IPL: Best Overseas XI across all seasons
The Indian Premier League, ever since its emergence in 2008, has continued to be the biggest T20 league in the world. The quality of cricket as well as the money involved in the IPL is unmatched, when compared with other leagues around the globe. Such has been the impact of the IPL that the ICC has a separate window for the league.
All these factors combine to result in the IPL being the league with the most number of international stars. Apart from established stars, there have been few players like Chris Morris and Shaun Marsh who started out as relatively unknown commodities, but displayed their true potential in the IPL and then went on to represent their national sides. On the other hand, there have been others like Shane Watson who have used IPL as a platform to return to their international sides.
Moreover, the IPL has made some international stars like AB De Villiers, Chris Gayle, Lasith Malinga, and Dwayne Bravo some of the most loved cricketers in India. As we near the 12th edition of the cash-rich league, we look at the best possible overseas XI across all eleven seasons (the players selected are not only on the basis of stats, but also on the impact they had and how they fit into the combination of the playing XI):
[Criteria: The player should have played a minimum of three seasons]
Chris Gayle is one of the first names that comes to mind when we talk of overseas players in the IPL. The Universe Boss Chris Gayle has been one of the most destructive batsmen in the IPL so far. He leads many batting charts of the league, including the list of most sixes (292), most hundreds (6), highest individual score (175*) and fastest hundred (30 balls).
With 3994 runs from 112 matches, Gayle stands second in the list of run-getters among overseas batsmen and hence is an obvious choice for the opening slot. His strike rate is 150.71 and average is even more impressive at 41.17.
Adam Gilchrist (c) (wk)
One of the all-time greatest wicket-keeper batsman, Adam Gilchrist played six seasons of IPL till 2013, captaining in 5 of them. He won the second edition of the league as the skipper of the Deccan Chargers.
The former Aussie opener has 2069 runs from 80 matches at an average of 27.22 and strike rate of 138.39. He has 2 hundreds to his name with a best score of 109*. While there were players who had better stats than him, Gilchrist's multidimensional approach makes him walk into the side not only as an opener, but also as the wicket-keeper and the captain of the side.
Honorable mentions: Shaun Marsh, Brendon McCullum, Dwayne Smith and Mike Hussey