All Star IPL 2015 Playing XI
The only restriction on an IPL team is to have 4 foreign players. Contrary to popular opinion, an uncapped Indian player need not be a part of the Playing XI. For example, SRH did not have any uncapped player in their playing XI in the match against DD at Raipur.
Picking the Foreigners is the toughest part as a lot of them have performed extremely well this season.
Best Foreign Batsman: David Warner scored the most runs despite playing just 14 games and was amazingly consistent this season. It is hard to look beyond him.
Best Foreign Bowler: I am picking Malinga over Starc here, an unpopular opinion. While Malinga struggled at the start of the tournament, in the second half, when it mattered the most, he was brilliant. He took 7 wickets at an average of 9.3 and economy of 5.4 in the last 3 games, and 16 wickets in his last 8 games. Starc wasn’t as threatening towards the end of the tournament; he picked up only 5 wickets in his last 6 games at an average of 34.2.
Best Foreign All Rounder: I think everyone will agree that it was Andre Russell. He had a fantastic season with KKR.
4th Foreigners Spot: JP Duminy was very good throughout the tournament. AB de Villiers and Brendon McCullum both played some breathtaking knocks. But Moises Henriques was the standout performer for me: he played just 9 games but scored 287 runs (Average 41 and SR 136) and picked up 11 wickets (Average 14, Economy 6.32).
Best Indian Bowlers:
Ashish Nehra is a no brainer: he got early breakthroughs and won many matches for CSK.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar was excellent in the death overs, bowling yorkers on demand and at times bowling 6 yorkers in an over. He is one bowler we cannot ignore.
Harbhajan edges out Chahal and Ashwin. Chahal was too expensive and didn’t bowl any match defining spells. Ashwin was economical but took JUST 10 wickets in 14 games.
Wicket Keeper: This was a pretty bad season for Indian wicketkeepers. Dhoni and Uthappa weren’t as consistent as you hoped they would be. Saha and Samson were good in patches. Dinesh Karthik had a horrible tournament. Parthiv Patel was very good behind the stumps and exceeded expectations as an opener. So Parthiv is my pick for the Keeper’s slot/opening batsman.
Best Indian Batsmen:
Rohit went from an opener to no 5 and them back to no 3. But he was pretty consistent and also performed very well as a captain. He walks into the team as captain. Kohli was good, but Rohit was better this season, both as a captain and as a batsman.
With Warner, Parthiv, Rohit, Henriques already picked as Top 4, a player who can score runs very quickly is required. Ambati Rayudu was grossly underutilized my MI this season. He finished with a healthy strike of 146 and fits the bill for the #5 slot.
Final spot remaining is for an Indian All Rounder: If Dhoni were picking this side, he would pick Ravindra Jadeja without batting an eyelid. But he isn’t, and as Jadeja had a horror season, we look at other options. Pawan Negi was a find but was not consistent with just 6 wickets in 10 games. Even though KXIP had a nightmare of a season, Axar Patel performing with bat and ball was probably the only bright spot of their season. Axar wasn’t great but he is being picked because of lack of other quality Indian all rounders.
So the final Playing XI is,
1. David Warner
2. Parthiv Patel (WK)
3. Rohit Sharma (Captain)
4. Moises Henriques
5. Ambati Rayudu
6. Andre Russell
7. Axar Patel
8. Harbhajan Singh
9. Bhuvneshwar Kumar
10. Ashish Nehra
11. Lasith Malinga