Former Indian allrounder Irfan Pathan picked his IPL 2020 team during a discussion regarding the same on Star Sports, sticking to the norm of having only four overseas players in the XI.
"KL Rahul for sure and along with him Shikhar Dhawan. I cannot include David Warner as we can have only 4 overseas players," Pathan said.
The Baroda all-rounder picked Suryakumar Yadav as the No. 3 batsman, lauding the Mumbai Indians batsman for batting at a brisk pace and playing match-winning knocks for the franchise in IPL 2020.
"The way Suryakumar Yadav played his knocks, we always say that his average is very good, but the strike rate at which he played was the best part, and he was winning them the matches, so I will definitely go with him," observed Pathan.
Irfan Pathan opted for AB de Villiers as the No. 4 batsman in his IPL 2020 team, particularly highlighting the latter's match-winning innings for Royal Challengers Bangalore against Rajasthan Royals in this edition of the IPL.
"AB de Villiers - his strike rate was very good this year as well. You expect him to score a lot of runs, but this year as well, he won RCB matches; you remember the match against Rajasthan Royals where they (RCB) needed 35 runs in two overs, and he won the match from there. Apart from that also, he played some wonderful knocks (during IPL 2020)," said Pathan.
The 2007 T20 World Cup-winner opted for Kieron Pollard over Hardik Pandya for the No. 5 position, reasoning that the latter could provide some overs with the ball; Pathan picked Pollard as the captain of his IPL 2020 team.
"I will have Kieron Pollard to bat at No.5, and he will also be the captain of my team. I had the option of Hardik, but he is not bowling and Pollard will give me the bowling as well as captaincy. He is an amazing fielder, so I will get a three-dimensional player," reasoned Pathan.
Marcus Stoinis bagged the seam-bowling allrounder's spot in Pathan's IPL 2020 XI.
"At No.6, I will have Marcus Stoinis, who will give me the bowling as well. He was in amazing form (during IPL 2020) and played spin also well," said Pathan for including the Australian.
Irfan Pathan went for Rahul Tewatia for the spin-bowling all-rounder's role in his IPL 2020 XI. Pathan pointed out that the Rajasthan Royals player was the only Indian in the recently-concluded edition of the IPL to have achieved the double of scoring 200 runs and taking ten wickets.
"I will have Rahul Tewatia at No.7 because he was the only Indian player who comes on the list of players who scored 200 runs and took ten wickets. If we talk about the entire history of the IPL, there are only 10-12 Indian players who have achieved this feat. He also won two matches on his own and bowled brilliantly as well," observed Pathan.
Irfan Pathan leaves out Rashid Khan and Jofra Archer in his IPL 2020 team
While observing that both Yuzvendra Chahal and Rashid Khan are among the best in the business, Irfan Pathan chose the former as the specialist leg-spinner in his IPL 2020 XI, as he had already picked Tewatia as the other spinner.
"Yuzvendra Chahal and Rashid Khan are amazing bowlers, but Chahal will definitely come in my team in place of Rashid Khan, as I will have Tewatia at No. 7," said Pathan.
The left-arm swing bowler chose Mohammed Shami ahead of T Natarajan for one of the seam bowling slots in his IPL 2020 XI, owing to the Kings XI Punjab pacer's ability to bowl with the new ball as well at the death. In this regard, Irfan Pathan said:
"I was thinking about Natarajan, but I wanted someone who bowls with the new ball as well as with the old ball. So he (Natarajan) was behind Shami on that front."
Irfan Pathan rounded off his IPL 2020 team by picking pacers Kagiso Rabada and Jasprit Bumrah while leaving out Jofra Archer despite the latter's exploits with both bat and ball in the latest edition of the IPL.
"Along with Shami, I will go for Rabada and Jasprit Bumrah," said Pathan.
Irfan Pathan's IPL 2020 team:
KL Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan, Suryakumar Yadav, AB de Villiers, Kieron Pollard (c), Marcus Stoinis, Rahul Tewatia, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kagiso Rabada, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami.Published 14 Nov 2020, 16:02 IST