Team of IPL 2019
Before its initiation, IPL 2019 was deemed to be one of those peculiar events which won’t generate the buzz it does so often. One of the big reasons was the players withdrawing their participation in view of the upcoming World Cup and injury possibilities considering the rigorous nature of IPL. However, as it does so often, The IPL didn’t disappoint the fans. In fact, this 2019 edition has been one of the best seasons so far. It had everything – Centuries, hat-tricks, Super overs, a wash –out, a dream final and all the drama that comes with it. It was such a closely contested tournament that the bottom ranked team and the last qualifying team were separated only by a point. In the course, we witnessed a few brilliant performances from some players while some were dismal. Looking at the performances, we have tried to make an IPL XI of the 2019 edition covering players from each team. Let’s begin…
- David Warner (SRH) – Strength of personality is often determined when a man faces adversity. After serving a yearlong ban for ball tampering, Hyderabad’s beloved son was making a comeback to Cricket. And wasn’t going to be easy. Yet, the way in which he batted, David Warner never gave us a feeling that he was away from the game. It was the typical swashbuckling Warner on display yet again and it was a treat to watch one of the game’s fascinating stroke players on song. Sans Shikhar Dhawan, SRH badly needed the southpaw to come good and he obliged. He is my first opener.
- Jonny Bairstow (SRH) – While the legend of Warner grew, SRH needed someone to support him in the absence of Shikhar Dhawan. Jonny Bairstow had played some really good innings for England in limited overs recently and with Captain Kane being unfit, SRH gave him the license to open with Warner. And what we witnessed was pure magic. Rarely will you see an Aussie-English combo having fun destroying the opposition together. Alongside Warner, Bairstow batted with great freedom and skill to take the pressure of his partner. He put on a batting exhibition with Warner and had 4 century partnerships along the way. Bairstow walks in as my second opener.
- K L Rahul (KXIP) – Amidst the controversies with a spot in the WC squad up for grabs, K L Rahul must have been under the pump at the start. With a struggling middle order with no big names, KXIP were always reliant on the top order. While the Universe boss blew hot and cold, Rahul continued his good IPL form from last year and scored runs on consistent basis. He was the cornerstone of KXIP’s batting this year. KXIP couldn’t qualify for the playoffs in spite of Rahul ending as 2nd highest run getter in the tournament. He features at No.3 in my team.
- AB de Villiers (RCB) – Continuing with their reliance on top heavy batting, RCB yet again, were counting on Kohli and ABD to come good. While both played well in patches, AB was a bit more destructive. ‘Freak’ that he is, AB showed the world once again that there is still plenty of Cricket left in him. Barring Virat with the bat and Chahal with the ball, ABD was the only noticeable performer amidst RCB’s woes this season.
- M S Dhoni (CSK) – Every time he wears yellow, the giant in him wakes up. Year after year, the legend of MSD has grown, whether it’s his captaincy or batting. At 37, he still continues to mesmerize us with his presence. While there is nobody questioning his keeping skills, his batting has been a huge plus for CSK. With almost everyone struggling for runs, MS led the charge for CSK with the bat. Having a tough task to manage an ageing side, Dhoni did a marvellous job. He walks in as the skipper of my side.
- Hardik Pandya (MI) – Yet another man surrounded with controversies. Hardik Pandya had a forgettable last few months before The IPL. However, come the IPL, Pandya decided to turn it around. And he has done a commendable job. He has been renowned as a big hitter, but in this IPL he showed the world that he is much more than just a slogger. He took our breath away with some incredible ball striking ability. And it wasn’t just the power but the sweet timing that took the ball over the ropes. His innings of 91 off 34 balls chasing a mammoth 233 vs KKR will surely be remembered for long. For his wonderful striking ability along with his bowling utility, Pandya comes in at No.6.
- Andre Russell (KKR) – To be fair, there is no batsman in the world at present who strikes the ball harder than Russell. He brought his great form with the bat in The IPL and won matches single-handedly for KKR. The amount of muscle that he puts behind his hitting and the power he generates is something incredible. Unlike Pandya he puts in more power in hitting, but the fear he evokes among the bowlers is no lesser. Be it batting or bowling, he was KKR’s Go-To man this season. For his fearsome power hitting and slippery bowling ability, Russell is my no.7
- Shreyas Gopal (RR) – The young man from Karnataka was simply outstanding for the Royals this season. He took wickets consistently and brought RR back in the game almost every time. While he finished as their highest wicket taker, Gopal got the number of Kohli and ABD yet again in this IPL. He had troubled the RCB batsmen in the past, but this time he dismissed both the legendary batsmen twice to get the wood on them. For his fantastic performance, Gopal is my first leggie.
- Imran Tahir (CSK) – There are very few commodities that get better with age and Imran Tahir is one of them. Over the years he has been fabulous for South Africa, and was nothing short of exemplary this year for CSK. Tahir continued to bamboozle batsmen with his leggies to go on with his celebratory runs. For his phenomenal effort at 40, Tahir is my second spinner.
- Kagiso Rabada (DD) – Among the few genuine fast bowlers in the world, the rise of Kagiso Rabada has been remarkable. With a herculean task to fill up the shoes of Steyn and Morkel, Rabada has emerged as one of the South Africa’s best fast bowlers. We had no seen much of him in T20s but he has taken to this IPL like fish to water. He bowled some sensational spells for DC and was a big reason for Delhi to qualify.
- Jasprit Bumrah (MI) – It has become almost impossible to end a team without having this name in the list. As usual, Bumrah was brilliant for MI, especially in crunch moments. With constant pressure on the bowlers, his calmness has been unmatched. And How well did he bowl on the night of the Finale! He was the key for MI wining their fourth title. For his incredible ability to bowl in all situations, Bumrah completes the Eleven of IPL 2019.
- Prasad Palkar