IPL 2016 May 30, 2016

Morris and Mustafizur, Krunal and Chahal in IPL XI

Who makes it to the IPL XI for 2016? Here are ESPNcricinfo's picks, keeping in mind the four-overseas-players rule

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O'Brien and Agarkar's team of the season

1. Virat Kohli - 973 runs, 152.03 strike rate
Runs against all kinds of bowling. Runs all around the ground. Runs all across the country. A lot of runs that stated Test-match strokeplay has a place in T20s. Not sure what more he needs to prove. Perhaps the existence of time travel.

2. David Warner - 848 runs, 151.42 strike rate
The critics said his team's batting was suspect. His single-handed efforts showed the rest how to do it. Sunrisers Hyderabad may not have become champions if not for his masterful 93 not out in the second qualifier.

3. AB de Villiers - 687 runs, 168.79 strike rate
Scored IPL 2016's fastest century from No. 3 and hunkered down to salvage a failing innings from the same position in a big-match scenario. Considering his reality-bending batting and the chemistry with Kohli, perhaps he should try bending space-time next.

4. KL Rahul - 397 runs, 146.49 strike rate, five catches, four stumpings
Began his tournament trying to fit in among the sloggers, then realised his USP is playing proper shots. Provided Royal Challengers peace of mind with four fifties when Chris Gayle was misfiring. Had to deal with keeping wicket too.

The best wicketkeeper-batsman in IPL 2016, arguably, was Quinton de Kock but he would be one overseas player too many in this XI. MS Dhoni made some fantastic saves, with his legs no less, but barring one innings in a dead rubber he didn't do too well with the bat. So Rahul was the best choice despite a few lapses; his reprieve of Andre Russell may well have cost his team a game from a winning position.

5. Yusuf Pathan - 361 runs, 145.56 strike rate
At one stage, he was averaging more than Kohli. Finished with 72.20, although eight not-outs in 13 innings helped. But that's what is required of a finisher. Seeing a chase through. Did spectacularly in Bangalore, when he took a task of 120 in 11 overs and wrestled it to the ground with five balls to spare.

6. Chris Morris - 195 runs, 178.89 strike rate; 13 wickets, 7.00 economy rate
Edged out Shane Watson and Andre Russell because of his range of skills. He made a fifty on Test debut, so he can bat properly, and he made a 17-ball fifty in the IPL, so he can bat crazily. Is a standout with the ball as well, courtesy his ability to rush batsmen with pace and bounce, and undo them with excellent yorkers.

7. Krunal Pandya - 237 runs, 191.12 strike rate; six wickets, 7.57 economy rate
Most of his runs came up the order, including a blinding 86 off 37 balls against Delhi Daredevils. But his clean ball-striking could be effective down the order as well. His left-arm spin is rapid and accurate, so batsmen can rarely use the pace to their advantage. Dismissed de Villiers and Kohli in the same over. Dismissed de Villiers again in Mumbai Indians and Royal Challengers Bangalore's next encounter.

8. Bhuvneshwar Kumar - 23 wickets, 7.42 economy rate
Swings the new ball. Jams the old one into the batsmen's toes. Trusted himself to execute yorkers - a ball which, if misplaced by an inch, could go a mile - at a time when bowlers prefer other options. Was Mr Dependable for Sunrisers - all the more impressive considering he bowled an over that cost 28 runs in his first game of the season.

9. Yuzvendra Chahal - 21 wickets, 8.15 economy rate
The fact that he played most of his games at M Chinnaswamy Stadium - one of the smallest grounds in the IPL - and ended up the second-highest wicket-taker in the tournament speaks of his knack for T20 cricket, and also pushed him into this XI ahead of Amit Mishra, who is arguably the better all-format bowler.

10. Dhawal Kulkarni - 18 wickets, 7.42 economy rate
A T20 game is usually won or lost in the early exchanges. With his 14 wickets in the Powerplay, Kulkarni is an asset. It wasn't often that he bowled in the slog overs but with Bhuvneshwar, Morris and the next man in, he doesn't need to in this side. He made it here ahead of the Sharmas, Sandeep and Mohit.

11. Mustafizur Rahman - 17 wickets, 6.90 economy rate
He kind of already makes time stop still with his cutters. Just ask any batsmen he has dismissed. He pitches the ball outside leg to tempt the slog and gets it to break off the deck towards the outside edge. And he has a mean yorker. The one that left Russell on the ground with his stumps askew provided one of the images of the IPL.

Now, who should captain this XI? Warner took the trophy. He played with the added pressure that came with the knowledge that the Sunrisers middle order wasn't performing and he had to provide the bulk of the runs. On the other hand, Kohli had to deal with losing Mitchell Starc and Samuel Badree - two of his spearheads - to injury, was imaginative with his fields and bowling changes, and raised his game when Royal Challengers needed to win four out of four to make the playoffs; the lowest score he was dismissed in that period was 109. So, flip a coin and choose.

