IPL 2023 culminated last Tuesday with a nail-biting final match between the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and the Gujarat Titans (GT). Chennai beat Gujarat by five wickets at the Narendra Modi Stadium to become the new titleholders of the league.
It was a combined team effort that helped the Super Kings overcome all odds and become the champion. While CSK managed to defeat GT in the final this year, the Rajasthan Royals (RR) could not do the same in the final of the previous IPL season.
In fact, RR had one of the strongest squads on paper in IPL 2023 as well, but they failed to finish in the top four. Nevertheless, there were some impressive individual performances from the Royals. They completed a double over the eventual champions Chennai Super Kings in the league stage.
Now that IPL 2023 is in the history books, in this listicle, we will form a combined playing XI of CSK and RR's top performers.
Batters - Devon Conway, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Ajinkya Rahane, Shivam Dube, Shimron Hetmyer and MS Dhoni (c/wk)
It was quite difficult to pick two openers from Yashasvi Jaiswal, Ruturaj Gaikwad and Devon Conway. All three of them had a phenomenal season this year, but the top two run-getters have been selected in this team.
Conway was the top run-scorer for CSK with 672 runs in 15 innings. He also won the Player of the Match award in the final. Meanwhile, Jaiswal scored 625 runs in 14 innings. The youngster smacked his maiden IPL century and also created a new record for the fastest half-century in the tournament's history.
Ajinkya Rahane, Shivam Dube, Shimron Hetmyer, and MS Dhoni will form the middle order of this team. All four batters batted at brilliant strike rates and played impactful knocks for their respective franchises.
Rahane aggregated 326 runs at a strike rate of 172.49, while Dube had the best season of his career, where he scored 418 runs at a strike rate of 158.33. Hetmyer's match-winning knock against the Gujarat Titans will always be remembered by RR's fans. Overall, he scored 299 runs at a strike rate of just above 150.
MS Dhoni played the finisher's role to perfection. He smashed 10 sixes in his 104-run tally while also taking seven catches and executing three stumpings behind the stumps.
All-rounders and Bowlers - Ravindra Jadeja, Deepak Chahar, Trent Boult, Yuzvendra Chahal and Matheesha Pathirana
Ravindra Jadeja will provide a lot of balance to this team. Jadeja bagged 20 wickets in IPL 2023, while also playing some impressive knocks for his team.
Deepak Chahar and Trent Boult swung the ball well in the powerplay overs. Both pacers played 10 matches for their respective teams and scalped 13 wickets each.
Yuzvendra Chahal and Matheesha Pathirana complete this lineup. Chahal bagged 21 wickets in 14 matches of IPL 2023. He even bowled in the death overs for RR. Meanwhile, Pathirana's slingy action gave nightmares to the opposition batters. In just 12 games, he picked up 19 wickets for CSK.
Combined IPL 2023 Playing XI of CSK and RR
Devon Conway, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Ajinkya Rahane, Shivam Dube, Shimron Hetmyer, Ravindra Jadeja, MS Dhoni, Deepak Chahar, Trent Boult, Yuzvendra Chahal, and Mateesha Pathirana.