AB misses out on ESPNCricinfo’s all-time IPL XI
– Chris Gayle, Dwayne Bravo, Sunil Narine and Lasith Malinga make up the overseas roster, while MS Dhoni captains the side
After six weeks of voting by readers, 31 nominees were selected for ESPNCricinfo’s all-time IPL XI. Over the past week a 17-member panel, comprising five former Test cricketers and a selection of ESPNCricinfo staff, got a flavour of life as an IPL team owner, making decisions to ensure their sides achieved the perfect balance. The panel did not have a budget cap or bidding from competitors to worry about, but despite the lack of those constraints, there were hard choices to be made.
ESPNcricinfo’s all-time IPL XI
- Chris Gayle, 2 Virender Sehwag, 3 Virat Kohli, 4 Suresh Raina, 5 Rohit Sharma, 6 MS Dhoni (capt & wk), 7 Dwayne Bravo, 8 Sunil Narine, 9 R Ashwin, 10 Bhuvneshwar Kumar, 11 Lasith Malinga. The panel unanimously decided that AB de Villiers would be the 12th man.
ESPNCricinfo all-time XI is a reflection of how some of the best sides in the tournament have lined up – six batsmen, one all-rounder, and four specialist bowlers. Some of these batsmen have had success rolling their arm over in the past, and while there was temptation to extend the batting order with an extra man, the final XI has five proven bowlers who will rarely fail as a collective, in any conditions.
The overseas players
Our list of 31 nominees featured 14 overseas players, from which our panel had to choose four, keeping in mind the balance of the side. There were clear trends, starting with a split down the middle while picking the openers. There was, by all accounts and logic, only place for one overseas opener, and Gayle received one more vote than David Warner. (ESPNCricinfo).