Alagappan Muthu is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • mukesh on June 2, 2016, 17:53 GMT

    Like NFL Pro bowl IPL needs to create pro bowl team and include all the best team members before final. Choose best Coaching staff and setup Pro Bowl Team. This would give players additional incentive to be selected to pro bowl and also credit consistent performers from loosing teams . Even without a Pro Bowl game atleast these players will get recognition. Cos all i see in national team is same old players without being credited for IPL performances. Someone like S aravind who had fantastic series in 2015 had to miss out to Aaron in initial games and make his way back to best RCB team. Ishant sharma who was dropped consistently in 2015 by SRH got initially selected for RPGS n with pathetic performance in 2016 will still be starter from some IPL team in beginning games.

  • mukesh on June 2, 2016, 15:25 GMT

    KL Rahul is over rated for his innings are in Bangalore shouldn't be in this team as keeper(runs in bangalore) rather prefer Saha/Robie(uthappa unfortunately is a top order player this IPL and has no place in this team composition) . Fizz n Bhuvi are over rated a bit cos of pace friendly SRH wicket but they are far ahead than other bowlers. Warner played in worse batsmen friendly wicket of SRH but still scored runs heavily at awesome strike rate. ABD n Virat played in Bangalore so bit overrated but they were miles ahead of other competitors. Zampa/Ben cutting misses out cos of chances they were given. Yuvi(lost few matches cos of injury) is only other middle order competitor for Yusuf but Yusuf was way ahead in this IPL to any other middle order batsmen. Russell misses out marginally but as long as he was there he performed . missing out XI 1 Vijay(C),2 De cock ,3 Karun Nair,4 Steve smith(better C),5 Yuvi ,6 Russell ,7 Ben cutting, 8 Zampa, 9 Mishra, 10 Sandeep, 11 Bumrah

  •   Cricinfouser on June 1, 2016, 17:17 GMT

    Dream team: Warner, Gayle, Kohli, De Villers, KL Rahul, Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina, Bhuvi Kumar, Mustafizur, Zaheer Khan, Ashish Nehra

  • rafsan4664349 on June 1, 2016, 15:21 GMT

    what if This Team would play with Rest of the Best IPL Foreign team and Rest of Best Indian Team?

    IPL committee can think of that!

  • grant on June 1, 2016, 5:04 GMT

    Am so stoked over Chris Morris's success in the IPL, and the praise he is getting. Couldn't happen to a nicer block. May he continue to go from strength to strength.

  •   Zaheer Hussain on May 31, 2016, 23:27 GMT

    Yusuf Pathan and Krunal should have been at least in the time that is going to Zimbabwe.

  • mathee3774258 on May 31, 2016, 19:38 GMT

    These are my eleven: 1 Warner 2 deKock 3 Kohli 4 ABD 5 Y Pathan 6 Russell 7 Morris 8 B Kumar 9 I Tahir 10 Chahal 11 Mustafizur

  • Anushka on May 31, 2016, 19:16 GMT

    This team (based on IPL 2016 performances alone) of players occupying middle of the statistics tables can be quite formidable too:

    Quinton De Kock, Ajinkya Rahane, Manish Pandey, Suresh Raina, Yuvraj Singh, Jos Buttler (WK), Ben Cutting, Adam Zampa, Amit Mishra, Zaheer Khan (C), Srinath Aravind

  • mukesh on May 31, 2016, 19:04 GMT

    lol to all superselector's who in a bid to select there favorite players have kept out virat at number 3 . He was best opener in IPL history by a margin. compulsory players in the order of top 3 where Warner , Virat and ABD. top 2 wicket takers in Bhuvi n Chahal. top economy rate Fizz. Top allrounder Morris(Russell misses out slightly ) n K pandya (no other Indian allrounder performed). Best middle overs batter Yusuf none other Indian batters fitted this bill. Best middle overs spinner after chahal Amit mishra would have loved kuldeep yadav but he got less games. Only doubt is keeping position would be prefer proper keeper in Saha and consistent performer he can play floater like KXIP used him based on situation can come in from 4 to 7. My playing xi.. 1.Warner 2.Virat,3.AB,4.Yusuf, 5.K.pandya,6.Morris,7.Saha,8.Amit Mishra,9.Bhuvi Kumar,10.Chahal,11.Mustafiz

  • janvan2436501 on May 31, 2016, 18:48 GMT

    A quota of 4 foreign players in a theoretical team - that is ridiculous! Still the team is almost spot on. Will bring Russell in though together with Morris at 6 and 7 respectively.

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