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MS Dhoni Is Captain Of Ricky Ponting's All-time IPL XI

Cricketnext Staff | Updated: May 13, 2017, 6:34 PM IST
MS Dhoni Is Captain Of Ricky Ponting's All-time IPL XI

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Former Australian captain and Mumbai Indians coach Ricky Ponting has named his all-time IPL XI and the only Australian to make the cut in his team is David Warner. Ponting himself had two disappointing stints as a player in the Indian Premier League, first for Kolkata Knight Riders and then for Mumbai Indians.

The Aussie great through redeemed his reputation by guiding Mumbai Indians to the title in the 2015 season as coach.

Ponting's team, which he revealed during an interview with cricket.com.au, has several great performers and from the looks of it, it seems like a team full of men who have done well consistently over the past ten years.

The opening slot in Ponting's team is occupied by the big West Indian Chris Gayle, who has over the years produced several destructive knocks in the cash rich league. Most of them coming when he switched over to Royal Challengers Bangalore from Kolkata Knight Riders.

Giving him company is David Warner, who is in fact the only Australian in Ponting's squad. Warner had a great season in 2016, when he finished the second highest run-getter in the league and also captained Sunrisers Hyderabad to their maiden title.

The Aussie left-hander has shown great maturity ever since making the switch from Delhi Daredevils to Sunrisers Hyderabad.

"I've gone for two extremely dynamic opening batsmen and I wouldn't like to be an opening bowler bowling to these two together. Chris Gayle's record speaks for itself; he averages about 42, strikes at over 150 and his longevity in the game is unbelievable.

"Dave Warner's ... (IPL) average is about 40 so his consistency is really good, and he's striking at 141. (He and Gayle are) both left handers ... so it'd be interesting trying to bowl to those two up front whether you're a spinner or a quick," said Ponting, as quoted by the website.

The number three slot is occupied by RCB captain Virat Kohli, who broke all records in 2016 by scoring more than 900 runs in that campaign and is currently the second highest run-getter in the history of the league.

Kohli though has failed to win the league even once, despite playing in three finals with the Bangalore franchise.

At number four is Ponting's former teammate Rohit Sharma, who might not have as many runs under his belt as Kohli, but his leadership skills along with his batting prowess has seen him lead Mumbai Indians to two titles, in 2013 and 2015.

"I had the luxury of coaching Rohit at Mumbai for a couple of seasons. Whether it be fast bowling or spin, he plays them all well. And he's a deceptively big hitter as well for someone who's not of huge stature, and that's what you want in the middle order in your T20 team," the former cricketer told the website.

At number five Ponting has placed IPL's highest run-getter ever, Suresh Raina, whose exploits with the bat for Chennai Super Kings saw the now suspended franchise win back to back titles in 2010 and 2011.

Raina captained Gujarat Lions to the playoffs in their maiden season in 2016 and although he has done well for the franchise with the bat this season, his team hasn't been the best on show.

Ponting's next choice will make the cut in anyone's IPL team, Mahendra Singh Dhoni was the man responsible for bringing T20 cricket to India by leading the country to the maiden WT20 title and he has been a colossus in the IPL over the years.

Dhoni's captaincy skills saw him take CSK to twin titles in 2010 and 2011. He has also led the franchise to four more finals, where they lost in the summit clash. Dhoni's biggest gift to Indian cricket has been his ability to spot talent and give them a go in the IPL.

The likes of R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja and Murali Vijay owe their international careers to MS Dhoni and Ponting too has chosen the man to captain his team.

"MS Dhoni is at No.6 and he'll also be the captain of my side. He brings huge experience and whenever he's at the crease ... you're always a chance of winning the game," Ponting said about the fellow legend.

At number seven Ponting has chosen the league best all-rounder ever, Dwayne Bravo, who with his change of pace and lower order hitting, made it a habit to win matches for Chennai Super Kings.

The two spinners in Ponting's team are Amit Mishra and Harbhajan Singh. Mishra is the league's most successful spinner while Harbhajan's ability to maintain a good economy might have prompted Ponting to choose him over Ravichandran Ashwin.

Lasith Malinga, IPL's highest wicket-taker by a mile, is in Ponting's team. Malinga is perhaps the best pace bowler T20 cricket has seen till date and he continues to produce magic for the Mumbai Indians.

The last member of Ponting's team is the veteran Indian pacer Ashish Nehra, who revived his international career after making a switch to Chennai Super Kings and then producing the goods for Sunrisers Hyderabad.

There are some notable omissions with no one from two-time champions Kolkata Knight Riders making the list, but Ponting as always has been straightforward with his choices.

First Published: May 13, 2017, 1:58 PM IST

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