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My IPL 2022 Dream Team

By SHAILESH KARKERA
May 24, 2022 11:48 IST
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The Indian Premier League 2022 has, for the most part, been a predictor's nightmare and a quick look at the final league standings shows the bottom four slots are occupied by former champions while the debutants finished up in the top three.

However, even in a chaotic season like this one, full of upsets and last-ball finishes, there were some players who were consistent throughout the competition and featured heavily in the individual awards.

Here's Shailesh Karkera's pick for the IPL 2022 Team of the Season.

 

Opening Batsman: Jos Buttler

Buttler got off to a dream start this season with three back-to-back centuries off the first three games which set a very high bar for the rest of the pack in the hunt for the Orange Cap.

Unfortunately, the said dream start was followed by a slump of sorts as Buttler became a victim of his own success and high standards.

Eventually as the season wore on, the Englishman found his groove and from an individual prespective, he finished the season with 629 runs at an average of 48.38 and had this been a F1 Race, he'd have led from Pole to Chequered flag.

Buttler is the perfect opening batter to go after the new ball and get any team off to a flying start in the powerplay.

 

Opening Batsman: K L Rahul

Debutants Lucknow Super Giants capped off a brilliant debut season in the IPL 2022 largely thanks to the impressive contributions of K L Rahul who, unlike some other players who were unable to handle the pressure of captaincy, seemed to thrive in it.

His unbeaten partnership with Quinton de Kock against the Kolkata Knight Riders, where he batted through the entire 20 overs, broke multiple records as he finished with 103*.

Overall, he raked up 537 runs including two centuries and three fifties with an astounding average of 48.81

Rahul has the maturity and the composure to caliberate his innings as per the demands of the situation and will be an ideal partner for Buttler.

 

Number 3: Shikhar Dhawan

Dhawan was at the heart of Punjab Kings's success all through the season and while IPL 2022 ended in disappointment for the franchise, Dhawan finished off with 460 runs at an average of 38.33.

Though he has been operating majorly as an opener, he has the necessary temperament and focus needed by a number 3 batter who can play the role of an anchor as and when required.

 

Number 4: Deepak Hooda

Following years of personal under-achievement, Hooda has finally shown his true potential as he came of age this season with the Lucknow Super Giants.

Always at hand to steady the innings after the loss of early wickets, Hooda has navigated his team out of many tricky situations.

An ideal middle-order batter who has already scored 406 runs, Hooda provides a certain level of maturity and level-headedness needed for a batter to play a long, steady, innings.

 

Number 5: Liam Livingstone

Livingstone is the gift that keeps on giving -- both with bat and ball (along with some spectacular catches in the field to boot).

Right up there with 437 runs to his name this season which includes 34 sixes as well as claiming 5 wickets with best figures of 3/27.

Livingstone is famed for his big-hitting and expertise against spin bowlers and just like some of his Caribbean counterparts is seemingly born to play this format.

 

Number 6: Hardik Pandya

Much of Gujarat Titans's success has been down to the impressive form and leadership of Captain Pandya who, much like K L Rahul, has not let captaincy affect his performance on the pitch in any way.

His tally of 413 runs with an average of 41.30 made him one of the most consistent performers of the Gujarat outfit who were runaway leaders for much of the season.

 

Number 7: Rahul Tewatia

The 'Ice-man' loves a run-chase and no target is without sight for this new-age finisher for Gujarat who has single-handedly turned losing matches into wins.

His tally for the season has been pretty average with 217 scored so far ,but what is more important is he is someone who absolutely relishes the death overs.

Coming in later down the order also allows Tewatia to do what he does best -- chase down the target no matter how steep the runs to balls equation.

 

Number 8: Rashid Khan

The fact that batters generally try to play out his quota of overs quickly speaks volumes about the pedigree of spin merchant Rashid Khan who has matured into a deadly force and one of the mainstays of the Gujarat Titans outfit with 18 wickets to his name this season and best figures of 4-24.

Coupled with the fact that he can contribute with the bat as well as evidenced by his match-winning innings of 31* from 11 balls against Sunrisers Hyderabad which included a dramatic last ball four to win the tie.

Like a fine wine, Rashid only gets better with age. A must-have in the bowling line-up.

 

Number 9: Yuzvendra Chahal

The leading wicket taker in IPL 2022 has been in scorching form this season and has built up his arsenal in a methodical way over the years.

This current season has been his finest in his ten years of playing the IPL with 26 wickets to his name with a personal best of 5/40.

His strength comes from his variations and confidence in his craft, baiting his opponents to opt for the big hits before reeling them in like a prized catch.

 

Number 10: Trent Boult

While Mumbai Indians were left licking their wounds following the massive void left behind by Boult's exit, Rajasthan Royals fans were delighted at his arrival and he reciprocated by scalping 13 wickets this season.

Boult is an ideal opening bowler who keeps the pressure on the batters at all times and more often than not, gets regular wickets in his opening spell, to pile the pressure on the opponents.

 

Number 11: Jasprit Bumrah

Bumrah started the season on a low but finished high with 15 wickets to his name and a personal best of 5/10.

As the saying goes, form is temporary, class is permanent.

He is India's number 1 bowler across all formats for a reason -- deadly accuracy, disciplined line and length coupled with a remarkable ability to swing the ball both ways.

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SHAILESH KARKERA

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