AB de Villiers all-time IPL XI: The 14th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) is just around the corner and it is that time of the year when the cricket fans and pundits start picking their respective favourite teams for the upcoming cricketing bonanza. In the tournament opener, the five-time IPL winners Mumbai Indians (MI) will start their title defense against the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) on 9th April in Chennai. However, picking an ideal all-time IPL playing XI remains to be a challenging task but RCB’s premier overseas batsman AB de Villiers took some time off to take part in the fun activity.
During a recent conversation, former Proteas swashbuckling batsman AB de Villiers decided to go for the hard task of picking his all-time IPL playing XI. De Villiers stated that he would definitely pick the Indian combo of Rohit Sharma and Virender Sehwag as the two openers. Both Sehwag and de Villiers have been teammates for the Delhi-based franchise where they almost smashed bowlers all around the park for fun. The former South African captain named his RCB skipper Virat Kohli for the crucial No.3 position.
“Last night I was thinking that if I pick my IPL XI and I include myself, how bad would that look. So, opening the batting, I would pick someone whom I started with at Delhi, Viru (Virender Sehwag) at 1 and someone who I think has played some of the best cricket in the world in the last five years, Rohit at No. 2,” said AB de Villiers in a conversation with Cricbuzz.
With the great amount of impact he has had over the years while playing in the IPL, it was even hard for de Villiers to leave himself out. Therefore, alongside himself, he also picked the duo of Kane Williamson and Steve Smith as the replacements in the middle-order. De Villiers then picked the Player of the Tournament in IPL 2017, Ben Stokes as the seam-bowling all-rounder in his all-time IPL XI. The pair of Rashid Khan and Ravindra Jadeja are the frontline spinners.
The former South African cricketer did not take much time in picking the three-time IPL winning skipper MS Dhoni as the captain of his ideal all-time playing XI. He chooses the trio of Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah and Kagiso Rabada as the three frontline fast bowlers. AB de Villiers’ all-time playing XI has surely covered most of the bases needed to be successful in the shortest format of the game, however, the idea of leaving out one of the most impactful cricketer in the history of the league in Suresh Raina looked very much surprising.
“Then obviously Virat at No. 3, followed by I’d say either Williamson, or Smith, or myself… these are the two replacements. Ben Stokes at 5, MS at six as captain, and at No. 7, I’d put Jaddu, Mr. Jadeja. Rashid Khan at 8, Bhuvi at 9, Kagiso Rabada at 10 and Bumrah at 11,” de Villiers added.
“I’d put Stokes because obviously we know what he can do with the bat, but also considering that extra seaming option. Got the two spinners and then Bumrah, Rabada and Bhuvi as fast bowlers. So that pretty much covers everything,” the Proteas batsman concluded.
AB de Villiers all-time IPL XI
Virender Sehwag, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Kane Williamson/Steve Smith/AB de Villiers, Ben Stokes, MS Dhoni (C & wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Rashid Khan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Kagiso Rabada, Jasprit Bumrah.