The star-studded Indian Premier League 2018 is around the corner and the cricket fans have been waiting with bated breath for the exciting tournament to begin. Making an all-time XI is never an easy task as there are a huge number of wonderful players to choose from. Since there is a restriction of four foreign players per side, choosing them was particularly difficult.
Here is my 'greatest right-hander IPL XI of all time.'
#1 Virender Sehwag
"Focus on footwork" - The coaches may preach the youngsters about the importance of the footwork till the cows come calling home but Virender Sehwag seemed to have paid deaf ears to all such wise advice. His batting may not please the mentors in the world as it makes a mockery of their manuals but is an ultimate delight for any spectator. His inimitable and intrepid style of batting made him the most feared batsman of his time.
In Test cricket, Virender Sehwag scored runs at a strike rate of 82, a rate that would have earned him the tag of an 'aggressive batsman' even in ODIs. That stat alone speaks volumes of Viru's destructiveness with the willow. If a player scored runs at such a rate in the game's longest format, where slow scoring is perfectly is acceptable, it is not hard to guess how much havoc he wreaked in the T20 format. His strike rate of 155 in the Indian Premier League is amongst the highest but with Sehwag, such astronomical strike rates are totally expected. The 'Nawab of Najafgarh' will open the batting of our side.
#2 Shane Watson (Overseas)
Who better than Shane Watson to partner with Virender Sehwag? In the inaugural edition of the IPL in 2008, Rajasthan Royals lacked the star power that all other teams had in plenty and were the least fancied team in the tournament. But, they surprised everyone by winning the title and Watson was one of the chief architects of the Royals' success.
Since then, there was no looking back for the talented all-rounder from Queensland. Watson, who had not yet cemented his place in the Australian team, became an indispensable player for the Kangaroos. His test record may be modest but his place on the list of the best modern-day allrounders in the shorter formats is beyond question.
In the subsequent editions of the IPL, he became a hot property. Apart from smashing the bowlers to all parts of the ground, he also provides a useful pace bowling option. In 104 matches, Watson scored 2622 runs at a strike rate of 138 and grabbed 86 wickets.