The 13th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) is all set to be played in the United Arab Emirates from the 19th of September. With the tournament being the first top-level cricket that most players are going to experience in months, a degree of rust and a lack of fitness can be expected in the first few games.
Best 35+ playing XI in the 2020 IPL
A section of cricketers that will be particularly affected is the 35+ age category. Despite their advancing age, however, the cricketers in this article are expected to be at their best in the upcoming IPL, owing to their commitment and keen understanding of their own limitations.
Here is the best playing XI that can be formed considering cricketers aged 35 and above in IPL 2022.
Note: The rule that limits the number of foreigners in a team to 4 has been followed. Due to the absence of Indian bowlers in this age group, the likes of Chris Gayle and Shane Watson, who would be shoo-ins in the absence of such a restriction, miss out.
Openers: Parthiv Patel, Wriddhiman Saha
Two diminutive wicket-keepers open the batting in this XI. Parthiv Patel and Wriddhiman Saha are both 35 years of age, and will play for Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) and Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) respectively in the 2020 IPL.
Patel has been a regular at the top of the order in the IPL, while Saha scored a fluent hundred against the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in the 2014 final. Both players will be crucial to their team's fortunes.
Middle Order: AB de Villiers, MS Dhoni (c&wk), Dinesh Karthik
RCB talisman AB de Villiers will bat at No. 3 in this team. The South African was in splendid form in the recent Solidarity Cup, which his team won, and looks to be in good touch as his team attempts to win the IPL title for the first time. De Villiers is 36 years old, but is as fit and fluent as ever.
Chennai Super Kings (CSK) skipper MS Dhoni is the captain and wicket-keeper of this XI. The former Indian captain finished as the Men in Yellow's leading run-scorer in the 2019 IPL, and the 39-year-old's return to the cricket field after over a year is one of the main things to watch out for this season.
KKR captain Dinesh Karthik has led his team admirably so far, and makes this team owing to his inventive strokeplay and excellent fielding. With a youthful and balanced side at his disposal, the 35-year-old will look to be the second KKR captain to bring a title home to the Eden Gardens.