With the epic IPL 2019 final between the arch rivals Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings ending in a narrow win for the former , this gives us a great chance to select the best possible XI of this IPL season on basis for consistent performances of players across all eight teams.
So here we go maintaining the maximum of 4 overseas players rule :
David Warner : Awesome performance. Best batsman this season by some distance. 692 runs at 69 average and 144 strike rate. 1 century and 8 fifties in just 12 games , he is leading by nearly 200 runs from the next highest run getter. Huge impact in sunrisers performances this season. Due to the strike rate of their opening pair, SRH managed to sneak into the playoffs on basis of better net runrate.
Johny Bairstow: Matched Warner stroke for stroke in Sunrisers dazzling opening stands. His first IPL was extremely successful. 445 runs at 56 average and 157 strike rate with 1 century in just 10 games. His partnership with Warner was a terror to the bowlers in this IPL. Had to be the other opener in terms of creating impact.
Virat Kohli : The signing light of an otherwise mediocre RCB campaign this IPL ( yet again!). Looked in great form every time he stepped out to bat playing dazzling cricketing shots. A perfect no 3. 464 runs at 33 average and 141 strike rate and one fabulous unbeaten 100 at Eden Gardens.
Rishabh Pant : Not the most consistent but certainly , a very impactful at number 4. All his 3 half centuries and 2 forties have won matches for his team . 488 runs at 38 average and 162 strike rate , he looked mighty dangerous when in his elements . A potential matchwinner. Hence a must in the top XI.
MS Dhoni : The keeper and the captain of this team. With benefits of notout he is having a Bradmanesque average of 103 with a high strike rate of 138 for his 423 runs . His quicksilver reflexes and his electric stumpings still makes him the most lethal keeper this IPL.
Andre Russell : The iron man of this IPL. He devastated bowling attacks with his all powerful and consistent hitting. 510 runs with 57 average and an astounding 204 strike rate with 4 fifties and many forties. It was unreal for a batsman to win so many matches from impossible situations but Russell did it with nonchalant ease. Kept picking up crucial wickets with his medium pace as a bowler. 11 wickets in 14 games. Was KKR’S lifeline this season. Also played with niggling injuries.
Hardik Pandya : The other all round performer this IPL. Took crucial wickets at important times to get team important breakthroughs and got team into winning position with his exceptional brutal hitting at the backend. He made a mockery of bowling strategies of opposition with his big ,long sixes which sent the scoreboard moving at galloping pace. Great match winner for Mumbai Indians. Staggering figures these –In batting 402 runs at 48 average and 193 trike rate, in bowling 14 wickets in 16 games at 28 average, 18 strike rate and 9.32 economy.
Shreyas Gopal : Shining light for Rajasthan Royals. The leggie with his potent googly troubled the best including Kohli and Divilliers. Had a brilliant IPL 2019 and took a big hattrick vs RCB in the rain reduced 5 a side over match. Took 20 wickets this IPL with his leg spin in 14 games at 17 average, 7.22 economy and 14 strike rate .Also showed his ability to bat and get crucial runs at back end. Just managed to edge out Jadeja for this spot.
Kagiso Rabada: 25 wickets from just 12 games at 14.72 average, 7.82 economy and an exceptional strike rate of 11 . Bowled fast and straight and a good deceptive slower one. The South African spearhead was the best overseas fast bowler in the IPL by some distance. He was a prolific wicket taker and bowled with lots of venom .He bowled mostly on slow pitches across the country. An asset for Delhi Capitals. Also a useful lower order batsman who can get few runs.
Jasprit Bumrah: Widely regarded as the best Yorker bowler at the death in the world , Bumrah has been the cornerstone of Mumbai Indians success on bowling front. His lethal Yorkers and well disguised slower ones have made best batting lineups struggle. Had to bowl largely on unresponsive wickets but that didn’t affect his performance. 19 wickets from 16 games till playoffs at 23 average, 6.84 economy rate and 20 strike rate.
Yuzi Chahal : One of the shining lights of RCB. Almost took the bowling attack on his shoulders on consistent basis. Had to bowl on a small sized ground and home conditions with pitch assisting batting. Better strike rate than the other challenger for this spot ,Rahul Chahar. Very consistent performer. 18 wickets from 14 games at 21 average, 7.82 economy rate and very good 16 strike rate.
12 th man Ravindra Jadeja. Missed out selection narrowly in 1st XI as one of the spinners and lower order batter but has to be the 12 th man for being an exceptional fielder.
As usual , in trying to formulate a top XI amongst best players, there are bound to be some glaring ommissions. Imran Tahir has been one of the best spinners this IPL in terms of getting truckloads of wickets (26) but due to restrictions in number of overseas players,he had to sit out of this team. Both Chahar brothers Deepak and Rahul also missed out selections by a whisker. Even Nitish Rana of KKR, Pollard and Decock of MI missed out due to superior performances of few others.
Readers are welcome to debate on their best XI.