The league stage of IPL 2018 has been action- packed and full of surprises and we bring you the best playing XI from the first 56 league matches.
This year’s IPL has been an absolute treat for the fans. It has been a very competitive tournament overall with almost all teams fighting it out to get into the playoffs. With as many as 5 teams caught up on 12 points at one point, the teams who have had to unfortunately miss out are Mumbai Indians, Royal Challengers Bangalore and Kings XI Punjab.
— Chennai Super Kings (@ChennaiIPL) May 22, 2018
While Sunrisers Hyderabad, Chennai Super Kings, Kolkata Knight Riders and Rajasthan Royals have managed to secure a playoff berth, Delhi Daredevils have ended with the wooden spoon.
On one hand, there have been some ordinary performance s as some players failed to live up to the expectations; on the other hand, there have been some breathtaking displays. We have tried to slot them all together in our IPL 2018 team. Let us know how you feel about this:
The Karnataka batsman has been a treat to watch this season. Although he has scored 659 runs in 14 matches at a strike-rate of 158.41, what matters more is the way that he has scored those runs.
Acknowledged as one of the most gifted batsmen in Indian cricket, Rahul single-handedly kept Punjab in the hunt and even took them on the verge of the playoffs.
Ambati Rayudu has been a real revelation for Chennai and the highest scoring CSK batsman this season. He has given them a lot of momentum first up going into the innings.
With 586 runs in 14 matches at a strike-rate of 153.40, Rayudu has got a place in the Indian ODI side. With at least a couple of games still under his belt, Rayudu would love to clinch the Orange Cap.
Also Read: IPL 2018 – The Worst XI from league stage
Kane Williamson (o)
Kane Williamson replaced David Warner as the Captain of the Sunrisers camp. Many were expecting SRH to get bogged down without their regular leader. However, Williamson not only led the side beautifully but also piled up 661 runs with 8 half centuries, more than any other batsman.
He has marshaled his troops exceedingly well and entrusted his faith on his bowlers. The SRH bowlers too have repaid his faith and come up as the best bowling line up of the IPL.
Rishabh Pant was the shining light in the otherwise dull campaign of the Delhi Daredevils. Currently, he is the leading run scorer on the batting charts with 684 runs at an average over 50. Pant will bring in some funk to the batting line up.
Jos Buttler (o)
In retrospect, you feel that Jos Buttler was almost wasted in the middle order. Once he was promoted at the top of the batting order, he set the IPL alight with 5 consecutive 50s. It was actually his effort that took RR to the playoffs.
MS Dhoni (c & wk)
MS Dhoni has turned the clock around this year with a series of finishes. He is connecting the ball more often and the fans are seeing the vintage version of the veteran. Apart from his batting skills, Dhoni is absolutely invaluable when it comes to keeping and captaincy.
In the last match of the league stage, Dhoni played a master stroke to promote Harbhajan Singh and Deepak Chahar up the batting order. It is moves like this that make him such an unpredictable and a great Captain.
Hardik Pandya started his IPL campaign at a rather bland note but picked up as the season moved forward. He proved to be the lynchpin of the Mumbai line up in the latter part of the campaign.
Interestingly, bowling proved to be his stronger suite as he picked up 18 wickets in 13 matches. With the bat also, junior Pandya has done decently with 260 runs in 13 matches.
Sunil Narine (o)
Sunil Narine’s bowling may have gone down a touch but his batting has come up a long way. With the ball, Narine provides a mystery bowling option and can prove to be economical.
Also, if the batsmen try to take on the Trinidadian, he can pick up a handful of wickets. What makes him more useful is that he can be used as a floater in the batting line up.
Umesh Yadav stood out for RCB in the bowling department. Although, he does not give you overs at the death, Yadav bowls very tightly in the initial overs.
— Royal Challengers (@RCBTweets) May 21, 2018
The other notable thing about the pacer is that when he picks up wickets, he does it in clusters which breaks the back of the opposition batting line up. With 20 wickets in 14 matches, Yadav is second on the list of highest wicket-takers.
Andrew Tye (o)
Andrew Tye was picked on the back of his curtailed season for the Gujarat Lions last year in which he picked up a hat-trick as well. Tye proved to be KXIP’s premier pacer as bowed both in the beginning as well as the death.
The Aussie has a couple of 4-fers under his belt and a decent economy of 8. Tye has had 24 scalps in 14 matches and looks all set to bag the Purple cap.
Japrit Bumrah did not start as well as he would have liked. At the beginning of the season, his length became a little bit shorter and the line also shifted a little outside the off stump. A major problem with the pacer was that he was not able to land his yorkers.
However, as the season went on, Bumrah kept improving. In his last two matches, the pacer ended with figures of 3-15 and 1-29 respectively, but alas, it was too late for MI to qualify.