The seventh edition of the Indian Premier League came to a thrilling end yesterday with the Kolkata Knight Riders piping the Kings XI Punjab to the finish line to win their second title. Many players shone through the tournament. Lets have a look at who finds a place in our dream team:
Robin Uthappa (Kolkata Knight Riders) (wk): The UAE leg of the IPL was a mixed bag for this Karnataka lad, but he came into his own once the caravan landed in India and when he was asked to open the innings. He pulled off 10 consecutive scores of 40+ and ended up scoring scoring 660 runs in 16 matches. His good performance has also put him on the tour to Bangladesh and in the reckoning for the ODI team to England.
Dwayne Smith (Chennai Super Kings): He has been a revelation for CSK this season. After his switch from the Mumbai Indians, Smith put in a consistent performance this season forming a lethal combination with Brendon McCullum and Faf Du Plessis at the top of the order. With 566 runs and four wickets in 16 games, he proved to be more than handy in his first season for MS Dhoni's side.
Gautam Gambhir (Kolkata Knight Riders) (C): He had a topsy turvey IPL but his captaincy was on the mark. From the right bowlers to the right fielders at the right place, Gambhir was spot-on in every department. After only two wins in seven games, he inspired the Kolkata Knight Riders to win nine games in a row enroute to their second IPL title. He also played a part in their resurgence scoring three back-to-back fifties resulting in 335 runs from 16 games. Could be the ideal person to anchor the innings.
Inspite of his patchy form, Gautam Gambhir finds a place in our team due to his innovative captaincy
Glenn Maxwell (Kings XI Punjab): He set the IPL on fire in the UAE leg. He came close to scoring a hundred on four occasions (95, 89, 95 in UAE and 90 at Cuttack) but fell short on all four of them. Yet he was instrumental in giving the Kings XI the early momentum that was instrumental in their march to the final. Inspite of having a quiet bat towards the later stage, he still managed 552 runs in 16 games with a whopping 36 sixes.
Suresh Raina (Chennai Super Kings): He showed in the game against the Kings XI, what he can do in a T20 game. He will be instrumental towards the end of the innings as he is considered to be one of India's best finishers in the business. While eyes were on Dwyane Smith and Dhoni in the CSK line-up, Raina quietly went about his job as he scored 523 runs in 16 games. He is the only player to score 400 or more runs in every IPL season.
AB de Villiers (Royal Challengers Bangalore): There cannot be a better finisher to an innings than this man. He can unsettle the best in the business through his wide array of strokes (Ask Dale Steyn!). He may not have guided his team to the playoffs but has played more than handy knocks in this edition of the IPL scoring 395 runs in 14 games.
AB de Villiers is one of the best finishers in the game and a brilliant fielder as well
Shakib Al Hasan (Kolkata Knight Riders): A bowling all-rounder is a must in a T20 format and Shakib fits the bill perfectly. He can tonk the ball towards the end of the innings and can also send down four miserly overs with a couple of wickets as well. This is evident from the 227 runs and 11 wickets in the 13 games that he played in this season of the IPL.
Ravindra Jadeja (Chennai Super Kings): Jadeja had a pretty decent IPL with 146 runs and 19 wickets in the 16 games he played. He could very well pass off as one of the best fielders in the side along with Maxwell and AB De Villiers and will be handy if he saves a few runs in the infield during the powerplay and on the boundary at the death.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar (Sunrisers Hyderabad): The best Indian pacer this IPL by a distance. Bhuvi picked wickets with the new ball with his banana swing and returned to bowl pinpoint yorkers during the death overs. His 20 wickets in 14 games at an economy of 6.65 are remarkable for a pace bowler.
Mohit Sharma (Chennai Super Kings): The purple cap holder bowled well in this edition of the IPL. With 23 wickets in 16 games, he has a remarkable control over his slower ball, though he may tend to get predictable at times. He can still keep things tight at the start which helps him find a place in the team.
Sunil Narine (Kolkata Knight Riders): Now, no team is complete without this man for sure. Though he had a forgettable final, Narine has still managed to entrap batsmen in the cobwebs of his mystery spin. With 21 wickets in 16 games he was the second highest wicket taker this season.
Sunil Narine has been the second highest wicket taker this season
12th Man: Akshar Patel (Kings XI Punjab): Clearly one of the finds of the season for the Kings XI Punjab. The emerging player of the year bowled remarkably well throughout the tournament, especially during the second qualifier and in the final. With 17 wickets in as many games at an economy of 6.13, he finds himself on the plane to Bangladesh as well.
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