• cricthoughts

Collab club: IPL 2020 team of the tournament

Updated: Feb 19

With the 2020 edition of the Indian Premier League having finished, our writing team at Inside Edge Cricket decided to take a look at the stars of the tournament. Today, I, Cricket Thoughts, and Duke and Kookaburra debated our picks for the combined side of the tournament. Here are the results of our discussion:

Duke and Kookaburra: For one half of the opening combination, we have to have QdK (Quinton de Kock) in there. The bloke is dynamite in limited-overs cricket and a fine keeper.

Cricket Thoughts: I'm with you there on Quinton, brilliant opener and was able to get Mumbai off to so many great starts throughout the tournament. He goes in at number 1. For his partner, I'm happy to throw Shikhar Dhawan in the mix. The first player to score back-to-back centuries in IPL history.

DK: I was tempted to go with Dhawan as the other opener but his shot in the final was nightmarish. Plus, I was impressed with KL Rahul, who was largely carrying a poor Kings XI side until Gayle's belated recall.

CT: I did have a look at Rahul and thought he was brilliant in the first half of the tournament, but I thought he faded away as it went on. The reason I favoured Dhawan was his strike rate of almost 145 while Rahul was under 130.

DK: That's fair mate. I just felt as Rahul scored his runs in fewer games and for a weaker side then perhaps, they counted heavier but you're the boss! Don't tell me we have a split decision?

CT: That's true and that is what does sway me in Rahul's favour. I wouldn't be against them both making the side, they could slot in at #2 and #3?

DK: I'm happy with that mate. Which moves us to #4, a key slot in T20. And I am nominating ABdV for continued excellence and Suryakumar Yadav.

CT: I really like Suryakumar Yadav, I think he's a brilliant player and would favour him on this one. Although de Villiers has been quietly good for RCB this year, he just couldn't quite fire them into the final in the way Yadav managed to.

DK: I'm very happy with that, Yadav should really be a part of the Indian limited-overs sides so happy with us picking Yadav at #4. Who's your call for #5?

CT: I have two very different players as my suggestions for #5: Ishan Kishan and Shreyas Iyer. The left-hand dasher in Kishan and the more classical right-handed Iyer.

DK: This is tough. Kishan looks a good player to me, but so does Iyer! Seems Kohli at #4 is blocking Iyer's path to the national team, but he should probably be a part of the India team. Wow, maybe we should toss the coin on this one? Iyer's numbers are slightly better so perhaps he is ahead by a nose? Photo finish!

CT: Really tough call this but I would lean ever so slightly towards Kishan on this one. The reason for that would be that for me, Iyer's strike rate would make him a better player at #4 than #5. Kishan strikes at 145 compared to Iyer's 123 this tournament so that's all that splits them.

DK: It's a tough call for sure. But I would be happy with Kishan at #5. Looks a cracking player to me. So, moving on to #6, we are in all-rounder territory now. And Pollard must be putting his name forward here, I know some people like Hardik Pandya, but I don't see the fascination!

CT: I think Pollard is a good shout for #6 but I didn't feel he bowled enough over this tournament to make the all-rounder slot. Hardik didn't bowl at all, I think due to injury, so I won't be making a case for him. A man I would throw into the mix is the leg-spinner Rahul Tewatia - 10 wickets compared to Pollard's 4 and an economy rate of 7.08. I do feel that Pollard is good enough to bat #6 purely as a batsman and possibly bowl an over a game if necessary. So, I wouldn't be against fitting both of these guys in at #6 and #7.

DK: Tewatia is a good shout if we are slotting in Pollard at #6 and leaving him in there, perhaps we need to talk about MTH (Sam Curran) as a candidate for #7?

CT: Sam did have a pretty good tournament in a desperately poor CSK side, so he does have a good case for making the side. But looking at it on a stats basis I would favour the leg-spinner with his lower economy rate and higher strike rate with bat in hand. Unfortunately, Curran hasn't particularly been helped by the continuous shuffling of the CSK pack as he found himself opening the batting on some days and then down at #7 on others. Had he been given a concrete role, I think he would have had an even better tournament.

