We bring to you the best playing XI of IPL 2018 that will be potent enough to beat the IPL 2018 champions CSK.
This year’s season was the closest in IPL history. The gap between the topmost team and the team at the bottom was just 8, which was the first time that the gap was in single digits. SRH were at 18 points going into the playoffs whereas DD had 10. Interestingly, even no team ended in single digits.
All the teams picked very well in the auctions. Most of them had a great mix of experience and youth, batsmen and bowlers including a good share of all-rounders. The need of the hour was to put all the pieces in place to come up with a flawless performance.
Most teams struggled at this as either of their one department failed them. When the bowling clicked, the batting did not, when both did, the fielding let them down or vice versa.
However, CSK came up with a number of balanced performances in which each one of them contributed. So, let us pick players from each team to build up a balanced XI which can beat the title winners CSK.
Virat Kohli (C)
RCB may not have performed well enough to make the playoffs but that could not stop Captain Virat Kohli from scoring runs. The team’s performance did not deter the skipper as Kohli scored 530 runs in 14 matches at an average of a shade under 50.
Although sometimes Kohli pushed himself lower down in the batting order, but one feels that his best position remain as the top of the order. And there are no prizes for guessing that Kohli will also lead the side.
— Royal Challengers (@RCBTweets) May 30, 2018
KL Rahul is one of the sweetest timers of the cricket ball, not only in India but across the world. 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.
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.
Dinesh Karthik (WK)
Dinesh Karthik pummeled the bland looking KKR side to the Qualifier 2. He was in the zone for the most part of his innings and took his team over the line with several match winning performances.
The testament of this is that he is the only lower middle order batsman to score more than 400 runs. DK scored 498 runs, just two shy of 500, with an average of almost 50. He will also don the keeping gloves for the side.
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.
Paltan, @hardikpandya7 is happy to be in possession of the Purple Cap. But he knows the job is not done yet. Here’s what the Man of the Match said at the press conference – https://t.co/dRnW4wldD5#CricketMeriJaan #MumbaiIndians #MIvKKR pic.twitter.com/LySFRnRetj
— Mumbai Indians (@mipaltan) May 7, 2018
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.
Rashid Khan finished as the second highest wicket taker of the tournament, only behind Ander Tye. Rashid picked up 21 wickets in 17 matches at an average shade over 20. At a time when bowlers are going for plenty, Rashid ended his IPL campaign with an economy under 7.
Lately, Rashid has also shown that he is a capable batsman and has the ability of scoring some quick runs with the bat. In the Qualifier 2 against KKR, Rashid first took SRH’s score to 144, blasting a 10-ball 34 and then came back to pick up 3 wickets while bowling economically.
Also Read: IPL 2018: The Worst XI of the tournament
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.
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.