IPL 2020 Dream Team: The thirteenth edition of Indian Premier League has been the most tightly competed edition in competition's thirteen-year long history. With teams qualifying to IPL 2020 playoffs with just 14 points, and with the finalist being decided on just the penultimate day of the league stage, this year’s competition has lived up to all expectations. Right from match 1, many of the top Indian and International stars made headlines with their eye-catchy performances. And just like any other year, there were many young Indian uncapped players who performed above the weight too.
Picking Best XI of IPL 2020 from such a tightly competed edition is a task in itself. But, we have managed to put forward eleven names that took this year’s IPL by storm. Here are the eleven players who feature in our IPL 2020 team of the tournament.
1. KL Rahul (WK)
This is a no brainer. The captain of the Kings XI Punjab and the current owner of the orange cap, KL Rahul had been in the form of his life in this year’s IPL. Even though his strike rate is something to ponder upon, he had been one of the major reason for KXIP’s above par performance this year. Time in and time out he along with his fellow opener Mayank Agarwal had provided their team favourable starts to capitalize upon. He is also the designated wicketkeeper for this side.
2. Devdutt Padikkal
Young Devdutt Padikkal is a strong contender for the ‘Emerging Player of the year’ award. Ever since the first game that he played for RCB, he had caught everyone’s attention with his flamboyant batting. With 472 runs, he pushes his name strongly against the likes of IPL veterans like David Warner for this opening slot. His tally of 5 fifties is highest overall in this season. He also became the first player in IPL history to score three fifties in their first four matches.
Mayank Agarwal and David Warner are also strong contenders for this slot. A possible left-right combination works against Mayank and the fact that Padikkal is an Indian and that the domestic middle order hasn’t been up to the mark in this edition of the tournament works in his favour against David Warner.
3. Surya Kumar Yadav
He is probably the most skillful uncapped player in the Indian Premier League. With 410 runs coming in at an average of 41.00 and at an impressive strike rate of 150.18 he has done full justice to the most important number three position that he has been handed over by the Mumbai Indians. With MI opener Rohit Sharma struggling for form, he is expected to lead the batting charts for Mumbai Indians in the playoffs.
Other contenders for this position are RCB captain Virat Kohli and CSK veteran Faf du Plessis. The lack of form by his standards and the absence of a healthy strike rate in comparison to Surya works against Kohli. Whereas Faf with his impressive average of 86 at number three is a notable omission. The fact that the sample size of his performance at this position is less (just 3 innings) works against favour. The quality in the domestic lower middle order is less and hence that pushes for a need to compensate it with overseas players. This has cost Faf his place at number three.
4. AB de Villiers
Undoubtedly the best number four batsman in this edition of the tournament. With 368 runs coming in at an outstanding average of 52.57 he weighs way ahead of his fellow competitors for this very important role at number four. He is one player who is capable of playing the long innings as well as shifting gears to take down the opposition when needed. With an impressive strike rate of 162.27, he has also donned the finisher role for RCB at times during this year's IPL.
5. Kieron Pollard(c)
Number five is one of the trickiest positions to bat at. Mostly it is the number five batsman who has to face the bulk of toughest overs at the death. And one man who has perfected the art of finishing in this edition of the IPL is the MI veteran Kieron Pollard. Right throughout the tournament he has batted at the lower middle order (5-7) and has scored quick runs for his team when needed with ease. He averages a stunning 86.33 during this phase and strikes at an impressive strike rate of 193.28. With him in the team, the match is never truly over unless he is dismissed.
He is also the captain of this side. With regular captains not performing well with the bat, the choice for captaincy for this year’s IPL 2020 team of the tournament has come down to two people- KL Rahul and Kieron Pollard. The big West Indian edges over the classy Indian batsman in terms of his experience and shrewd tactics. He also led MI in four games this year in the absence of Rohit Sharma and emerged victorious in three of those occasions.
6. Rahul Tewatia
He is one of the finds of this year’s IPL. Even though he was around the scene for quite a while, this edition is undoubtedly his breakthrough season. He headlined with a miraculous performance against Kings XI Punjab, where he beat all odds to play a sensational innings to take his side home from an unwinnable position. With almost 202 runs by batting at number 6 and 7, he is one of the very few domestic players who have perfected the job that these positions demands. His tally of 10 wickets at an impressive economy of 7.09 works in his favour as a bankable sixth bowling option for this side.
7. Jofra Archer
Jofra Archer was the lone consistent bowler for the bottom-placed Rajasthan Royals. With absolute no support from the rest of his bowling unit, he had been creating havoc for the opposition batsmen throughout the tournament. With 20 wickets to his name at an impressive economy rate of 6.56, he is sixth in the list of leading wicket-takers. His ability to play the role of a floater adds to his credentials and it helps him to edge over other seamers like Trent Boult and Mohammad Shami for this number 7 position. It is also to be noted that he holds the second-highest strike rate (179.37) amongst all batsmen in this edition of the tournament. Only Kieron Pollard has a better strike rate than him. He is also a strong contender for the ‘Most Valuable Player’ of the tournament award.
8. Varun Chakravarthi
He had been a revelation ever since he joined KKR this season. Weighing above the likes of Kuldeep Yadav and Sunil Narine by earning the trust of his captain to bowl at the crunch situations to earning his maiden national call up, this had been the dream season for this mystery spinner from Tamil Nadu. He has taken 17 wickets in this edition with the best figures of 5/20 and is just behind Chahal (20) and Rashid Khan (19) in the list of spinners with most wickets. The four overseas limit helps him in edging over Rashid Khan for the second spinner’s spot.
9. Kagiso Rabada
The proud owner of the purple cap is a must-have in the IPL 2020 team of the tournament. He had been dominating the IPL ever since he made his debut. Picking wickets for his team consistently, that too by bowling the toughest overs at the start and at the death, he has set high standard benchmarks for his fellow competitors. With 25 wickets to his name so far in this edition, he holds the key for DC’s chances for the remainder of the tournament.
10. Jasprit Bumrah
Mumbai Indian’s understood the true value of Jasprit Bumrah after their last league stage match. Without him featuring in the eleven, they found it difficult to take at least one wicket and restrict the opposition. Such is the calibre of this un-orthodox pace bowler from Gujarat. With 23 wickets to his name, he is second only to Kagiso Rabada in the race for the prestigious purple cap. With him spearheading the bowling attack of the defending champions, the chances of him ending up with the Purple cap ahead of Kagiso Rabada cannot be ruled out. Hence he is a sure shot choice in any IPL 2020 team of the tournament.
11. Yuzuvendra Chahal
One of the prime reason for RCB’s above par performance this year is the contribution of their spinners. And the one man who is leading the RCB’s spin crew is Yuzvendra Chahal. With 20 wickets from 14 matches at an economy of 7.17, he is the lone spinner in the list of top 5 wicket-takers of IPL 2020. His expertise to restrict the flow of runs in the middle overs will come in handy for the RCB during the playoffs. So his place in the IPL 2020 team of the tournament is unquestionable. Hence he is our choice for the lead spinner.
12th Man: Rashid Khan
Possibly the most notable omission from this squad is the spin magician from Afghanistan. He has been in splendid form during the second half of the tournament. If not for the four overseas limit, he was a sure pick in this eleven.
Other Notable omissions: Faf du Plessis, Mayank Agarwal, David Warner