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The best eleven

Patriot picks the team of IPL this season, listing the best 11 players from the tournament

The Indian Premier has now reached its final stages with the playoffs in progress. In the past few weeks, in the group stages, there were 56 matches played by the eight teams. Like every year there have been the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. And amidst all this there have been some players that have stood out from the rest.

Patriot lists the best XI from the group stage of this year’s IPL. However, this team is being made strictly on the basis of IPL rules, which means that there will only be four overseas players in the side, even though there have been more players that could easily make the cut in this team.

David Warner (Sunrisers Hyderabad)

For David Warner, this IPL was perhaps one of the biggest tests of his career. He was returning on the field, at such a huge world stage after serving his ban for the ball tampering incident vs South Africa last year. And boy, has he been sensational! The southpaw from down under has scored 692 runs from 12 matches, with a mind-blowing average of 69.2. Warner has scored a staggering eight half centuries and a hundred in just 12 innings, meaning that he has failed to cross the 50-run mark just thrice this year.

He deservedly leads the race for the orange cap by a mile, and his explosive performances have helped him get back into the Australian side for this year’s world cup.

KL Rahul (Kings XI Punjab)

Like Warner, Rahul too was coming to this IPL on the back of a huge controversy that was the Koffee with Karan fiasco. But the man from Karnataka came in strongly and was the shining light in a disappointing campaign for the Kings. Having scored 593 runs at an average of 53.9- with six 50’s and a century. Rahul sits second on the orange cap list, and in our side, he will act as a perfect foil for the swashbuckling Warner, and the two will make a dangerous opening combination

Shreyas Iyer (Delhi Capitals)

While Shikhar Dhawan and Prithvi Shaw have been firing all cylinders for the resurgent Delhi Capitals this season, it has been the stability that the right hander has provided in the middle that has proved valuable for the resurgent team from Delhi. In this side, he will provide that stability with the big hitters coming in after him. Also, as a captain too he has been smart and sensible for his age, as he has guided a struggling side to the highs it has reached this season.

MS Dhoni (c & wk) (Chennai Super Kings)

CSK’s man for all seasons, the veteran wicketkeeper batsman has put an end to all questions surrounding his fall from grace with his superb run of form with the bat. Hitting 405 runs from 10 innings, he has scored at a mammoth average of 133.50. With so many last over finishes, Dhoni has once again proven his tag of the best ever finisher of the game.

We have placed him at number four, as he may take time to build his innings, and get going, and once he gets going, there is no stopping him.

Andre Russell (Kolkata Knight Riders)

KKR may have failed to bring smiles on their fans’ faces after a disappointing season, but the man that did bring joy was Andre Russell. Having come at the last five-six overs of the innings, Russell has been the top scorer for KKR and third in the running for the Orange Cap. But Russel’s biggest ability has been to hit the ball out of the park at will. He has hit 52 sixes this season, from just 14 matches (almost four sixes a match!) scoring 510 runs at a phenomenal strike rate of 204. Also, with his pacers, he can chip in with a few overs here and there.

Hardik Pandya (Mumbai Indians)

Mumbai Indians cricketer Hardik Pandya celebrates after scoring the winning runs during the 2019 Indian Premier League (IPL) Twenty20 cricket match between Mumbai Indians and Royal Challengers Bangalore at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on April 15, 2019. (Photo by Indranil MUKHERJEE / AFP) / IMAGE RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE – STRICTLY NO COMMERCIAL USE

If Russell has been smashing it to all parts of the park for KKR, then Pandya has done the same for MI. He has been the biggest impact player for the men in blue. Scoring 393 runs coming at number six, his strike rate has been a humongous 195. He is the perfect man to come in the last few overs and tonk it over the fielders’ heads. With the ball too, he has been handy, chipping in with wickets at crucial junctures of the match. He has picked 11 wickets this season. He is the perfect all round cricketer for this side.

Shreyas Gopal (Rajasthan Royals)

The find of the IPL this season has been Shreyas Gopal, the right arm leg spinner. He has picked up 20 wickets this season from 14 matches with a strike rate of 14.4. Among the Indians, Gopal has been the highest wicket taker this time around. Gopal, in fact has taken a hat trick vs RCB picking up the wickets of Virat kohli, AB De Villers and Marcus Stoinis. In fact, he has managed to get Virat and De Villiers out in both the matches between the two teams.

Khaleel Ahmed (Sunrisers Hyderabad)

Khaleel Ahmed failed to make the cut for the World Cup side, but he showed why this unknown quantity has represented India in the past. 19 wickets from just nine matches, the left arm quick can prove crucial in the powerplay with his angling action, and can also prove a handy customer at the death. This has been a huge boost in the limelight for this 22-year old.

Kagiso Rabada (Delhi Capitals)

Who is the best fast bowler in the world? The unanimous answer would be Kagiso Rabada. The man from South Africa has been absolutely terrorising batsmen this IPL. With 25 wickets from 12 matches, he was the key man in that resurgent Delhi Capitals side. Leading the purple cap charts, Rabada has an average of 14.82 and an incredible strike rate of 11.25. It was a shame that we could not watch more of him as he was called for the South Africa World Cup side.

Imran Tahir (Chennai Super Kings)

The second South African to feature in this team, Tahir has been foxing batsmen left right and center this IPL. The 37-year old leggie has picked up 23 wickets from 15 matches, and may overtake his teammate in the coming playoffs and a possible final. Tahir has taken two four fers and has a miserly economy rate of 6.62 this IPL.   n