To select a dream team is an invitation to create fuss. It is an opportunity to contemplate and then bicker on whom to take and whom to leave out of the elite list. With a vast pool of superlative displays in IPL-4, it becomes all the more difficult to pick and choose just eleven players in a group where many others have performed well. Fully aware of the pitfalls of creating a ‘Dream Team’, I have sourced from India Syndicate and MSN and tried to stagger an outline of what can be called as the best eleven cricketers in the ongoing IPL. The final stamp of authority though, lies with you the reader. If you think my eleven is no match for yours, sign into the feedback section below and pour your heart out.
Chris Gayle (Royal Challengers Bangalore)
He came, he saw and he did not wait too long to blast away. Chris Gayle joined Royal Challengers Bangalore after two weeks of IPL action and slammed a ton in his first match against Kolkata Knight Riders. Thereafter, he continued to provide rocket-paced starts and soon notched up his second century against Kings XI Punjab. Bangalore produced a series of flops in their initial matches, but once Gayle came into the picture the team surged ahead in the rankings table.
Virender Sehwag ( Delhi Daredevils)
To leave Virender Sehwag out of any team sheet would be a grave folly. Sehwag was on song in the IPL, but sadly most of his team-mates performances were way out of tune. And thus, Daredevils failed to finish among the top four teams even though Sehwag consistently fired with the bat. The Sehwag showpiece this season was a blistering 119 against the Deccan Chargers at Ferozeshah Kotla, which singlehandedly lifted Delhi to a much-needed win.
Virat Kohli (Royal Challengers Bangalore)
That Virat Kohli is the only player in the IPL whose average touches fifty without ticking off the century box is enough proof of his consistency. There has been a certain confidence in Kohli’s demeanour at the crease and the runs have flowed in buckets. What makes Kohli a valuable player is the ability to change his game according to the situation. He can run hard to steal that vital single or hit-out to up the scoring rate.
Michael Hussey (Chennai Super Kings)
How quickly Michael Hussey changes gear? A tough middleorder Test and ODI batsman to an explosive opener in IPL, Hussey has not only thrived successfully season after season, he has also made heads turn with his match-winning ability. The left-hander has been solid at the top for Chennai Super Kings without losing pace, and it is this quality which makes him all the more valuable.
Ambati Rayudu (Mumbai Indians)
Out of the twelve fifty plus partnerships by the Mumbai Indian batsmen, Ambati Rayudu features in half of them. Rayudu has contributed in two of the three century-stands for Mumbai. Such has been Rayudu’s influence in the team which supposedly banks heaviest on its captain, Sachin Tendulkar. Rayudu has been almost a perfect T20 player for Mumbai. He lifts the run-rate at will and when the need of the hour is to keep a cool head, Rayudu does not disappoint.
Rohit Sharma (Mumbai Indians)
There was never an iota of doubt about Rohit Sharma’s class but his temperament and fitness constantly came under the scanner. Watching a slimmed down Sharma unfurling lofted drives and elegant pulls was a refreshing change from his previous slothful efforts with the Indian team. Rohit looked hungry to score runs and a tally of over 300 runs in the tournament is not a bad harvest for someone who had been out of action for a considerable period of time.
MS Dhoni (Chennai Super Kings)
Dhoni’s Midas touch continues in the fourth edition of the IPL. Captain Marvel has once again guided Chennai into their fourth consecutive IPL final. And it has not only been about astute captaincy and brilliant bowling changes and field placements. With the bat in his hand, Dhoni has answered the call most number of times. A fourth IPL-final spot sealed, Dhoni would now aim for a second successive title win.
Lasith Malinga (Mumbai Indians)
In one word, Lasith Malinga, has been breathtaking this IPL. The Lankan pacer has ripped open batting sides like a can of beans and in the process won many games for the Mumbai Indians. A hostile spell of bowling against Delhi Daredevils saw Malinga bag five wickets. The ruthless display was just the beginning of what turned out to be an amazing tournament for Malinga.
Amit Mishra (Deccan Chargers)
Apart from smacking Munaf Patel for four boundaries in one over, Amit Mishra did a lot more to book his place in India’s ODI squad for the five-match series in the West Indies. The legspinner bagged 19 wickets in the tournament and took his second hat-trick in the IPL against Kings XI Punjab.
Ravichandran Ashwin (Chennai Super Kings)
Dhoni has often thrown the ball to Ashwin in the opening overs and the offspinner has come out with flying colours. His frugal bowling spells have ensured that the opposition openers don’t run away with the game and more often than not his tidy efforts have resulted in a much-deserved wicket. The offspinner has used his ‘carrom’ ball with devastating effect and it is this special delivery which ended Gayle’s innings early in the qualifier against Bangalore.
Doug Bollinger (Chennai Super Kings)
Bollinger’s left-arm bowling has fetched him 16 IPL wickets this season. His exploits in the IPL had already made Bollinger a hot favourite with the Chennai crowd, and the Australian pacer’s sturdy displays have ensured that he loses none of his fan following. In spite of playing lesser games than some of the other top-wicket takers in the tournament, Bollinger has still made an impact on the list of highest wicket-takers.
Paul Valthaty (Kings XI Punjab)
Valthaty’s unbeaten match-winning 120 runs pushed the Punjab into the limelight. But the fact is even after that blistering century, Valthaty came up with some handy knocks for KXIP and finished with a creditable 463 runs in 14 games. Adding to his batting exploits, Valthaty’s four-wicket haul against the Deccan Chargers early on in the tournament makes him a hot pick for the twelfth man spot.