Posted by: nestaquin | May 9, 2008

Simply the Best

With the Indian Premier League at the halfway stage it seems an opportune time to choose a team of the most impressive players in the tournament. The team has been chosen much like an IPL side with only four foreigners allowed and to qualify a player must have participated in at least half of the seven matches contested.

With top order batsman dominating it was difficult to find a balanced line-up and more than a few deserving players were left on the bench. Of the foreign contingent Adam Gilchrist, Michael Hussey, Shaun Pollock, Shane Warne, Sohail Tanvir, Mohammad Asif, Brendan McCullum, Shane Watson and Kumar Sangakkara were considered as were Zaheer Khan, Praveen Kumar, Manpreet Goni, RP Singh, Shikhar Dhawan, Piyush Chawla, Ashok Dinda, Abhishek Nayar, Yusef Pathan, Ashish Nehra, Jaydev Shah and Yo Mahesh from the local contingent. Albie Morkel and Swapnil Asnodkar would also have made the cut except they failed to play the required four matches.

Virender Sehwag

Matthew Hayden

Gautam Gambhir

Robin Uthappa

Rohit Sharma

MS Dhoni

Dwayne Bravo

Irfan Pathan

Ishant Sharma

Muttiah Muralitharan

Glenn McGrath

In tomorrow’s post there will be an explanation on why each player was considered worthy and where they fit into the team dynamic. If any of the readers think they can concoct a better line-up or if they think I have completely overlooked a player, be bold and leave a comment.



  1. I feel Rohit Sharma should bat before Uthappa. He is much better striker and a lot more consistent. He should be no. 4.
    Who do u think should captain this side? Dhoni?

  2. Watson for Bravo.

  3. Dhoni would be skipper for sure. There is really no-one else.

    I agree Rohit and Uthappa could easily swap places without harming the team. Both have been in form and played excellent innings for their teams in this tournament.

  4. Watson has been very very good but Bravo has been the catalyst for Mumbai’s revival.

    His fielding has been phenomenal and his contributions with both bat and ball have been crucial in turning around his team’s fortunes.

    He has turned the last three Mumbai matches with a wicket, a difficult catch or a flurry of boundaries.

    If there were no restrictions Watson would definitely make the best XI with his performances
    to date. Hussey and Gilchrist likewise.

    Bravo is the team’s talisman and as such was the first foreigner selected.

  5. No SK Warne?

  6. Warnie can coach. He has easily been the best coach and there are no restrictions based on nationality for that position.

    Murali is in fantastic form and has been almost unplayable. Although Warne has been inspirational and instrumental in his team’s success I can only fit one of them in.

    If the team’s batting wasn’t so strong I may have went with Shane but with Irfan at eight Murali is a luxury the team can afford.

    It really is difficult to include only four foreigners when non-Indians have dominated the competition so thoroughly.

  7. Nesta, i think you have gone for people with International experience when you picked the Indian contingent.

    I feel Shikhar Dhawan could have replaced Uthappa.

  8. Dhawan is a good fielder. He has been more consistent than Uthappa this tournament.

  9. Only yesterday I was thinking of an IPL XI and I thought I would become selector and do a post at the end of the league, but you beat me to that.

    Impressive line up but purely based on performances and stats I would replace Uthappa with Shikhar Dhawan, Bravo with Watson, Ishant Sharma with Zaheer Khan, RP, Nehra or Goni, and Murali with Shane Warne.

    And Warne will be my captain, not Dhoni.

    Plus I would also look to include an U19 Indian player which each franchise has looked to do. So either one of Kohli, Jadeja, or Sangwan.

  10. Dhawan for Utthappa, who for all his power-hitting and temperament, has looked very limited with his stroke play.

    Utthappa has been hindered by his tendency to predtermine shots – a swing over long-on off the front foot, a front-foot pull and the scoop over short-fine leg. This also explains his failure to make big scores as he has got out every time he has attempted to press on the accelerator.

  11. Nest – Your list has merit but few more matches will nail who will be in this list. I think Suresh Raina among batsmen and the yound leggie among bowlers to make the list. But none of the young new ball bowlers have been outstanding the way I felt when I saw for the first time ishant in the Bangalore test against Pakistan.Gony appears to be the closest but he needs at least another 5kmph. Warnie has to be the captain..He is miles ahead of anyone in reading this explosive game

  12. My U/19 player is Ishant Sharma.

    Dharwan was close to selection but I’d like to see him win a match off his own bat. He has played some good supporting innings and is as you say better than most Indians in the field but Uthappa, at the moment, is just marginally ahead. We’re only halfway so there is still time for Dharwan to overtake him.

    I don’t think I was to easily influenced by international players its just that they have, not surprisingly, dominated.

    If I didn’t restrict myself to the tournament rules (only 4 imports) Indians would make up less than half the team so more than Uthappa is fortunate to be included.

  13. The shane watson

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