#3 Virat Kohli
Till a few years ago, it would have been unthinkable and downright ludicrous to claim that Sachin Tendulkar's batting records could be broken. But, with each passing year, the claim looks more and more plausible, thanks to Virat Kohli's unstoppable willow. His rate of run scoring has been so impressive that it invited comparisons with the maestro and gave rise to the debate -"Is he as good as Sachin?"
Unlike in case of the Indian team, Kohli may not be the undisputed no.1 batsman for his team in the IPL and will have to share the honours with Chris Gayle and AB de Villiers. Since the inception of Kohli, Royal Challengers never let go of Kohli and not many players have played for only one team for so many seasons. As one would expect of him, Kohli holds the record for the highest no. of runs in a single edition, a feat he achieved when he plundered 973 runs in IPL 2016. The run machine from Royal Challengers will be our no.3.
#4 Rohit Sharma
Rohit Sharma was always touted as a colossal talent and his career began with plenty of promise. After a string of failures, there were doubts whether he would join the long list of cricketers with unfulfilled potential. But, Rohit finally hit the consistency and since then, he has been the scourge of the bowlers. He remains the only player to smash two double hundreds in ODIs.
His batting exudes elegance and when he is on song, the boundaries flow freely from his magical willow. Without dropping even an iota of elegance, he can rip the bowling attack to pieces and cause incalculable damage to the opposition.
His test statistics need a lot of improvement but in ODIs and T20s, his record brooks no argument. With more than 4000 runs under his belt, he is also among the top three run scorers in the IPL. The lynchpin of the Mumbai Indians unit will occupy the no.4 slot in our line-up.
#5 AB de Villiers (Overseas)
One often hears of the commentators praising a batsman about his ability to play shots all around the park but AB de Villiers took it to another level altogether. When de Villiers is in his elements, the ball can disappear to the most unimaginable corners of the ground. This sets de Villiers apart from the rest of the great batsmen of the modern era and earned him the nickname 'Mr. 360." While there is plenty to admire about his batting other than this aspect, this alone makes his batting an enthralling spectacle. The South African scores runs at a breakneck speed but gets them in truckloads too.
De Villiers has been a spectacular performer in the IPL over many years. He scored in excess of 3000 runs at an average of 38 and a strike rate of 148. Those numbers are not very far from those of Chris Gayle(average 41 and strike rate 151), who is widely considered the most devastating batsman in the IPL history. De Villiers will be the fulcrum of our middle-order.
#6 Mahendra Singh Dhoni (c) (wk)
The selection of Mahendra Singh Dhoni is a no-brainer. Widely regarded as the greatest finisher at least in today's cricket, Dhoni is an invaluable asset to any team he plays in. His big-hitting prowess can turn the matches on its head and his uber-cool attitude can often clinch the important final moments in nail-biting contests. When the team is in dire straits, Dhoni can eschew his attacking instincts and stabilise the innings. When the time is ripe, he can unleash his big hits that can send the fielders scurrying for cover.
Dhoni's international T20 strike rate of 125 is a bit low by his lofty standards but in the IPL, it goes up by a notch. He scores his runs at the rate of 136 runs per hundred balls and has more than 3500 runs to his name. His wicket-keeping skills are fantastic too and Dhoni has acquired a great reputation for making stumpings in the blink of an eye.
Under his captaincy, both Chennai Super Kings and Rising Pune Supergiants enjoyed tremendous success. Who better than Dhoni to marshall our side and don the gloves?