end up as an IPL legend with more runs under his belt.