IPL 2013 review May 27, 2013

The team of the tournament

ESPNcricinfo picks its team of the 2013 season, with a limit of only four foreign players in the XI
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A best XI of this IPL season, without a limit on the number of foreign players, might look like this: Gayle, Hussey, Kohli, Watson, Miller, Dhoni, Johnson, Steyn, Faulkner, Malinga and Narine, with Pollard as 12th man. A wealthy franchise owner's dream.

Reality, however, dictates that only four foreign players may be on the field at any point of time during a game, and that was the brief for our ESPNcricinfo staff in India while voting for the best XI of 2013. Three foreign players - Chris Gayle, Michael Hussey and Dale Steyn - were in such irresistible form that they picked themselves, but there was a tie in the number of votes for the fourth, between Shane Watson and James Faulkner.

Picking Watson would result in a line up of match-winning batsmen until No. 7, a strategy used by Chennai Super Kings to steamroll into the final, but it would require Watson to bowl a full quota of four overs, which he's done in only six out of 16 games this season. Choosing Faulkner, however, meant a bowling attack comprising five specialists, a tactic used by the champions Mumbai Indians. A specialist batsman at No. 7 is a bit of a luxury in the Twenty20 format, so Faulkner made the cut.

The notable foreign players to miss out on that fourth spot were Kieron Pollard, Mitchell Johnson, Sunil Narine, Lasith Malinga, David Miller, AB de Villiers, and top wicket-taker Dwayne Bravo, who lost out to Faulkner because of a much inferior economy rate.

The Indian players were far easier to pick. Virat Kohli was the only unanimous choice in the XI, and Mohit Sharma the only uncapped player. The only other Indian quicks to get votes were Vinay Kumar, who was too expensive, and Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who was impressive but not compelling enough.

It was a close-run thing between Rohit Sharma and Stuart Binny, the difference between them being one vote. Rohit, who took over the Mumbai leadership from Ricky Ponting and led them to their maiden IPL title, slotted in as vice-captain, largely because MS Dhoni had more votes. Binny was the 12th man. Had Shikhar Dhawan not been injured for six games, he would have been a strong contender too.

The XI comprises five specialist batsmen, a wicketkeeper-batsman, three fast bowlers, an offspinner and a legspinner.

Team of the tournament

1. Chris Gayle (RCB) - 708 runs, average 59, strike rate 156

2. Michael Hussey (CSK) - 733 runs, average 52, strike rate 129

3. Virat Kohli (RCB) - 634 runs, average 45, strike rate 139

4. Suresh Raina (CSK) - 548 runs, average 42, strike rate 150

5. Rohit Sharma (Mumbai) - 538 runs, average 38, strike rate 132

6. MS Dhoni (CSK) - 461 runs, average 42, strike rate 163

7. James Faulkner (Royals) - 28 wickets, average 15, economy rate 6.75

8. Harbhajan Singh (Mumbai) - 24 wickets, average 19, economy rate 6.51

9. Amit Mishra (Sunrisers) - 21 wickets, average 19, economy rate 6.35

10. Dale Steyn (Sunrisers) - 19 wickets, average 20, economy rate 5.66

11. Mohit Sharma (CSK) - 20 wickets, average 16, economy rate 6.43

12th man: Stuart Binny (Royals) - 293 runs, average 33, strike rate 147

George Binoy is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • dummy4fb on May 30, 2013, 17:05 GMT

    Cannot see how Narine was not in Sadly for him KKR had no support for him so batsmen just tried their best to see him off 4 foreign players mean Gayle, Steyn, Narine definitely in Only one other foreign player allowed So then check Indian players to be in Dhoni (WK) Then Kohli, Raina batsmen Indian bowlers harbajan singh and mohit sharma (4 specialist howlers in) that leaves 3 players. One foreigin player Need someone to keep things stable if wickets fall so Mike Hussey gets in that means two Indian batsmen or allrounders in will say binny and Jadeja in simply as both are really x factors Sad that Watson not in. My opinion is he is 4th best 20/20 player behind gayle Narine and Dhoni who is underestimated. Steyn was just too good not to he left out. Hussey in over Watson because he can play in any circumstances only Indian batsmen to do that is Kohli and Dhoni (who comes in very late)

  • dummy4fb on May 29, 2013, 11:45 GMT

    Gavaskar was quoted as saying Pollard was the player of the tournament. Only, he played for the right team unlike Miller or de Villiers. He'd have at best served as a nuisance for the opponents, if played for any of the 3/4 bottom teams. Match winners like Gayle, Miller, Narine, Faulkner and Watson were emphasizing the fact that even T20 is very much a team game.

