MS Dhoni © IANS
MS Dhoni is the most successful captain in IPL history © IANS

The Indian Premier League (IPL) has seen some terrific performers over the years, from Lasith Malinga and Chris Gayle to AB de Villiers and Glenn Maxwell. However, what about those IPL veterans who have done consistently well since the first IPL? Shiamak Unwalla looks at the top 10 players who have been excellent since IPL 1.

1. MS Dhoni — Chennai Super Kings (CSK): From being the most successful captain in IPL history to enjoying an overall IPL average of over 40, MS Dhoni is certainly among the most successful players ever to don the yellow jersey of CSK. He has averaged under 30 only once in 2012 —29.83 to be precise! Read: Chennai Super Kings in IPL 2015 Preview

2. Suresh Raina — Chennai Super Kings (CSK): The leading Indian run-scorer in all T20 cricket, Suresh Raina is also the leading run-scorer in IPL history. With 3,325 runs — and over 400 runs in every season — Raina has never had a “bad” season of IPL. His least successful edition saw him score his runs at an average of 25.94, but even there his strike rate was an appreciable 135.69. Read: Chennai Super Kings in IPL 2015 Statistical Preview

3. Dinesh Karthik — Mumbai Indians (MI), Kings XI Punjab (KXIP), Delhi Daredevils (DD): Dinesh Karthik has not quite been the potent force in IPL that his price tag over the last couple of years would suggest. Now with RCB, Karthik will want to replicate his efforts of 2013, after which he made a (brief) comeback to the national side. Read: Kolkata Knight Riders in IPL 2015 Preview

4. Harbhajan Singh — Mumbai Indians (MI): Harbhajan Singh remains one of Mumbai’s main performers, having played for them since 2008. Unfortunately, he could only feature in three matches in IPL 1 after which he was banned due to the Slap-gate incident. Since then though, he has done well. Harbhajan is not much of a wicket-taker, but rarely goes at over seven runs an over.

5. Rohit Sharma — Deccan Chargers (DC), Mumbai Indians (MI): Rohit started his career with Deccan Chargers, and was the sole bright spot for them in an otherwise horrendous season. He has done consistently well since. He has averaged over 30 in all but two seasons, and is one of the few Indians to have scored a century.  IPL 2015 Auction: Full list of players unsold for IPL 8

6. Virender Sehwag — Delhi Daredevils (DD), Kings XI Punjab (KXIP): One of the most endearing sights of IPL 2014 was watching Virender Sehwag beam after scoring a century against CSK to win the qualifier, and later nonchalantly remarking that “the talent was always there.” Sehwag has scored his runs at a strike rate of under 140 in only one edition of IPL, and currently enjoys a strike rate of over 157, while averaging close to 30 as well.

7. Gautam Gambhir — Delhi Daredevils (DD), Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR): If Sehwag was all about scoring fast, Gautam Gambhir embodied the scrapper-like attitude that made him one of the most successful openers in the world for a couple of years. He had a tough start to IPL 2014, getting out for a duck for the first few games, but then came back to form and ultimately led KKR to their second win.

8. Shikhar Dhawan — Delhi Daredevils (DD), Mumbai Indians (MI), Deccan Chargers (DC), Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH): Dhawan went through two years without much success in 2009-2010, but has done consistently well for his franchises before and since.

9. Amit Mishra — Delhi Daredevils (DD), Deccan Chargers (DC), Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH): The man to have taken the most hat-tricks in IPL history, Amit Mishra remains a force to be reckoned with in IPL. Apart from being one of the most successful bowlers, he also has the distinction of having taken a five-wicket haul as well as three hat-tricks.

10. Virat Kohli — Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB): One of the few players to have played for the same franchise in every single edition of IPL since its inception, Virat Kohli has risen through the ranks to lead RCB. He did not do much as a youngster in IPL 1, but did well subsequently, averaging over 45 in two editions of IPL. He had an off season with the bat in 2014, but will be keen to set the record straight this time around.

(Shiamak Unwalla, a reporter with CricketCountry, is a self-confessed Sci-Fi geek and Cricket fanatic. His Twitter handle is @ShiamakUnwalla)