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CLT20 2014: The best XI

As the global T20 competition ended with the crowning of Chennai Super Kings as the Champions League winners, here is the best XI selected from the teams that competed in the main draw.Note 1: Not more than 2 players were selected from a single team.Note 2: Players are selected based on their performances in their original batting order.

#1 Robin Uthappa (wk) - Kolkata Knight Riders

210 runs at an average of 52.50 after five innings is more than what one would expect from an opener. Uthappa brought his IPL form with him in to this competition and despite missing the opening fixture, he finished second in the ‘Golden Bat’ standings.

The wicket-keeper batsman was brilliant with the bat for the Knights and makes his way into our side as the first choice opener. Terming his batting as dependable seems like an understatement.

#2 Anton Devcich - Northern Knights

The Blackcaps opener had been the silent star for the Kiwi side and made 144 runs, averaging 36.00 in 4 innings. Even though, the opener failed in the second game, he showed brief resistance (at No.3) against Kings XI Punjab before the batting order collapsed again.

Even against Hobart Hurricanes, his single digit score was more to do with a spectacular Ben Laughlin catch. The left hander made a useful 47 after Kane Williamson perished early against Barbados Tridents.

Manan Vohra and Gautam Gambhir have consumed five and six innings for their 149 and 164 runs respectively, ruling them out of contention.

#3 Suresh Raina - Chennai Super Kings

The 27-year-old is turning out to be extremely dependable off late that even made a renowned commentator refer to him as a “CSK legend”. A scintillating unbeaten 109 on the night that mattered the most propelled him to win the ‘Golden Bat’ with 234 runs at 58.50 per dismissal. A strike rate of 173.33 and an aggregate of 16 sixes in the competition makes him a mandatory pick.

No place for Aiden Blizzard as he is outnumbered by Raina.

#4 Jonathan Carter - Barbados Tridents

The southpaw batted at will in all the four innings he took guard in and was one of the three centurions in this year's tournament. The No.4 batsman looked at ease against both spin and pace and the Caribbean unit would have faced embarrassing losses if not for Carter's responsible aggression. He was the leading run scorer of the group stages, the only man to cross the 200-run mark before the knockouts.

Shoaib Malik’s impressive showing fails to earn him a place as Carter edges him at No.4.

#5 Saad Nasim - Lahore Lions

The Pakistani batted in three innings and made 112 runs, all of those meant so much to his team than the numbers suggest. Nasim came in to bat when his side was at 23/3 and 2/3 against Dolphins and Perth Scorchers respectively. The right-hander paced his innings responsibly and ensured that his side posted a decent score to defend with knocks of 43 (26) and 69 (55) in those matches.

His only failure came against KKR where he was undone by Sunil Narine. No one else made more than two significant contributions at No.5 hence enabling Nasim to enter the team. Also with the ball, his leg-breaks fetched him 3 wickets from 7 overs at an economy of 6.42.

#6 David Miller - Kings XI Punjab

Who else at No.6 but the responsible finisher who consolidates before going bang-bang? The left-hander was only dismissed once from four innings and ensured the safe passage of his team over the finish line in the group stages.

'Killer Miller' with 102 runs at a strike rate of 147.82 has turned into a specialist in closing out an innings off late. What else do you need from a finisher?

#7 Mitchell Marsh (c) - Perth Scorchers

The Scorchers all-rounder played a couple of breathtaking innings under pressure, first against Dolphins and the later one doing CSK a favour, against Lahore Lions. Not many can score two sixes off the last two balls to win a game. That is exactly what the right-hander did in his innings of 40* (26) against the Protean side.

He then registered scores of 4 and 19 against the two IPL heavyweights when the entire batting order collapsed dramatically. Then came his top innings of 63*(38) against LL. He rescued the side from 40/6 in the 9th over and propelled them in the chase of 125 with the company of Brad Hogg. Since he had to fill in as the fifth bowler for the side, his medium pacers were only utilized for six overs in the entire competition that fetched him 2 wickets at an economy of 5.50. Underused, one would think.

Owing to the lack of convincing performances from any of the captains and considering that he led the side against the Lions, Marsh is chosen as the leader for this side. Robert Frylinck is very unlucky to miss out.

#8 Jeevan Mendis - Barbados Tridents

Playing for the depleted Tridents, the Sri Lankan impressed everyone with the ball, but was unable to get their campaign on the right path. His best effort 4/27 came against the Cobras in the match that needed a super over to decide a winner.

In the only other match he played in before leaving for international commitments, the leg-spinner picked up 2/18 against the powerful Kings XI batting line-up. An economy rate of 5.62 from 8 overs is very hard to ignore too.

Akshar Patel (8 wickets from 5 matches) misses out just because Mendis impressed even in defeats for Tridents.

#9 Ben Hilfenhaus - Hobart Hurricanes

The Hurricanes should be thankful for Dwayne Bravo's return with the Chennai Super Kings, as it made the IPL-side exclude Hilfenhaus from their 15-member squad. Witnessing the swing bowler's exploits with the ball: 8 wickets from 5 matches, the Indian side might feel that they took a wrong call not to avail the pacer's services.

His teammate Doug Bollinger, with nine wickets was expensive and so were Parvinder Awana and Mohit Sharma (8 wickets each).

#10 Sunil Narine - Kolkata Knight Riders

How can we leave this mystery spinner out of a best XI? 12 wickets at an economy of 5.30 that won him the ‘Golden Wicket’ award guarantees his inclusion. He was the trump card for Gautam Gambhir and the spinner responded almost every time with wickets for the reigning IPL champions.

No wonder they missed him in the final against Chennai Super Kings as he was suspended from bowling due to being reported for a suspect action twice in the tournament.

#11 Ashish Nehra - Chennai Super Kings

The left-arm seamer is probably one of the biggest positives for Team India from this CLT20. The 35-year-old turned back the clock with his bowling, troubling the batsmen with the new ball and was almost unplayable at the start of some matches.

The way he bowled to Craig Simmons against Perth Scorchers made one wonder as if the Australian was batting blindfolded. Such was the impact Nehra generated. True, he wilted under pressure in the final, but his tally of 10 wickets from 5 matches makes a good case for his inclusion.

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Edited by Staff Editor
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