This year’s IPL had finally come to a close and as expected, SRH’s Achilles heel, CSK have outdone them yet again. In a final that became eventually one-sided the yellow side of India, ruled. Shane Watson ran riot and CSK held their nerve in bowling. So how many from their team have made our IPL XI?
In a campaign which had everything from Brilliant bowling to Explosive Batting to Electric fielding, it was tough to select 11 players in the IPL like format: 7 domestic and 4 overseas. But, we have come up with a list of the best XI of this year’s IPL.
#1 MS Dhoni: Captain and Wicketkeeper (CSK)
This year’s IPL was probably the most special for him. He waited 2 years to Don that yellow Jersey of Chennai and when he did he looked a different player than he was for Pune. A vital finisher and a masterful captain, Dhoni scored 455 runs in the 2018 campaign, his second most fruitful. He was aggressive and dominant and was not afraid to show his emotions when they presented. That’s why he deserves to be our Captain.
#2 Kane Williamson (SRH)
Captain of his respective team, Kane was magnificent, world class and every other superlative that you can associate with a soon-to-be cricketing legend. He eventually became the orange cap winner and he deserved it. With a moist middle order, he had to take extra responsibility to lay the foundation. Williamson has a very big career ahead of him.
#3 Shane Watson (CSK)
Shane just like CSK was ridiculed for the age factor but oh did he prove them wrong. The tweets were pouring berating him and putting the blame on his age as he had scored 0 runs in 10 balls. But then class showed and a 57 ball @117 left SRH wondering for answers as to how their ministry of defense had collapsed. This was his 2nd hundred and a big game player is much needed in any XI.
#4 Lokesh Rahul (KXIP)
Had it not been for KXIP’s disastrous collapse in the 2nd half of the season, Lokesh might as well have been wearing that Orange Cap instead of Kane. Nevertheless, the Wicketkeeper batsman was simply stunning with his maturity with the bat. No matter how big the occasion his confidence won’t be affected and he ended the season with 659 runs with an average of 54.91 runs.
#5 Rishabh Pant (DD)
As Shane Warne called him the next big thing in Indian cricket, he certainly didn’t let him down. One of the few silver linings of a disappointing DD Campaign, Pant was awarded the Emerging player of the year trophy. The 20-year-old was one of the best performers in the league and stood toe to toe with the big boys. Pant finished with 684 runs and deservedly made our best XI OF IPL 2018.
#6 Ambati Rayudu (CSK)
Again someone who was ridiculed for his age. Again someone who didn’t have many takers after Mumbai decided against retention. This man produced his best season in IPL history and it was a campaign to remember. Often the stabilizing force in CSK’s heavy metal batting lineup, Rayudu scored 602 runs with a century at an average of 43 and was one of the best batsmen in the league this season.
#7 Hardik Pandya (MI)
Every good team needs a good all rounder and Hardik Pandya was just that for Mumbai. Even though MI crashed out the Baroda boy certainly delivered. He claimed 18 wickets and 260 runs and was one of the biggest reasons for MI’s good run of form leading up to the final ages. His flamboyance certainly doesn’t overshadow his cricketing abilities.
#8 Rashid Khan (SRH)
Anyone who watched Rashid this season was certainly wooed by his spin. The Afghan leg-spinner ended on the losing side, true, but was one of the finds of the IPL. The spinner took 18 wickets and played vital innings against KKR in the Qualifier 2 to send SRH to the finals of the IPL. Not to forget, he was one of the most economical as well.
#9 Bhuvneswar Kumar (SRH)
It’s no surprise that Bhuvi has made our team. Masterful swing bowling with the new ball made batsmen look like amateurs in the league. While not his best campaign in terms of wickets the bowler from Uttar Pradesh, his ability to swing the ball both ways and creating havoc up top certainly makes him a deserved candidate in our team.
#10 Siddharth Kaul (SRH)
Does it surprise anyone that the ministry of Defence has dominated the best XI? Surely not. Siddharth Kaul was the prime wicket-taker for SRH with the new ball and was a nuisance for the batsmen with the new ball. He ended the campaign with 21 wickets.
#10 Andrew Tye (KXIP)
The best among the bowlers this season and the winner of the Purple Cap. The man from Perth was instrumental in helping the KXIP mount a challenge for the Playoff Spots. It was unfortunate that KXIP didn’t qualify but that shouldn’t take away anything from the man who claimed 24 wickets.
12th Man: Jos Buttler (RR)
If there is a reason why RR made it to the Playoffs even after a mediocre campaign it was Jos Buttler. A contingency move to promote him up the order paid dividends as he scored 548 runs in this year’s IPL. Had he not been called up for international duties maybe the eliminator between KKR and RR could have ended differently.