IPL 2020: Probable playing XIs for the All-stars game
The thirteenth edition of the Indian Premier League is all set to begin on 29 March at the Wankhede Stadium. Among the changes or new developments that will be in place this season, one major attraction is the first-ever IPL All-Stars match, which is set to be played three days before the main tournament starts.
The two teams for the match will be divided based on the geographical locations of the eight IPL teams; players of the four teams from the South and West (CSK, SRH, RCB and MI) will form one team and the other team will comprise of players from the four sides in North and East (DC, KXIP, KKR and RR). Here we look at the best possible playing XIs for both teams:
[Note: Players from England, Sri Lanka, New Zealand and Australia will not be available as England will play Tests in Sri Lanka while Australia will be playing T20Is in New Zealand at the same time.]
Team 1 (CSK, SRH, MI and RCB):
Rohit Sharma, Quinton de Kock, Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, MS Dhoni (c) (wk), Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Deepak Chahar, Rashid Khan, Jasprit Bumrah, Lungi Ngidi, Dwayne Bravo (12th man)
Openers: Rohit Sharma and Quinton de Kock
Two of the most devastating yet reliable openers in limited-overs cricket at present, Rohit Sharma and Quinton de Kock are undoubtedly the best available options to open for the side. Moreover, they provide the right-left combination and both can get the team off to a flier. The pair opened for Mumbai Indians in the 2019 edition and had a fair amount of success.
Other options: Shane Watson, Jonny Bairstow, Chris Lynn
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Middle Order: Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers and MS Dhoni
Two of the best batsmen of the era, Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers, form the core of the middle-order. The RCB duo, when on song, can give any bowling lineup a run for their money, being equally good against pace and spin. One of the greatest finishers in limited-overs cricket, MS Dhoni gets into the side as the wicket-keeper and skipper of the side. Despite not being a regular in the Indian team of late, Dhoni still remains the mainstay for CSK and one of the best glovesmen in the country. MS leading the side despite Kohli and Rohit both being members of the team is solely due to his experience.
Other options: Kieron Pollard, Suryakumar Yadav, Manish Pandey
All-rounders: Hardik Pandya and Ravindra Jadeja
Hardik Pandya is India's best seam-bowling all-rounder at present. Known for targetting spinners at will, Hardik has shown his ability to hit even some of the accurate yorkers from some of the fastest bowlers out of the park. Also, his bowling has improved to an extent that he can be trusted to bowl his full quota in T20s.
Jadeja has been one of the best Indian all-rounders in the history of the IPL, with his brilliant finishing skills and accurate bowling, accompanied by his gun fielding. The two Indian all-rounders play as finishers with the bat and will share the responsibility of the fifth bowler, with both having the ability to bowl better than the strike bowlers on their day.
Other options: Mitchell Marsh, Krunal Pandya, Dwayne Bravo, Chris Morris
Bowlers: Rashid Khan, Deepak Chahar, Jasprit Bumrah and Lungi Ngidi
Rashid Khan is one of the most valuable T20 bowlers around the globe right now and is vastly experienced in this format, playing several T20 leagues around the globe. The Afghan wrist spinner also contributes with the bat and is a livewire on the field. Deepak Chahar, a like-for-like replacement for Bhuvneshwar Kumar, has developed into a complete bowler under MS Dhoni. He not only makes the new ball swing but has also developed into a reliable death bowler with his variations and accuracy.
Lungi Ngidi will be the ideal new ball partner for Chahar, bringing in raw pace and bounce. The lanky South African pacer impressed in his debut IPL season with CSK where he developed into a brilliant death bowler too. Jasprit Bumrah, one of the best fast bowlers in the world right now, is undoubtedly one of the first names on the team list. Bumrah has been the go-to bowler for his skipper both in IPL and in international cricket since the past 3 years or so and it will be no different in this team too.
Other options: Nathan Coulter Nile, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Imran Tahir, Navdeep Saini