Check out Bikash Mohapatra/Rediff.com's IPL 9 Dream XI.
IPL 9 was as much about individual brilliance -- with the likes of Virat Kohli, David Warner and A B de Villiers upping the stakes -- as it was about team effort.
The latter attribute, in fact, determined the eventual winners.
As the dust settles down on this IPL season, and Sunrisers Hyderabad celebrate their maiden success, Bikash Mohapatra/Rediff.com presents his Dream XI*.
Virat Kohli, Royal Challengers Bangalore
Matches: 16. Runs: 973
He has redefined batting in many ways and, at the same time, become synonymous with consistency.
Virat Kohli scores a lot of runs, and gets them by playing normal cricketing shots.
In this IPL he almost became the first batsman to score 1,000 runs, falling just 27 runs short.
The fact that he opens the batting self-admittedly gives him better opportunities to score, but it is also about converting the chances you get. Over the years Virat has become an expert at that.
For someone who, for all his consistency, did not have a T20 century to his credit coming into the tournament, Virat crossed the three-figure mark on four occasions this season.
Add to it another seven half centuries, and he has 11 50-plus scores in his 16 innings in the tournament.
Didn't we say at the outset that he has become synonymous with consistency?
David Warner, Captain, Sunrisers Hyderabad
Matches: 17. Runs: 848
During the course of the tournament the 29 year old gave a new meaning to the phrase leading from the front.
Be it as an opening batsman, outfielder or motivator, David Warner ticks in all the boxes.
Nine 50-plus scores in 17 innings, and an aggregate of 848 runs (second only to Virat Kohli), ensured the Sunrisers Hyderabad bowlers had, more often than not, enough runs to defend.
And when they had a rare off-day, they were aware that, with their captain around, any total could be chased down.
A Virat-Warner opening combination is a better prospect than Virat-Chris Gayle.
Having led his side to the title he is the best man to lead this team.
'David is an incredible captain and has led the team very well. He is a born winner and that rubs off on others,' Sunrisers coach Tom Moody said after the win.
'He has incredible work ethic and incredible discipline, and all those things are so important from the leadership point of view,' Moody added.
A B de Villiers, Royal Challengers Bangalore
Matches: 16. Runs: 687)
When it comes to choosing the No 3 batsman, it is simple.
There's no one better at that spot than A B de Villiers.
The South African scored 687 runs, including a century and 6 fifties.
When Virat and AB batted in tandem, the opposition was resigned to its fate.
On the rare occasion when Virat, Gayle and Co failed in Qualifier 1, AB single-handedly carried RCB to the final.
AB was also named the best fielder in the tournament.
Suresh Raina, Gujarat Lions
Matches: 15. Runs: 399
Suresh Raina displayed immense poise while leading debutants Gujarat Lions.
Whether it was consistency at the No 4 position, or taking the catch of the tournament (against Kolkata Knight Riders), Raina made a significant impact.
Out of Mahendra Singh Dhoni's shadow for the first time, Raina led the Lions admirably, helping them finish atop the table at the end of the group phase.
The new franchise finished third, losing to eventual champions Sunrisers Hyderabad in Qualifier 2.
Ajinkya Rahane, Rising Pune Supergiants
Matches: 14. Runs: 480
You may argue that Ajinkya Rahane opens the innings. How can he be named the No 5 batsman?
The counter-argument: With the Virat-Warner combination at the top, there's no reason to make alterations. At the same time, it will be unwise to leave out Rahane.
The 27 year old was by far Pune's most consistent player, as an aggregate of 480 runs (with six 50-plus scores) indicates, and Dhoni's go-to man.
Considering his technique and temperament, he will do well in any position.
Rohit Sharma, Mumbai Indians
Matches: 14. Runs: 489
Another change of position.
The Mumbai Indians captain usually opens the batting, but we have him at No 6.
Rohit was Mumbai's most consistent performer, getting five 50-plus scores in his 14 innings.
When he failed, the defending champions struggled.
Unfortunately his performances failed to inspire Mumbai Indians to mount a serious title defence.
Robin Uthappa, Kolkata Knight Riders
Matches: 15. Runs: 394, Catches: 10, Stumpings: 4
Naman Ojha of Sunrisers Hyderabad finished with a better record (18 catches) behind the stumps.
But Robin Uthappa is our preferred choice for wicket-keeper, to a large extent owing to the fact that he is a better batsman.
Uthappa was one of the impressive performers for a KKR side that eventually finished fourth.
Along with Captain Gautam Gambhir he formed one of the best opening pairs in the tournament.
Chris Morris, Delhi Daredevils
Matches: 12. Runs: 195, Wickets: 13
Kolkata Knight Riders' Andre Russell (188 runs and 15 wickets) and Gujarat Lions' Dwayne Bravo (99 runs and 17 wickets) were the other contenders for this crucial position.
Chris Morris's consistency and impact, as also the fact that he was in a comparatively weaker team, tilted the decision in his favour.
Anyone who witnessed his whirlwind 82 not out against the Gujarat Lions will agree that the South African deserves his place.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Sunrisers Hyderabad
Matches: 17, Wickets: 23
Without doubt the best bowler in IPL 9.
Not just because he finished as the tournament's highest wicket-taker, his 23 wickets helping him win the Purple Cap, but also because of the burden he took upon himself during the tournament.
When IPL 9 began, Ashish Nehra was Sunrisers' strike bowler and the mentor to others. When Nehra suffered an injury and was ruled out of the tournament, Bhuvi assumed his mantle and delivered.
He was so impressive in his last two overs in the final that Captain Warner labeled him a 'world-class bowler.' A great accolade for a bowler whose place in the Indian team is not a certainty.
Yuzvendra Chahal, Royal Challengers Bangalore
Matches: 13. Wickets: 21
Yuzvendra Chahal was, statistically, the most successful spinner in IPL 9.
The fact that he didn't play in all of RCB's matches significantly reduced his chances of finishing as the tournament's highest wicket-taker.
Adam Zampa, Rising Pune Supergiants
Matches: 5. Wickets: 12
Many questioned Mahendra Singh Dhoni's decision when Adam Zampa was not included in the playing eleven for a majority of Pune's campaign.
The Rising Pune Supergiants skipper stuck to Ravichandran Ashwin (10 wickets in 14 matches) and Murugan Ashwin (seven wickets in 10 matches).
When he got his chance, Adam Zampa showed the new franchise what they missed out on, picking up 12 wickets in just five appearances.
The 24 year old's 6/19 against Sunrisers Hyderabad in Vishakapatnam were the second best figures ever in IPL history -- after Sohail Tanvir's 6/14 for the Rajasthan Royals in IPL 1.
It's too early to say if he is the next Shane Warne, but Adam Zampa is definitely a great prospect.
Mustafizur Rahman, Sunrisers Hyderabad
Matches: 16. Wickets: 17
Blame it on the IPL rule that limits the number of foreign players in a team to four.
Consequently, Mutafizur, or Fizz -- as he is called now -- misses out.
His inclusion as 12th man is tribute to the impact he had in Sunrisers' title run.
No wonder he was named the Emerging Player of the Tournament.
*The list is performance-based, and takes into account the fact that there can be only four overseas players in the playing XI.