This post is the first of 2 parts. My IPL dream team of the year is as follows, although it is hard work choosing this team with the 4-foreign player rule, but here it is:
236 runs in 7 matches; Strike Rate: 151.00; Highest: 87*
2. Ajinkya Rahane: Style, class, elegance and a good temperament are some things Rahane has always been associated with. This year, he’s put those qualities up on the world stage and led the IPL’s favourite underdogs on without trying anything extravagant.
332 runs in 8 matches; Strike Rate: 140.00 ; Highest: 103*
3. Gautam Gambhir(c): Gambhir has been impressive as captain and the lofted cover drive against the spinners is looking more and more convincing. He makes it as captain, although number 3 is the only slot he can fit into in this team.
209 runs in 7 matches; Strike Rate: 138.00; Highest: 66*
4. Kevin Pietersen: Magnificent century aside, Pietersen has looked intimidating and god-like every time he has walked into bat. Top contender for team of the year at the end of the season as well.
214 runs in 5 matches; Strike Rate: 150.00; Highest: 103*
5. AB de Villiers(wk): Versatile, brave, talented and possibly the best middle order batsman in the world at the moment. de Villiers has kept the Bangalore franchise from falling apart with his specialist performances in the fag-end of the innings. Another main contender for part 2.
228 runs in 8 matches; Strike Rate: 164.00; Highest: 64*
6. Robin Uthappa: Back into national-reckoning through a stunning first-class season, Uthappa has looked more assured and mature than ever. A batting mainstay in the Pune top order, despite looking rusty in his recent innings.
279 runs in 9 matches; Strike Rate: 117.00; Highest: 69
7. Rajat Bhatia: This experienced Delhi all-rounder has been consistently getting his bowling quota through quickly and efficiently in every match and an economy rate of 6.30 caps that. Pips Jadeja and Pathan on consistency.
6 wickets in 7 matches @ 6.30; Best: 2/14
8. Piyush Chawla: Amongst the glamour and big names of the tournament, Piyush Chawla has quietly gone about his business picking up 9 wickets at an economy of just 6.43- and that includes the big 27 run over against Mumbai! Handy batsman to have at number 8 as well.
9 wickets in 8 matches @ 6.43; Best: 3/18
9. Morne Morkel: Has put to end all doubts about how adept his bowling is in Indian conditions. He has come out on top in every match he has played in and is the highest wicket taker of the tournament.
16 wickets in 7 matches @ 7.25; Best: 3/18
10. Dale Steyn: It doesn’t get any better than Dale Steyn to partner Morkel with the new ball. He has beeen nothing short of sensational and despite his side’s poor performance so far, Steyn remains to fire.
9 wickets in 5 matches @ 6.30; Best: 3/12
11. Munaf Patel: Munaf has proven to be one of the most consistent bowlers in the IPL and is always lurking at the top of the highest wicket-taker chart; he continues to do so this season as well- however indisciplined he might have been- and even more impressively, in the absence of Lasith Malinga.
10 wickets in 6 matches @ 7.54; Best: 4/20
Faf Du Plessis