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IPL 2022: Hardik To Lead This Dream XI

By NORMA ASTRID GODINHO
May 25, 2022 17:04 IST
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IPL 2022 will end in hopefully a spectacular final at the Narendra Modi stadium in Ahmedabad.

Some players who have missed the play-offs bus have impressed as much as those who are set to stake a claim to the title, with the play-offs starting on Tuesday.

Norma Astrid Godinho picks her IPL 2022 Dream XI, an unbeatable combination that could give the very best a run for their money...

 

K L Rahul (vice-captain)

IMAGE: K L Rahul has hit two centuries so far this season. Photographs: BCCI

The IPL has always been Rahul's to own. Although he started this season with a duck in the opener against fellow newcomers Gujarat Titans, he didn't let that affect him much and went on to score three fifties this season.

He also struck two centuries against a below par Mumbai Indians in two games to help his team to victory. Although a patchy run in the league stage, Rahul scored 537 runs with a highest of 103 not out and a strike rate of 135.

 

Wriddhiman Saha (wicket-keeper)

IMAGE: Wriddhiman Saha has given the Gujarat Titans much needed impetus up front.

Saha has revealed a new avatar this season.

The Gujarat Titans opener has played fearlessly, taking on the rival attack from the get go. Although playing aggressive cricket, his batting has been risk free. He scored three half-centuries in the league stage, his last one coming against CSK on May 15.

 

Rahul Tripathi

IMAGE: Rahul Tripathi was in top form for an inconsistent SunRisers Hyderabad.

The SunRisers Hyderabad missed the cut for the IPL play-offs, but their very up and down campaign had one stand-out player. Rahul Tripathi continues to stamp his class in the IPL.

After being released by the Kolkata Knight Riders, he was picked for Rs 8.50 crore (Rs 85 million) by SunRisers at the mega auction this year. He has replicated his performances from previous seasons, shining through in an inconsistent SunRisers campaign where the batting was mostly found wanting.

The 31 year old scored a few counter-attacking knocks to bring his team out of desperate situations and finished with 393 runs in 13 matches at an average of 39.30 and a strike rate of 161.72.

 

Tilak Varma

IMAGE: Young Tilak Varma was a standout performer for the Mumbai Indians in his debut season.

While Mumbai Indians had an underwhelming season, Under-19 star Tilak Varma stood out.

Varma joined MI for Rs 1.7 crore (Rs 17 million) and finished as their leading run-scorer in IPL 2022 with 376 runs in 13 matches at an average of 37.60 and a strike rate of 131.46.

While the MI batting lay in tatters at one end, Tilak showed great maturity and potential while mixing aggression with calm batting to help the team put on scores on the boat. He was tactical against the spinners, scoring at an average of 181.

 

MI Captain Rohit Sharma feels Tilak 'could be an all-format player for India. Things are looking bright for him.'

 

Tim David

IMAGE: T20 specialist Tim David made his mark at the Mumbai Indians this IPL season.

The Singaporean-Aussie was a hotly contested name at the mega auction following his exploits in the Big Bash League. The power-hitter went for Rs 8.25 crores (Rs 82.5 million) and with the limited opportunities presented to him, he proved his worth.

In just 8 matches he scored 186 runs with a highest of 46. His range of big range shots is undeniable. His consistency of sending the ball into orbit is mind boggling.

What makes him stand out is that his shots look effortless. When he hits them, he hits them big, long and at will. His pace of scoring will make the best of the best take notice -- a strike rate of 216 is proof.

 

Hardik Pandya (Captain)

IMAGE: Hardik Pandya has taken to captaincy like a fish to water.

Hardik has been a revelation this IPL. Captaincy fits like a second skin on the all-rounder who has led the IPL debutants, Gujarat Titans, by example. With just four losses in the league stage and now a place in Sunday's final, he has emerged as one of the best captains.

He marshalled his troops with calm and calculation. Not once did he lose his cool or hope in his players even when chasing games from tough situations. His field placements, rotation of bowlers has been spot on.

He quietened his critics and surprised all by his accurate bowling -- he has bowled at high speeds, never missing his line and length. Opening the bowling, he managed to keep batters quiet. He has also shown that he has reached full fitness, bowling his full quota of four overs every game.

