Cricket World's IPL 2020 XI
Attribute it to the nature of the pitches in the UAE, the bigger grounds, very little international cricket going around or the hunger of players to put their best foot forward after the Covid-19 induced break, IPL 2020 dished out out some of the best cricket seen over the 13 editions of the tournament.
As Mumbai Indians lift their fifth IPL title by beating Delhi Capitals by 5 wickets in the final, we pick IPL 2020's best XI:
KL Rahul - Kings XI Punjab
Kings XI Punjab may have been losing in the first half of the tournament or winning in the second half, one thing was constant, and that was runs from the willow of KL Rahul.
Rahul claimed the Orange Cap with 670 runs from 14 matches. He scored at an average of over 55 and struck at close to 130. Make no mistake, he is more than capable of striking at around 150 but played in a watchful manner in the best interest of the team. That the second-highest scorer of the season, Shikhar Dhawan made 618 runs after playing three matches more than Rahul is a testament to the form of the wicket-keeper batsman this season.
Mayank Agrawal - Kings XI Punjab
While Shikhar Dhawan, Devdutt Padikkal and even Ishan Kishan were some of the other Indian options for opening the batting alongside KL Rahul, we are going with his Kings XI Punjab opening partner Mayank Agarwal.
Agrawal came of age as a T20 opener in this edition with 424 runs from 11 matches at 38.54. He was an ideal partner for Rahul as the stylish batter struck at 156.45. That both share a good understanding is only a blessing.
Suryakumar Yadav - Mumbai Indians
Suryakumar Yadav may not have found a place in the Indian squad for the tour of Australia but it was certainly difficult to look past him as the No 3 batsman of this XI. Yadav scored 480 runs from 16 matches at an average of 40 and a strike rate of 145.01. What was more impressive was his maturity as the batsman helped Mumbai close off a couple of matches.
Ishan Kishan - Mumbai Indians
Ishaan Kishan had a breakthrough season and finished among the top five run-scorers in this edition with 516 runs at an average of 57.3 and a strike rate of over 145. He is another MI batsman who has staked his claim for a Team India spot and will be in direct contention with Rishabh Pant in the times to come.
AB de Villiers - Royal Challengers Bangalore
AB de Villiers
It was a pity that AB de Villiers did not get enough support but the 360 degree player ensured that he won at least three matches for the franchise single-handedly. De Villiers finished the season with 454 runs from 15 matches at an average of 45.40. Even more impressive was his strike rate of 158.74 in a franchise that struggled to get on with the run rate.
Hardik Pandya - - Mumbai Indians
Despite Hardik Pandya not ready to bowl yet after undergoing a back surgery, he adds enough value to the team with the bat alone. Alongside Kieron Pollard, Pandya played some crucial knocks for Mumbai Indians this season.
He may have scored just 281 runs at an average of 35.12 but his strike rate of 178.98 meant that the team got those 15-20 runs extra at the back end of the innings which made all the difference.
Rashid Khan - Sunrisers Hyderabad
If Kane Williamson was a banker for Sunrisers Hyderabad, Rashid Khan was no different. When you look at his wickets tally, it reflects 20 wickets - the highest for SRH, but that does not show the full picture.
Rashid's economy of 5.37 was the best in IPL 2020 among bowlers picking up more than eight wickets.
Jofra Archer Jofra Archer - Rajasthan Royals
Had Jofra Archer been part of a successful franchise, he would have added at least five more wickets to his tally of 20 scalps from 14 matches. Bowling some unplayable thunderbolts, Archer fared well at the top, in the middle and at the death, but kept searching for a partner in crime which he could not find.
Kagiso Rabada - Delhi Capitals
Just imagine Kagiso Rabada and Jofra Archer bowling in tandem. Rabada may have not had the best of nights in the final against Mumbai Indians but finished as the Purple Cap winner, with 30 wickets from 17 matches.
Yuzvendra Chahal - Royal Challengers Bangalore
It has now been a few years that Yuzvendra Chahal has been consistently delivering for Royal Challengers Bangalore. This year as well, he was the highest wicket-taker among spinners and the sixth highest in the competition, with 21 wickets at 19.28.
Jasprit Bumrah - Mumbai Indians
Bumrah may have been a bit rusty to begin with as Ambati Rayudu and AB de Villiers got the better of him in a couple of matches, but he was back to his best when it mattered and was in contention for the Purple Cap for most of the second half of the tournament.
Bumrah finished with 27 wickets and an exceptional economy of 6.73, also recording his best IPL figures of 4/14 this season.
© Cricket World 2020