As the ninth edition of the IPL is about to commence, the excitement is simply sky high. After all, the IPL is the ultimate carnival of cricket, where renowned individuals from across the globe indulge in some high octane dose of T20 cricket. Since its inception, the IPL has been raising the bar and standard with every passing year. The league, which took off in 2008, has been the ultimate summer carnival for avid cricket viewers and this edition promises to be no different.
The most impressive aspect of this league has been that several foreigners have made India their second home owing to the IPL. The respect, love, and adoration which some overseas cricketers find in India due to the IPL, has completely been heartwarming for any cricket fan. Mike Hussey for instance, is bound to find more love in a Chennai suburb, than Australia, by the courtesy of his connection with the Chennai Super Kings.
Since a lot of overseas individuals have found tremendous success in the IPL, we jot down our own all time IPL XI, involving only foreigners. A point worth noting is that the performances throughout the past 8 seasons have been considered and just a season or two.
1) Chris Gayle:
The one person who has benefitted the most due to this league has been none other than Chris Gayle. Gayle, has rewritten T20 record books while representing his IPL franchises. Gayle, who began his journey with the Kolkata Knight Riders found his true success with the Royal Challengers Bangalore. Gayle is the leading run getter in the IPL as an overseas batsman, with 3199 runs at a mighty average of 46.36. To top it all, he also has 5 centuries in the IPL!
2) Brendon McCullum:
In this lineup, McCullum will double up as the wicketkeeper. In the earlier editions, McCullum kept wickets, though he no longer does that. He set the IPL off to a dazzling start with his epic knock of 158* in the very first game. Over the years, McCullum has represented the Knight Riders, Kochi Tuskers Kerala, Chennai Super Kings and now will don the colors of Gujarat Lions. With over 2050 runs in 70 games, its fair to say that McCullum has enjoyed batting in the IPL.
3) Mike Hussey:
Hussey might no longer be a part of this glorious league, but he has mounted runs at a great rate. The Orange Cap holder of the 6th edition has scored his runs at an impressive average of 38.76 while representing the Mumbai Indians and the Chennai Super Kings. As an opener, Hussey was even more successful and the Super Kings batting revolved around this veteran Aussie.
4) Jacques Kallis:
Now the head coach of the Kolkata Knight Riders, Kallis definitely enjoyed his outings in the IPL. As a matter of fact, after an outstanding 2009 IPL, Kallis’ limited-overs career for South Africa got a new lease of life owing to some great performances. With 2427 runs and 65 wickets in 98 games, his IPL numbers are unparalleled and he has been the league’s best all rounder.
5) AB De Villiers:
Chants of “ABD, ABD” often reverberate when this South African makes his way into the middle. De Villiers has loved batting in the IPL and his stats just second that. With over 2500 runs in 104 games at a brilliant strike rate of 144.73, De Villiers has been the trump card for his franchises. The South African ODI skipper also has 2 tons to his name in the IPL.
6) Shane Watson:
Watson became the first player to be the Man of the Series in two separate editions of the IPL. Watson, who now shall represent the Bangalore side, found all his success for the Rajasthan Royals. The first edition of the IPL was instrumental in resurrecting Watson’s international career for Australia. In 78 games, Watson has 2372 runs and 61 wickets, which make him a genuine match winner.
7) Dwayne Bravo:
In the last few editions of the IPL, Bravo has often been used in the death overs, and to his captain’s delight, he has been extremely successful in that role. The Trinidadian was also the Purple Cap holder in one of the editions and he has 105 wickets to his name in 91 games. His hitting prowess can’t be ignored as well, since he has been a successful finisher for his teams.
8) Shane Warne:
Warne will be the skipper of this team and he successfully led the Rajasthan Royals to glory in the very first edition of the league. Very few overseas spinners have found success in the IPL, and Warne is one of those few spinners. Apart from his bowling, it’s his tactical captaincy which makes him a part of this side.
9) Dale Steyn:
The last couple of seasons might have been a little somber for Steyn, but as a whole, his IPL numbers have been fantastic. With 92 wickets in 89 games, at a miserly economy rate of just 6.71, Steyn has enjoyed his time in the middle. The upcoming edition would be on fire if Steyn is back to his best.
10) Sunil Narine:
Narine was the Man of the Series in the 2012 edition, when his side, the Kolkata Knight Riders won the tournament for the first time. Narine’s numbers are mesmerizing indeed with 74 wickets in just 55 games. However, it’s his economy rate of just 6, which makes him such a potent weapon.
11) Lasith Malinga:
Malinga, the leading wicket taker in the IPL, undoubtedly has been synonymous with this league. Malinga has churned out match winning performances year after year for the Mumbai Indians and his toe-crushers have been great to watch. With a staggering 143 wickets in just 98 IPL games, Malinga has been the best bowler of the league.