IPL 2018 XI that can take on Windies in the Hurricane Relief T20 Challenge at Lord's
Cricket is a global sport and those who love following the game live it each day. It, therefore, comes naturally to people associated with the sport to help each other in times of need.
In testing times for the Windies board, when they barely are able to sponsor their team and have a full strength side competing for major competitions, hurricanes Irma and Marina struck the Carribean shores in August 2017 wrecking havoc in the island nation.
The damage to life and property was immense and so much that affected areas are still recovering. The ICC, not for the first time, has raised their hand to lend financial support to help rebuild cricket stadiums in the Windies that faced the climatic brunt.
A T20 match, given the name Hurricane Relief T20 Challenge, which has been conferred with international status has been decided to be played between the World T20 Champion Windies team and ICC's Rest of the World XI.
The proceeds from this match, which will be played at the iconic Mecca of Cricket- The Lord's, will go towards the restoration and renovation of the five affected stadiums in the Carribean islands.
With the match scheduled to be played on the 31st of May, 2018, just four days after the Champions for IPL 2018 are decided, let's have a look at a team combination of the best performers from this season's Indian Premier League who could give the World Champions a run for their money.
Note: Windies players Andre Russell and Sunil Narine could have made decent cases to be a part of IPL 2018's Best XI but they have not been considered since they will be a part of their country's team.
Note: Stats and figures have been updated till 24th May 2018.
When Lokesh Rahul was acquired by Kings XI Punjab for a whopping ₹11 crores this season, there were huge expectations and responsibility of turning the team's past misfortune, riding on his shoulders.
At the end of 14 games, although his team finds itself pretty much where it has ended up in the past few seasons, the stylish right-handed batsman from Karnataka can be mighty proud of his contributions at the top of the order.
With 659 runs that came at an average of 54.91 and a strike rate of 158.41, Rahul overshadowed Chris Gayle, which in itself is a major achievement.
His record IPL season run tally saw him score six half centuries, including the record for the league's fastest ever off just 14 balls.
However, lack of glamour and the missing touch of single-handedly winning games meant that his contributions were overlooked. Ambati Rayudu has been one of the most underrated cricketers of his era. After losing crucial years to the rebel ICL, he availed his opportunities during his stint with Mumbai Indians as he earned a national call-up after consistent IPL performances.
Who would have thought at the start of this year's IPL that Rayudu, turning out for Chennai Super Kings, would end up with a season that could well prove to land him up in the vacant No. 4 slot in India's middle order!
Having already scored 586 runs in 15 games at an average of 41.85, a stellar strike rate of 153 and a best of 100*, Rayudu has made a strong case for himself, shouting out loud and clear that his playing days are far from over yet.