IPL 2017 will be back this April, and I can’t wait for India’s favourite carnival to grace our television screens. Personally, I’ll be rooting for Mumbai Indians but being a sports journalist, I understand the importance of having an unbiased outlook while selecting a dream team.
So here are the 11 people I would pick from the all the sides.
Rohit Sharma can provide early fireworks and has played some match winning innings for Mumbai Indians and scored a total of 3,847 runs at an impressive average of 33.68 which is great by T20 standards.
Chris Gayle’s ability to hit hard can single-handedly dismantle the opposition team. He has played some memorable knocks for RCB, including his 175 in 66 balls against Pune Warriors.
With a head as cool as a cucumber, and a ravenous hunger for runs, Virat Kohli is the perfect No. 3 batsman who can be relied on when an opener gets out cheaply. He also holds the record for scoring most runs across all seasons.
AB De Villiers
One of the most exciting batsman to watch, AB De Villiers can hit some unbelievable shots that make you wonder whether he is human at all. He has a superb average of 39.24 which speaks volumes about his class.
Suresh Raina has been one of the most dependable batsman in IPL and totally murders bowlers on flat tracks which offers little assistance to bowlers. No wonder he is the second highest run-getter in IPL history with 4098 runs.
MS Dhoni (wk&c)
MS Dhoni’s record as a captain in IPL is impeccable, and even though he has been robbed of his captainship by Rising Pune Supergiants, I’d still pick him to lead my dream team. You don’t reach six finals out of nine tournaments, and win two of them without having a sharp T20 brain.
As an all-rounder, Ben Stokes is a complete package and even though he hasn’t featured IPL before, I’m picking him up on the basis of his 14 cr price tag and his ability to contribute with both the bat and the ball.
Not only is Ravindra Jadeja a superb spinner who can take key wickets, he is also a handy batsman down the order. Having him in the side gives a lot of flexibility to the captain, and I am confident that he will shine in this year’s IPL too.
R Ashwin is rightfully India’s finest spinner, and even though he can go for runs on rare occasions, he still instills fear in the mind of a batsman with his smart variations and the unpredictable carom ball.
Nobody balls yorkers better than Lasith Malinga, and even though he is an ageing fast bowler, I will still rely on him to pick up early wickets and bowl cheaply during the death overs.
Ashish Nehra’s comeback as a T20 specialist has been nothing short of a miracle, and I am sure he will form a potent partnership with Lasith Malinga to stifle the opposition’s attack.