  • hailianpak on May 29, 2013, 2:22 GMT

    I think still Shane Watson should have been in the XI. I know Man of Series and best XI is a different thing but still keeping the best player of the tournament out sounds confusing. Man of series player should get direct entry into the XI. Thats my opinion.

  • dummy4fb on May 28, 2013, 19:12 GMT

    Its important to know in a t20 format strike rate and runs score is the most important to a batsman and the bowlers been economical and able to take wickets. the different between Gayle and Watson, Gayle was an opener and Watson moved around. a true IPL X1 for position - Gayle, Hussey, Kolhi, Watson, Raina, Dhoni, Johnson, Mishra, Narine, Steyn and Malinga.

  • dummy4fb on May 28, 2013, 17:33 GMT

    very disappointed : "where are watson & bravo"

  • panditharadhya on May 28, 2013, 16:46 GMT

    I would make couple of changes for those 11... n my 11 is - 1. Chris Gayle (RCB) -- Game changer, 2.Shane Watson (RR) -- one of the best IPL allrounder (RH n LH opng combn), 3. Suresh Raina (CSK) -- Excellent IPL player, 4. David Miller (KXIP) -- Great killer of the match, 5. AB DeVilliers -- can turn whole 360 degree n hit six, 6. Mahendra Singh Dhoni (CSK) -- wk n batsmen, 7. Harbajan Singh (MI) -- can bat also n good economical bowler, 8. Amith Mishra (SRH) -- master in hattrick wicket taker n economical bowler, 9. Dale Steyn (SRH) -- one of the best faster of the world, 10. Lasith Malinga (MI) -- great yorker, 11. Mohith Sharma (CSK) -- most consistent bowler. Really sorry for not including James faulkner n michael hussey. because of RH n LH combination. Rohith is not so good at pressure handling while chasing down. Virat is bit okay interms of this but still his strike rate is not so impressed as he is a very slow starter. In my XI first six batsmen strike rate is above 150.

  • dummy4fb on May 28, 2013, 16:16 GMT

    1gyle,2kohli,3raina,4rohit,5dhoni,6jadeja,7pollard,8harbajan,9misra,10styn11,malinga,

  • dummy4fb on May 28, 2013, 15:50 GMT

    How can Rohit Sharma find a place in THE IPL TEAM of the year?!! Let's review his performance here. Rohit's three big innings came against two of the weakest teams of IPL 2013: Delhi and Pune. And two of them came in Mumbai, his home ground. On other occasions he either could not gather momentum or got out at crucial junctures of the game. He had forgettable outings in the two qualifier matches and the final and in all three he had the opportunity to play a captain's knock. Mumbai was lucky to have a strong bowling line up and in play offs it was the two West Indians who rocked the opposition! And the term 'Captaincy' is over-rated when you have a think-tank comprised of Wright, Kumble, Ponting, Tendulkar, Jonty... and the list continues!!

  • dummy4fb on May 28, 2013, 15:44 GMT

    How can Rohit Sharma find a place in THE IPL TEAM of the year?!! Let's review his performance here. Rohit's three big innings came against two of the weakest teams of IPL 2013: Delhi and Pune. And two of them came in Mumbai, his home ground. On other occasions he either could not gather momentum or got out at crucial junctures of the game. He had forgettable outings in the two qualifier matches and the final and in all three he had the opportunity to play a captain's knock. Mumbai was lucky to have a strong bowling line up and in play offs it was the two West Indians who rocked the opposition! And the term 'Captaincy' is over-rated when you have a think-tank that MI had! For me Watson should be at No. 4 on that list without any doubt! He's as important and explosive as any other in that list! Plus he can be another bowling option. And the 12th man should be Dwayne Bravo. Though expensive, you cannot underestimate his wicket taking abilities, death bowling and FIELDING!!

  • SanjuPrabu on May 28, 2013, 15:34 GMT

    I would like to replace either Steyn or Mohit Sharma with Dwayne Bravo.