MS Dhoni, AB de Villiers and dominating KXIP opener Chris Gayle were some of the biggest names missing from Australian spinner Brad Hogg's best XI for the IPL 2020 season.
In a recent video on his YouTube channel, Brad Hogg named 11 players who he feels would put up their best show in the 13th edition of the IPL.
Brad Hogg picked fellow Australian David Warner as the first opener in his XI. Warner has been a prolific run-scorer for the Sunrisers Hyderabad and has scored 4706 runs in the IPL at a brilliant strike rate of 142.4.
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"First up, David Warner from Sunrisers Hyderabad. Consistent performer, gets his team off to great starts and gets his runs at good click."
As for Warner's opening partner, Brad Hogg picked four-time IPL winner Rohit Sharma, labelling the Mumbai Indians captain as a 'dynamite' cricketer. With 4898 runs at an impressive strike rate of 130.98, Sharma has been one of the most consistent performers in the IPL, and Hogg believes that the right-hander is a 'must-have' in his list.
"Opening the batting with Warner is Rohit Sharma. He is a dynamite in IPL cricket. Best opening batsman in white-ball cricket around the world. You got to have him in this list."
The highest run-scorer in the history of IPL, Virat Kohli will bat at No.3 in Brad Hogg's XI. Virat Kohli has the ability to change the momentum of the game with his positive strokeplay in case an early wicket falls. He puts the pressure on the opposition straightaway by running hard between the wickets and piercing the gaps.
"Coming in at No.3 is Virat Kohli from RCB. If you lose an early wicket, he just comes out, utilizes his timing to pierce the infield in the powerplay. During the middle-overs he rotates the strike but also finds the boundary and quite consistently."
Brad Hogg named Kane Williamson as the skipper of his best IPL XI for the 2020 season. Kane Williamson led the Sunrisers Hyderbad brilliantly in the absence of David Warner in IPL 2018 and reached the final.
Brad Hogg believes that Williamson could be the ideal batsman to walk in to bat if the team loses two quick wickets. Williamson's ability to rotate the strike in the middle-overs also makes him an important batsman at this position.
According to Brad Hogg, he can also play as a floater if the big-hitters are to be sent ahead of him in the batting order.
"At No.4, the captain of this team Kane Williamson. Hen has got a good head on his shoulders, great ambassador for the game and he has got a good strike-rate in the middle overs of a 140. If the team is on the back foot with a couple of early wickets, he is the man with the composure to get the momentum back in the batting stake."
Rishabh Pant will be the wicketkeeper in Brad Hogg's best IPL 2020 XI
Rishabh Pant has faced severe criticism from the cricket fraternity due to his poor shot selection and lack of temperament. However, Brad Hogg has backed him because of his ability to find the boundary from the first ball of his innings itself. He has scored 1736 runs in the IPL at a brilliant strike-rate of 162.7.
" At No. 5 is Rishabh Pant. I like the way he puts his team first. If he needs to find the boundary from ball one, he will find it for you. He backs his ability and he will be the keeper as well."
The Most Valuable Player of IPL 2019, Andre Russell from KKR, makes Brad Hogg's XI at number six position. At a mind-boggling strike rate of 186.4, Russell has scored 1400 runs in the IPL.
Brad Hogg wants to utilise him as a finisher due to his power-hitting and could also extract a couple of overs from him.
" At No. 6 is Andre Russell from KKR. He will be coming no earlier than the 12th over. I just want him to finish off the innings with his power hitting. But also his all-round ability with the ball. He can bowl the couple of fast powerful overs at the middle of the opposition innings."
CSK's all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja makes Brad Hogg's list at No.7. He is another all-rounder whose abilities, especially his fielding, will come in handy for the team.
Brad Hogg believes that Jadeja can bowl with the new ball as well as in the middle overs. He also considers him the best fielder in the IPL and a handy batsman lower down the order.
"At No.7 comes in Ravindra Jadeja. I can utilize him with the new ball as well as in the middle overs where he is quite economical. Also his fielding is exceptional. Best fielder in IPL cricket and he can also handle the bat."
Sunil Narine has been an exceptional player for KKR and ever since he has opened the batting, he has become a reliable all-rounder. He features in Brad Hogg's XI at No.8. His ability to bowl in the powerplay, middle overs as well as at the death will be absolutely handy for the team, according to Hogg.
" At No.8 is Sunil Narine from KKR. Yes he can bowl in the powerplay, the death overs as well as in the middle. And he is very handy with the bat as well."
RCB's leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal makes Brad Hogg's XI at No.9. His ability to bowl consistent line and length and to fox the batsmen is what has helped him pick up 100 wickets in the IPL so far. Many of his wickets have come in the middle overs, and that is something Brad Hogg is impressed by.
"Now coming in at No.9 in Chahal. I love the way he has carried the RCB attack for a number of years. He is very economical and picks up wickets in those middle overs."
SRH fast bowler Bhuvneshwar Kumar makes Brad Hogg's XI at No.10 position. Bhuvneshwar can swing the ball both ways, and Hogg wants him to open the bowling alongside Jasprit Bumrah from the Mumbai Indians.
"At No.10 is Bhuvneshwar Kumar. Picks wickets up with the new ball, swings it both ways. But also very economical in the death overs."
Last but not the least, ace Mumbai Indians pacer Jasprit Bumrah makes Brad Hogg's XI. Bumrah can bowl with the new ball, in the middle overs as well as at the death, and can pick up crucial wickets in crunch moments.
He is the X-factor of Brad Hogg's team because the captain can look to him every time there is a need for a wicket.
"Bhuvneshwar Kumar will be supported by the No.11 in this team who is from MI. Its Bumrah. He doesn't need any introduction. He can bowl in any phase of the game. He is the one you turn to when you need a breackthrough."
Brad Hogg's best XI of IPL 2020: David Warner, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Kane Williamson (C), Rishabh Pant, Andre Russell, Ravindra Jadeja, Sunil Narine, Yuzvendra Chahal, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah.Published 14 Sep 2020, 08:03 IST