IPL 2015: Team of the tournament
Mumbai Indians (MI) joined Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) as the only teams to have won the IPL twice after beating CSK in the final on Sunday. After a slow start, Ricky Ponting’s side finished the tournament strongly to take the title. In a tournament that saw over 1500 fours and almost 700 sixes, there were plenty of breathtaking performances. But who was consistent enough throughout the tournament to make it into the team of the tournament? Do the two finalists make a large proportion of the team?
Before we go into the team, here are some honorable mentions, who just missed the cut because of the four foreign player rule that has been applied while selecting this XI. Lendl Simmons, JP Duminy, Andre Russell, Lasith Malinga all had fantastic tournaments but don’t make it into the side. So if you want to know who does make it into the IPL 2015 team of the tournament, simply read on.
1. David Warner - SRH
Despite having arguably the weakest middle order of any side in the tournament, SRH were just a win away from making it to the playoffs. The main reason for that was David Warner. Having been made captain at the start of the tournament, the Australian opener led from the front, making up for the lack of support from other batsmen.
Aside from Moises Henriques towards the end of the tournament, there was no one to support Warner, but that didn't stop him from making over 550 runs and finishing as arguably the most destructive batsmen of the tournament. While the Orange Cap might be scant consolation for not making the playoffs, it is one that he deserves for the tournament he had.
2. Ajinkya Rahane - RR
Despite guiding Mumbai to the finals and finishing second in the top run-getters list, Lendl Simmons doesn't make the cut and it is the player who finished joint-second along with him that joins Warner as the opener in the side. While the Rajasthan Royals yet again failed to make it to the final, Ajinkya Rahane proved once and for all that he has what it takes to be a successful T20 batsman.
His aggregate total of 540 runs at an average of almost 50 and strike rate of over 130 is a testament to how successful Rahane was in the tournament. His ability to find the gaps and score quickly using orthodox shots showed just how useful technique and timing is, irrespective of what format.
3. Virat Kohli - RCB
Although he played a majority of the tournament for his side as the opener, Virat Kohli takes his place as the No.3 batsman in this side. Despite being sandwiched between Chris Gayle and AB de Villiers, two of the most destructive batsmen in T20s, Kohli was able to make an impression in the tournament, both as a captain and as a batsman.
Kohli scored 505 runs at an average of over 45 and a strike rate of 130 to finish as one of only five players to have scored over 500 runs in the tournament. Although he was nowhere near as destructive as either Gayle or de Villiers, he provided the perfect foil for both to succeed while not compromising his game at the same time, which is no mean feat in itself.