Although AB de Villiers was a bit hesitant to do this, he eventually named himself as one of the possible options at No.4. The 37-year-old picked Virender Sehwag and Rohit Sharma as the two openers.
"Last night I was thinking that if I pick my IPL XI and I include myself, how bad would that look. So, opening the batting, I would pick someone whom I started with at Delhi, Viru (Virender Sehwag) at 1 and someone who I think has played some of the best cricket in the world in the last five years, Rohit at No. 2," De Villiers said to Cricbuzz.
Virat Kohli, as expected, will come in at No.3, followed by one among Steve Smith, Kane Williamson and De Villiers himself. England all-rounder Ben Stokes will take the No.5 spot, followed by skipper MS Dhoni.
"Then obviously Virat at No. 3, followed by I’d say either Williamson, or Smith, or myself, these are the two replacements. Ben Stokes at 5, MS at six as captain," the former South Africa international added.
David Warner, Chris Gayle, and Suresh Raina were some of the notable absentees from AB de Villiers' team. Raina and Warner are currently the second and third highest run-scorers in IPL history.
AB de Villiers picks his bowlers for the all time IPL XI
AB de Villiers picked Chennai Super Kings all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja to come in at No.7, with Rashid Khan taking the second spinner's slot. The pace trio of Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Kagiso Rabada, and Jasprit Bumrah also feature in the RCB star's all-time IPL XI.
"At No. 7, I’d put Jaddu, Mr. Jadeja. Rashid Khan at 8, Bhuvi at 9, Kagiso Rabada at 10 and Bumrah at 11," De Villiers said.
Ben Stokes hasn't played a lot of IPL, but AB de Villiers believes the Englishman's ability to contribute with both the bat and ball makes him a huge asset for any franchise.
"I’d put Stokes because obviously we know what he can do with the bat, but also considering that extra seaming option. Got the two spinners and then Bumrah, Rabada and Bhuvi as fast bowlers. So that pretty much covers everything," De Villiers signed off.
Lasith Malinga's absence in AB de Villiers' all-time IPL XI might raise a few eyebrows. The Sri Lankan was an integral part of Mumbai Indians over the years and is currently the highest wicket-taker in IPL history.
AB De Villiers' all time IPL XI:
Virender Sehwag, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Kane Williamson/Steve Smith/AB de Villiers, Ben Stokes, MS Dhoni (c & wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Rashid Khan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Kagiso Rabada, Jasprit Bumrah