DK: I can understand the call for the leggie, but surely the standout player for a wretched CSK gets in the side? MTH lived up to his name and surely more besides and gives us left-arm variety. Another photo finish looms here...

CT: My thinking was with half an eye on the bowlers still to come, one of my favourites is also a left-armer. Should we leave this one for now and return once the bowlers have been decided?

DK: Let's do that. Only one man in contention for #8 for me. Rajasthan's player of the tournament carried the attack manfully and that's Jofra Archer. A stupid number of dots bowled, wickets in the powerplay and big-hitting.

CT: Absolutely. No argument from me here and he is the first name on the teamsheet and a man that all the franchises will be looking to recruit. I'm sure he will be due an even bigger payday next year. We are lucky that we are able to witness this man play. For #9 I would say there are two main options as our #1 spinner. I am looking at Rashid Khan and Yuzvendra Chahal.

DK: They are the standouts, but I would go with Rashid Khan. I like Chahal, think he's got a box of tricks. But Rashid Khan's box of ticks has its’ own box of tricks! Hyderabad would've been sunk sooner without him and he gets the nod for me mate. He is coming to Sussex for the Blast next summer and the crowds at Hove will enjoy watching him! For #10 I am putting forward Trent Boult, we know he may not be a death bowler, but he can bowl three in the powerplay and come back for one more, he's a great competitor and a skilful bowler. His opening burst in the final went a long way to winning the game.

CT: Rashid Khan is IN. I love him watching him. His direct hit run out of Moeen in the game vs RCB was a highlight, and he adds a bit with the bat too. Also, looking forward to seeing him in The Hundred as he has been retained by the Trent Rockets for that tournament. Boult was my pick too for #10. The final being the prime example of how good he is in the powerplay. With the white Kookaburra only swinging for a maximum of a couple of overs he exploits that perfectly. Delhi having traded him to Mumbai in the lead up to the tournament must be kicking themselves.

DK: For sure, a Delhi blunder. So that takes us to the last man. And probably only two candidates for that position...Bumrah and Shami. I like Rabada, and think he's a real talent, he's certainly very fast but he seemed to get hit further and more often so I've ruled him out. Shami's efforts in that Super Over were preposterously good, early against Mumbai and he was part of a weaker side, but I think Bumrah must be the guy for #11.

CT: Agreed on Rabada, harsh to leave out a man taking 30 wickets in the tournament, but the economy rate was slightly high for my liking. Shami was excellent but also has quite a high economy rate. Also, Shami was at his best in the powerplay but with Archer and Boult in the side, I feel we have powerplay bowling covered. So yes, we are in agreement again, as Bumrah would be my pick too.

CT: So that leaves us with the Tewatia vs S Curran argument. I'd favour the former as I always like to have two spinners up my sleeve. Seeing as this is an Asian-based tournament I would pick Tewatia and leave Curran as the twelfth man with scope to play him on a slightly greener pitch that would suit him more.

DK: Okay mate that sounds fair to me. I'm happy with that side.

CT: And for captaincy duties, I would be handing the captaincy to KL Rahul as he is the only full-time captain in our team. For our keeper, it's a toss-up, who do you fancy?

DK: Rahul as captain is fine with me, I've seen Rahul without the gloves for India and he's just fine, so feel he can be in the outfield with QdK behind the timbers.

DK: Good stuff, that team is winning the IPL mate. And they'd win it quick so we wouldn't be subjected to the constant Altroz plugging for any longer than is strictly necessary!

CT: You mean the Tata Altroz, the gold standard of hatchback in India?

DK: Thank you, Tom – let's leave it there...

The final team:

1. Quinton de Kock (wk)

2. Shikhar Dhawan

3. K L Rahul (c)

4. Suryakumar Yadav

5. Ishan Kishan

6. Kieron Pollard

7. Rahul Tewatia

8. Jofra Archer

9. Rashid Khan

10. Trent Boult

11. Jasprit Bumrah

12th man: Sam Curran

Do you agree or disagree? Who makes your side? Let us know your thoughts over on Twitter @cricthoughts, @d_ktalkballs and @InsideEdgeCrick


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