In the present world of too much cricket, a period of 12 years is basically the maximum endurance span of a cricketer’s career. In IPL, there are about 25 cricketers who had played the inaugural IPL in 2008 who are still part of this year’s edition of IPL. It is a remarkable achievement from such players to maintain their form and fitness over such a long duration of time.
It is that much more difficult for fast bowlers and overseas players to survive that long. The two big players who were missing in action in IPL for the first time this year were Gautam Gambhir and Brendon McCullum.
In this article, an attempt is made to select the best IPL XI with current players who were also part of the inaugural IPL.
Matches – 175, Runs - 4555, SR - 131
Rohit Sharma started his IPL career with Deccan Chargers and played for them for the first 3 editions before switching over to Mumbai Indians in 2011. Though he started his IPL career as a middle-order batsman, he has been more successful as an opener where he averages nearly 40 at a strike rate of 132.
Rohit Sharma has been the regular opener for Team India in white ball cricket and has achieved massive success in that batting position.
Before the start of IPL 2019, Rohit decided to open the batting for Mumbai Indians this season. It is a positive step forward from the Mumbai captain which would be beneficial for him as an individual player and as well as for his team. He is the opener for this team.
Matches – 119, runs – 3221, SR – 141, Wickets – 92, Economy – 7.93
Shane Watson was the Most Valuable Player of inaugural IPL 2008. He was instrumental in Rajasthan Royals winning the trophy in 2008. Since then, nothing has changed as he was the man-of-the-match in the finals of IPL 2018.
After representing RR for 7 years and after spending 2 years with RCB, Watson is now with CSK. He was the second highest run-getter for CSK in CSK’s successful IPL campaign last year. CSK extracted the maximum out of Watson by promoting him to open the innings.
Apart from being a reliable opener, Watson is an effective bowler in IPL having taken 92 wickets.