IPL 2018 has seen some great performances throughout the tournament, be it from Indian or international stars. While MS Dhoni had a great season with the bat for eventual winners Chennai Super Kings, Rashid Khan’s exploits with the ball will be remembered for a long time.
The key to success in cricket is team effort, but some players almost single-handedly changed the fortunes of their team. If all these players came together in one team, it would certainly be a dream XI.
Cricketnext picks its dream IPL XI from season 11:
KL Rahul: Kings XI Punjab’s Rahul is a certain choice for the role of an opener. He had tremendous season, his best ever, where he scored 659 runs at an average of 54.91. The India international also slammed six fifties in the tournament. He along with Chris Gayle was responsible for giving his team sound starts at the top of the order.
Shane Watson: For the last few IPL seasons Watson wasn’t in the best of batting form. In IPL 2017, he had only managed to score a dismal 71 runs in eight matches. But this year was a complete turnaround for the Australian all-rounder. He slammed 555 runs in 15 matches for CSK, that included two tons and as many half-centuries. His innings of 117 in the high-pressure final against SRH seals his spot in this team.
Kane Williamson: The Kiwi was handed over the leadership of SRH due to David Warner’s absence. Williamson put his best foot forward and led his team with example, as he finished as the highest run-scorer in the tournament. In 17 games he scored 735 runs, and hit 8 fifties. He emerged as the batting mainstay of the team that had Shikhar Dhawan in their ranks.
Rishabh Pant: Though unorthodox, Pant was the most effective batsman for Delhi Daredevils. The 20-year-old in fact was perhaps was the only bright spot in Delhi’s dismal campaign. He ended the tournament with a massive 684 runs, with a strike rate of 173.60. This performance in the IPL has established him as the most promising young keeper-batsman in the country.
MS Dhoni (C) (WK): It was a tough ask for Dhoni to lead a side that was coming to the IPL after a gap of two years. But as always, CSK’s captain cool delivered under-pressure. Not only he led his team to third title, but he batted like a champion and scored 455 runs from 16 matches. What is noteworthy is that, after four seasons Dhoni’s strike-rate crossed 150 in the tournament.
Andre Russell: The West Indian emerged as one of the best all-rounders of the tournament. He was devastating with the bat and provided great support to the team with his useful bowling. Russell scored 316 runs in 16 matches at a strike-rate of 184.79, and picked 13 wickets too.
Rashid Khan: The Afghanistan leg-spinner was termed “best T20 bowler in the world” by Sachin Tendulkar, and for a reason. Rashid returned with 21 wickets in this year’s IPL and was the highest-wicket taker for Sunrisers Hyderabad, along with Siddarth Kaul. He showed his batting prowess with a hard-hitting 34 from 10 balls in the Qualifier 2 against Kolkata Knight Riders.
Deepak Chahar: Though Chahar was a little short in the wickets column (10), but his utility in the team extends beyond that. He had an economy rate of 7.28 in the tournament. In the match against KXIP, he showed that he is no dud with the bat and scored a crucial 39 from 20 balls to take his team to a win.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar: The right-arm pacer has been one the best bowlers for SRH. Though he had a relatively quiet tournament with 9 wickets, he did enough to trouble the batsmen. He bowled a staggering 124 dots and gave away runs at an economy of 7.66.
Kuldeep Yadav: After a slow start to the tournament, Kuldeep did really well for KKR and picked 17 wickets in 16 games. Batsmen found it difficult to read his deliveries and was lethal towards the end of the IPL. In the last 5 games, he claimed 9 wickets.
Umesh Yadav: The RCB pacer finished as the fourth-highest wicket-taker in the tournament with 20 scalps. He had a decent economy rate of 7.86 this season and was one of the few bowlers who did well for his side. He had cracking spell against Kings Punjab, where he returned with figures of 3/23.