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Check out the IPL Dream XI

By Harish Kotian
May 28, 2018 08:34 IST
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IPL-11 was a smashing success.
Superstars like Kane Williamson, M S Dhoni, Rashid Khan shone.
New stars like Rishabh Pant, Andrew Tye were born. Kotian draws up his dream team.

The 11th edition of the Indian Premier League, which concluded on Sunday with the Chennai Super Kings outclassing the Sunrisers Hyderabad by 8 wickets, winning the title a third time, was another feast of Twenty20 cricket.

With the world's best players rubbing shoulders with the cream of India's up-and-coming talent, several individuals rose to the occasion with some breathtaking performances.

Sunrisers Hyderabad Captain Kane Williamson finished as the highest run-scorer in the tournament while King XI Punjab's Andrew Tye bagged the most wickets.

Players like K L Rahul, Rishabh Pant and Rashid Khan left their mark on the biggest T20 stage while veterans like Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Ambati Rayudu and Sunil Narine were not far behind either.

Check out the IPL Dream XI:

K L Rahul

KL Rahul 

Rahul took the IPL by storm this season and it wasn't surprising that Sunil Gavaskar aptly described him as 'the next big thing in Indian cricket'.

The Kings XI Punjab opener started the tournament in smashing fashion with a 14-ball half-century against the Delhi Daredevils and there was no looking back thereafter.

A consistent run, including 6 fifties, saw Rahul finish as the third highest scorer with a tally of 659 runs in 14 games, at a strike rate of 158.

Despite his brilliance with the bat, Punjab were unable to progress to the play-offs after they stumbled in the second half of the tournament.


Jos Buttler

Jos Buttler 

Buttler revived the Rajasthan Royals' stuttering campaign with a record run with the bat.

He hit 5 half-centuries in a row to equal Virender Sehwag's IPL record.

His brilliant display after he was promoted as opener saw Rajasthan make a late surge to make the play-offs even though Buttler had to leave before the last league game after he was picked for England's first Test against Pakistan where he scored 66 in the second innings and redeemed some respect for his side.

His superb 548 runs in 13 games saw Rajasthan finish 4th in the league standings and squeeze through to the play-offs.


Kane Williamson

Kane Williamson

The Kiwi led from the front as Sunrisers Hyderabad dominated the league stages, but fell short at the very end.

Had David Warner not been banned from the IPL after the ball-tampering scandal, Williamson may have struggled to make it to the Sunrisers playing eleven.

Handed the responsibility of leading the team, he led the Sunrisers with intelligence and quiet elan.

Williamson showed his versatility as he finished as the highest run scorer with a massive 735 runs from 17 games with as many as 8 half-centuries at an amazing average of 143.


Rishabh Pant

Rishabh Pant

Rishabh was the most entertaining batsman in this year's IPL.

The Delhi Daredevils once again failed to live up to expectations, but young Rishabh excited everyone with his swashbuckling batting.

His century against the Sunrisers Hyderabad was memorable as he took the bowlers to the cleaners, including frontline Indian pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar.

Rishabh finished second in the run scorers list, smashing 684 runs at a strike rate of 173 with 5 fifties and a century.

Batting in the same attacking fashion as the young Mahendra Singh, Rishabh is touted as the most-able replacement when the great man hangs up his gloves.


Ambati Rayudu

Ambati Rayudu

Mumbai Indians will rue their decision not to retain Ambati Rayudu who was remarkably consistent with the bat.

Constantly shuffled in the order -- sometimes opening the batting and turning up at times in the middle order -- there was no stopping the flow of runs from Rayudu's bat.

He went about his job quietly to amass 602 runs including a century and 3 fifties.


Mahendra Singh Dhoni

Mahendra Singh Dhoni

Captain Cool brought back memories of yore as he guided CSK to their third IPL title -- their most memorable as they capped their comeback in the T20 league after a two-year ban in grand style.

Dhoni's captaincy drew huge praise as he turned the team of old warhorses into unlikely champions. (Please note, management at the now defunct Pune SuperGiant franchise, for which Dhoni played during CSK's two-year ban.)

MS also played some important knocks, including the close finish against the Royal Challengers Bangalore when he single-handedly guided CSK home.

Not many gave CSK a chance when 99 runs were needed off 7 overs, but Dhoni brought his team home with some superb strokeplay, including a 6 over long-on to win the game like he did in the 2011 World Cup final.

He answered his critics in fine style, hitting 455 runs in 16 games.


Krunal Pandya

Krunal Pandya

Krunal's excellent show with the bat and ball was instrumental in Mumbai's late revival, despite which they were unable to make the play-offs.

Not only did he claim vital wickets with his left-arm spin, but also chipped in with useful cameos with the bat.

Pandya scored 228 runs at an average of 22 while picking up 12 wickets at an economy rate of 7.

Not surprisingly, he was rewarded with a place in the India 'A' team for the coming tour of England.


Andrew Tye

Andrew Tye

Tye hit form at the right time towards the closing stages of the league.

The Aussie picked up 12 wickets in 4 games, including 3 4-wicket hauls, but didn't get enough support from the other Kings XI Punjab bowlers.

Tye finished as the highest wicket-taker with 24 wickets at an impressive economy rate of 18.


Umesh Yadav

Umesh Yadav

IPL-11 marked the resurgence of Umesh Yadav who proved he still has it in him when it comes to limited overs cricket.

More then often than not, Umesh provided regular breakthroughs for his team with the new ball.

Royal Challengers Bangalore Captain Virat Kohli played a role, using Umesh sensibly, finishing his quota well before the end.

Umesh bowled with a lot of heart, not compromising on his pace while hitting the right line and length to pocket an impressive 20 wickets in the tournament.


Sunil Narine

Sunil Narine

Narine continued his exploits as an impact player for the Kolkata Knight Riders with bat and ball.

Better known for his bowling, Narine enjoys his role as opener when he has the liberty to go after the bowlers.

He ended up with 357 runs at a strike of 189 to accompany his 17 wickets in 16 games.


Rashid Khan

Rashid Khan

The spin wizard from Jalalabad, Afghanistan, ruled IPL-11 with his fine bowling, handy knocks with the bat, and super fielding.

His superb all-round show saw the Sunrisers Hyderabad edge past the Kolkata Knight Riders in Qualifier 2 to enter the final.

Rashid hit a quickfire 34 not out from 10 balls, ran out KKR's dangerous Nitish Rana, picked up 3/19 and took two catches at crucial times.

Though the Sunrisers finished runners up, the leg-spinner had a memorable tournament, finishing with 21 wickets from 17 games, at an impressive economy rate of 6.73.

Photographs: BCCI

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