IPL 2020 – Best Team of the Season, as per Aakash Chopra

After  53  action  packed  days  we watched  the Mumbai  Indians  successfully  defend  their title  and thus  solidify  their legacy  of being one  of the best  T20 teams  of all time  if not the best. In  a tournament  where the spinners  were expected  to dominate  the season, it was the extremely  speedy  bowlers  who dominated  the column  of wickets. In  the hitting  department  the usual  suspects  took  first  place  followed  by some surprising  innings. When choosing  the tournament  team  we kept  the four  foreign  player  rule  in mind  and as a result  we had to make  some tough  decisions. As  expected  the XI  is dominated  by IM players  with four  players  while CSK and KKR are unrepresented.

KL Rahul – Kings  XI  Punjab –  Run  670 Average  55.83  SR  129.34 

After  falling  behind  David  Warner  on the scoring  chart  last  time  out KL Rahul was one  step  ahead  this season  and achieved  the Orange  Cap. He’s been building  a reputation  for being the best  Indian  hitter  in the IPL over the years  and the captaincy  didn’t affect  that in the slightest  in the 2020 edition. Rahul had a great  season  opening  partnership  with Mayank Agarwal and consistently  gave  KXIP a great  start. The best  innings  of this campaign  for Rahul were against the Royal  Challengers  Bangalore  where he died  by 132 not out.

Shikhar Dhawan – Delhi Capitals – Run  618 Average  44.14  SR  144.73 

It  was difficult  to get  Warner  out of the XI  but it became  non  inclusive  due  to the ban  on foreign  stars. But  including  Dhawan as Rahul’s hitting  partner  it certainly  wasn’t difficult  for the left  handed  hitter  to score  more than 600 runs  in his first  IPL season. Interestingly  Dhawan didn’t get  off to a great  start  to the campaign  but the shift  in focus  helped  him and his team  tremendously. In  the process  he became  the first  hitter  to score  consecutive  centuries  in tournament  history  leading  to the retirement  of the T20I team.

Suryakumar Yadav – Mumbai  Indians  – Run  480 Average  40  SR  145.01

Suryakumar Yadav a revelation  since becoming  a top  hitter  for the Mumbai  Indians  was at his best  this season  in another  title  winning  campaign. Always  a busy  player  on the fold  Suryakumar reached  four  half  centuries  in the season  two  of which were long. Against the Rajasthan Royals  he played  one  of the tournament’s shots  after scoring, an undefeated  79  on the helmet  on the road  knocking  Joffra Archer  by six  over the keeper. At  the end  of the league  stage  he was back  at his best  innovative  moment. Another  undefeated 79  in the race  chase  against RCB where the second  best  score  was 25  races

Ishan Kishan – Mumbai  Indians – Run  514 Average  57 .33  SR  145.76 

Many  people  would not have expected  Ishaan Kishan to make  the team  for the tournament. When the Mumbai  Indians  began  their campaign  on September  19. MI  had preferred  Saurabh Tiwari to start  the tournament  over Kishan and was young  for a game  before due  to illness. An  opportunity, He  took  it to the super  playing  a slew  of 99  innings  against RCB which he was sure  of when he lost. Subsequently  Kishan not only strengthened  his position  but also  played  various  roles  in the batting  order.

No  one  has hit  six  this season  in more than 22  years.

AB  de  Villiers WK – Royal  Challengers  Bangalore  – Run  457 Average  45.40  SR  158.74 

AB  de  Villiers was once again a key  member  for RCB where he performed  best  since 2017 to end  the Lean  patch

De  Villiers received  the added  responsibility  of being a wicketkeeper at the age  of 36. Finisher, De  Villiers won a few games  on his own including  an undefeated  73  of 33  balls  against Kolkata  Knight  Riders. An undefeated  55  balls  of 22  against Rajasthan Royals  in which he succumbed  to the death  overs of Jofra Archer. Hardik Pandya Mumbai  Indians  Execution  281 Average  35  12  SR  178 98  Hardik Pandya did not play  the entire  tournament. But he still  contributed  significantly  to IM’s campaign  to win  the title. Despite  returning  due  to a long  injury  Hardik showed  vigorously  throughout  the season  with Kieron Pollard  being executed  for joining  forces. An  undefeated  60  run  21  against the Royals  7  sixes  and 14  balls  in 37  that outscored  DC  in the first  qualifier.

Rahul Tewatia – Rajasthan Royals –  Run  255 SR  139 34  Wicket  10 

Tewatia’s impact  at IPL 2020 will go  down as one  of the biggest  success  stories  of the season. For the Royals  he consistently  scored  runs  and took  10  wickets. Also  Tewatiya became  a household  name  after his courage  on that famous  night  of 7  20  in Sharjah. Eager to get  the opposing  team  out of the house  with half  a century  to guide  his team. He  did something similar  against SSR a few weeks  later  showing  that he is there to stay  at this level.

Rashid Khan  – Hyderabad  Sunrises  – Wicket  20  ER  5 .37 

SRH’s trump  card  in the bowling  department  was again an excellent  season  for Rashid Khan  to take  20  wickets  this season. The most striking  feature  of Rashid’s IPL was the economic  rate. No  other bowler  in the top  10  or even  the top  20  for that matter  had an economy  rating  of less  than 6. But the long  legged  one  from Afghanistan  finished  with 5 .37

His best performance came in one  of SRH’s biggest  games  of the season  a win  win  against DC  where he posted  37  in 4  overs.

Jofra Archer  – Rajasthan Royals  – Wicket  20  ER  6.55 

For the first  time  in IPL history  a player  from the last  team  won the MVP  of the season. Joffra Archer  was literally  breathing  fire. He  was too hot  to bother  with the new  ball  even  the best  of many. It was just as effective  in death overs 25  threw  175  point  balls  at the tournament.

Archer  also  showed  the Royals  that he could be an easy hitter  to go  ahead  with 10  sixes  total.

Kagiso Rabada – Capitals  of Delhi  – Wickets  30  Economy Rate 8.34 

The South  African  fast  missed  perhaps  a wicket  to Imran Tahir last  year  but made  room  for him in 2020. Despite  having quick  turns  they are proving  to be one  of the most consistent  bowlers  in the IPL. Mid  season  Rabada extended  his streak  of taking  at least  one  spot  in every  game  for a long  time  and captured  the Purple  Cap. In  the process  he became  the second  bowler  after Dwayne Bravo  to break  the 30  wicket mark  in a single  edition.

He  led  his team  to the final  by taking  four  wickets  in the second  qualifier against SRH including  crucial  Warner  with a lethal  delivery  at the Powerplay defending  one  of the best  in the business.

Jasprit Bumrah – Mumbai  Indians  – Wickets  27  Economy Rate  6 .73 

In  terms  of terrain  it was Bumrah’s best  season  so far  in the IPL. He  usually  finds  teams  playing  but Rohit Sharma used  him wisely  with the new  ball  and allowed  him to finish  with 27  limits. Even  though  he landed  a wicket  in the final  against DC. He proved  to be a thorn  in the flesh  for the runners  up a week  before the title  game. Along  with Trent  Bault Bumrah saved  DC’s top  spot  in Qualifier  1  as well  as a few days  before the league  stage  clash. In  those two  games  combined  Pacer  took  7  wickets.

His performance  ensured  that MI  would never  miss  Lasith Malinga in defense  of his successful  title.

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