IPL 2015: Team of the Week (May 4-10)
With the group stages of the IPL almost coming to a close, teams now more than ever need to put a string of wins together to make it to the play-offs. While Chennai Super Kings look set to go through courtesy of their two wins in week five, the remaining three places are still up for grabs. So, in the penultimate week of the group stages, who were the players who outperformed the rest to make it into the team of the week? How many RCB players make it in? Are there any Kings XI players at all? For all of this and more, simply read on.
Chris Gayle - RCB
What do you do when you have been dropped/rested for a crucial game against one of the best sides in the IPL? That was the question Royal Challengers Bangalore opener Chris Gayle had to answer when he came out to bat against Kings XI Punjab. By smacking 117 runs off just 57 balls, Gayle answered in the way he knows best, go out and score big.
The West Indian beats his compatriot Lendl Simmons to the spot mainly because of the fact that it was his innings which sent RCB on their way to a humongous 138-run win. While he may not always come good, when he does get going, there are few better to watch than the big Jamaican.
Virat Kohli - RCB
If Gayle is the time bomb that can go off at any moment, Virat Kohli has been the pillar of consistency for RCB at the top of the order this season. Last week saw him continue his impressive run-scoring form this season with a 30, 40 and an 80 which helped his side to two wins out of three. The consistency with which Kohli has been scoring runs this season has been a key factor in RCB's charge up the table.
Despite having two of the most destructive batsmen in world cricket either side of him, the 26-year-old has continued to deliver consistently and while it sneaks under the radar at times, there is no denying his value to the side not just as captain, but as an opener who always gives them a good start.
AB de Villiers - RCB
To say AB de Villiers has had a quiet tournament until the game against Mumbai Indians on Sunday would be an understatement. Despite not scoring huge runs, the South African had managed to compile quite a few good knocks in the tournament so far and all at a very quick pace as well. Nothing though came close to his 133* against MI, which was the third-highest score in IPL history.
What was most surprising about the innings wasn't that it came off just 59 balls or ended with him having a strike rate in excess of 200, but the fact that he only managed four sixes in that innings. While there was plenty of innovation on show from the right-hander, the innings was proof that you don't always have to clear the boundary to score big scores in T20s.