IPL 2017 May 20, 2017

AB de Villiers misses out on ESPNcricinfo's all-time IPL XI

ESPNcricinfo staff
Chris Gayle, Dwayne Bravo, Sunil Narine and Lasith Malinga make up the overseas roster, while MS Dhoni captains the side
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© ESPNcricinfo Ltd

After six weeks of voting by our readers, 31 nominees were selected for ESPNcricinfo's all-time IPL XI. Over the past week our 17-member panel, comprising five former Test cricketers and a selection of our staff, got a flavour of life as an IPL team owner, making decisions to ensure their sides achieved the perfect balance. Our panel did not have a budget cap or bidding from competitors to worry about, but despite the lack of those constraints, there were hard choices to be made.

ESPNcricinfo's all-time IPL XI

1. Chris Gayle, 2 Virender Sehwag, 3 Virat Kohli, 4 Suresh Raina, 5 Rohit Sharma, 6 MS Dhoni (capt & wk), 7 Dwayne Bravo, 8 Sunil Narine, 9 R Ashwin, 10 Bhuvneshwar Kumar, 11 Lasith Malinga

The panel unanimously decided that AB de Villiers would be the 12th man.

Team composition
Our all-time XI is a reflection of how some of the best sides in the tournament have lined up - six batsmen, one allrounder, and four specialist bowlers. Some of these batsmen have had success rolling their arm over in the past, and while there was temptation to extend the batting order with an extra man, the final XI has five proven bowlers who will rarely fail as a collective, in any conditions.

The overseas players
Our list of 31 nominees featured 14 overseas players, from which our panel had to choose four, keeping in mind the balance of the side. There were clear trends, starting with a split down the middle while picking the openers. There was, by all accounts and logic, only place for one overseas opener, and Gayle received one more vote than David Warner.

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ESPNcricinfo's all-time IPL XI (Player stats as on May 18, 2017)

AB de Villiers's omission was partly due to the strength of the all-Indian middle-order, and is likely to spur a few debates below the line. The choice between Bravo and Shane Watson for the lone allrounder's slot was decided based on the lack of room in Watson's favoured batting positions at the top of the order, and Bravo's marginally superior numbers and consistent wicket-taking ability while bowling at the death. The bowlers picked themselves, with Malinga, the tournament's highest wicket-taker, and Narine, its most economical bowler, rounding off the overseas roster.

The captain
MS Dhoni was the overwhelming favourite to lead the side. Apart from being statistically the most successful captain over nine seasons, he has led most of the players who make up this squad in his role as India's captain over the best part of the past decade. It is a decision that is hard to argue with, considering his trophy cabinet and prolonged success as the leader of one of the most consistent sides in the IPL.

The rest
Record-holders of all manner make up the rest of the XI: the three highest run-getters in the IPL - Raina, Kohli and Rohit - the batsman with the most runs during the tournament's knockout phases - Raina - three of its five most successful captains - Dhoni, Rohit, Kohli - and the format's most prolific run machine at the top of the order - Gayle.

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  • WAQAS on May 25, 2017, 17:33 GMT

    hahaha. rohit Sharma is in but not AB . what a joke

  • arunlo5785785 on May 24, 2017, 4:14 GMT

    My IPL XI-David warner, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, R V Uthappa, M S Dhoni(Wk,C), D J Bravo, Sunil Narine, Ravi Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Lasith Malinga. ( Dale Steyn 12th man) The no-restrictions XI- Chris Gayle, David Warner, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, Ab De Villiers, Shane Watson, MS Dhoni(Wk,C), D J Bravo, Sunil Narine, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Lasith Malinga. (Dale Steyn 12th man)

  • dinesh9557268 on May 22, 2017, 17:33 GMT

    @JOHN_BNSA. Warner scored more than 500 runs in 2014, 2015, 2016 & 2017. In 2013 he scored 410 runs. Not two good seasons as you think.

  • dinesh9557268 on May 22, 2017, 14:43 GMT

    @MRCOOL, Kohli was mediocre in the first two IPL seasons. In each of the next 8 seasons he scored more than 300 runs. 973 in 2016, More than 600 in 2013, more than 500 in 2011 and 2015. He missed first 3 matches and played only 10 matches in 2017. Otherwise he would be the Number 1 run maker in IPL. Now he is second only to Raina. He has hit 34 fifty plus scores and is in the third position behind Warner and Gambhir. He started well in 2017 but poor performance from the team-mates put him under lot of pressure later. Still he made more than 300 runs with 4 fifties.

  • mahend8907365 on May 22, 2017, 10:32 GMT

    rohit,virat,raina,AB_D,Yuvraj,Dhoni,Bravo,naren,bhuvi,bumrah,malinga & 12th Man Russell

  • john on May 22, 2017, 10:03 GMT

    What's strange is that warner only had 2 good seasons yet now is on the all time list

  • Mojalefa on May 22, 2017, 8:40 GMT

    That list is the joke of year so far....How can you not have the most destructive batman in the world, in AB De Villiers in that team..What about Gambhir, Uthappa, Warner, Yuvraj & Quinton De Kock...All these guys I mentioned can easily replace the other 6 of that lousy list..Cheers

  • Santosh on May 22, 2017, 1:07 GMT

    Gayle Kohli Raina ABD Dhoni Watson Jadeja Harbhajan Ashwin Bhuvi Malinga

  • Shuzi on May 22, 2017, 0:08 GMT

    Shakib is the number 1 all-rounder in the T20 ranking. However, he has not played enough IPL matches to crack any all-IPL team, IMHO. (Why he did not get enough matches is a separate topic.)

  • zubzba7412933 on May 21, 2017, 22:22 GMT

    ...And can someone tell me, what is the point of all this .. :-$

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