He has also been consistent with the bat, hitting big shots at will. He has scored four fifties at a strike rate of 131. He had a couple of scratchy innings ,but those apart, he has conjured up the runs for GT.

Hardik's success as captain comes down to the freedom he has from the dressing room and that is filtering down to his team-mates, making them a force to reckon with.

 

Dinesh Karthik

IMAGE: Dinesh Karthik has reinvented himself at RCB.

DK has been a revelation this season. Whenever he has come out to bat -- whether RCB is batting first or batting second -- he has invariably shifted the team's momentum while going about his business.

He has played the role of a finisher to perfection this season. He has planned his innings well with shots all around the ground. His batting has exuded a fat dose of confidence on which RCB has ridden on thus far to reach the play-offs.

His batting exploits have seen him score 287 runs in 14 games at a brilliant strike rate of 191.33 and an average of 57.40, with the highest knock of 66 not out scored against Delhi Capitals.

 

Rashid Khan

IMAGE: Rashid Khan has picked 18 wickets and scored 91 runs down the order.

No dream team is complete without the ever-reliant Rashid Khan.

The Afghan leggie may not be on top of his game this season, but he has given Gujarat Titans the breakthroughs when called on. The T20 specialist has bamboozled batters with his googlies and his knack of breaking blossoming partnerships makes him a force to reckon with.

His batting -- his slogging rather -- comes more than handy to put runs on the board or chase down totals.

Rashid's fielding, especially putting those dives in the deep to cut the boundaries, is a frame set in every IPL lovers' mind.

His all-round ability has seen his stock grow year on year and in 14 matches this season he has picked 18 wickets with best figures of 4 for 24 against the Lucknow SuperGiants.

His batting has also helped his team on a number of occasions this season. He was instrumental in helping GT win from a precarious position against Chennai Super Kings, stitching a partnership with David Miller and then taking down Chris Jordan for 22 runs in an over to take GT to victory. But his last ball six for a win over his former franchise SunRisers Hyderabad will stand out.

 

Kuldeep Yadav

IMAGE: Kuldeep Yadav took 21 wickets in the IPL this season.

In the first four wins of Delhi Capitals, it was Kuldeep who spun them to victory.

But he kept his best for former franchise Kolkata Knight Riders taking 8 wickets in the two matches played earlier in the season.

Injury, long recuperation and inconsistency saw him on the sidelines in the last two seasons but the chinaman bowler came back from the lowest of lows to become one of DC's top bowlers this season.

It wasn't that he wasn't taken to the cleaners, but his mere ability to strike and turn the match is what makes him hot property. He has worked on his bowling, varying the pace, hitting the right areas, foxing the batters with his googlies every once in a while.

 

Mohammed Shami

IMAGE: Mohammed Shami has bowled at high speeds and picked early wickets.

Shami has been the strike master for Gujarat Titans this season. Opening the bowling, he has often put GT on the front foot by picking early wickets. When brought back in the middle overs, he's kept it tight with his yorkers and inswingers.

The strike bowler has been top notch for the debutants with 18 wickets in 14 matches. An economy of 7.7 is testament to his skill, pace and accuracy that has made him India's leading bowler in the last 5-6 years.

 

Jasprit Bumrah

IMAGE: Despite taking off slowly, Jasprit Bumrah finished with 15 wickets this season.

Boom Boom didn't light up the IPL from the get go this season but game after game bowled with fire. He eventually scalped 15 wickets and his best was a fifer -- 5 for 10 against KKR -- his first five-wicket haul in an IPL match.

He bowled on point and even though he didn't get a lot of wickets every match, he did not leak any runs as his toe crushers kept batters at bay.

 

Umran Malik, 12th man

IMAGE: With speeds of 150 km, Umran Malik is safely India's fastest bowlers in the IPL.

Umran has wowed Indian cricket fans with his sheer pace.

Accuracy and consistency is still a matter of time for the youngster, but hitting those speeds every game is bound to keep opposition batters on their toes.

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NORMA ASTRID GODINHO

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