Engineer-turned-commentator and one of the sane voices in gentleman’s game, Harsha Bhogle has picked his all-time Indian Premier League (IPL) XI, who have been giving their best since past nine editions, adding experienced campaigner and crowd-favourite Mahendra Singh Dhoni as a skipper of the playing XI.
“Now, depending on which way you look at it. Picking an IPL team of the past ten years can either be great fun or it can be enormously difficult, a gut wrenching (too),” Bhogle said in a Cricbuzz video.
While terming the top six as an engine of the team, and he further pointed out that there is no iota of a doubt for him to choose the West Indies’ burly Chris Gayle as an opener alongside Mumbai Indian leader Rohit Sharma.
“It’s not a clinching argument, but it’s just a choice,” Bhogle said on all-time IPL openers.
The widely acclaimed league has witnessed players putting on some spectacular performances which further saw youngsters like Rashid Khan, Krunal Pandya and Hardik Pandya giving their best.
The cricket fanatics have also witnessed some best all round stuff in the recently concluded season – the top buy was in whooping INR 14.5 in the form of England’s all-rounder Ben Stokes for Rising Pune Supergiant, who scored 316 runs and picked up 12 wickets, before leaving for the international commitments.
Following the conclusion of the Indian Premier League 2017 which further saw a nerve-jangling final between Rising Supergiant and Mumbai Indians in Hyderabad, in which Rohit Sharma-led side registered a history by lifting the coveted trophy by one-run which further marked the special ten years of the lucrative league.
“I have treated it as a fun exercise,” Bhogle maintained while picking the XI.
While preferring Chris Gayle as an opener alongside Rohit Sharma on the basis of a left-and-right hand combination, Bhogle vouched for Shane Watson, Darren Bravo and all-star MS Dhoni before missing out on aggressive opener David Warner and AB de Villiers, who took a game to a new high.
The experienced campaigner, Rohit has a strike rate of 130.89 in 154 matches in which he has scored 4,207 which further include a solitary hundred and 32 fifties.
Bhogle revealed Virat Kohli is a ‘match winner’ while stating he is capable of anchoring the innings, in the middle order alongside Suresh Raina, who is a must pick choice according to the cricket analyst.
Bhogle further expressed the players could be shuffled like Kohli can come in as an opener with Rohit coming to his place while looking at the table.
Calling Jasprit Bumrah as an IPL ‘legend’, Bhogle picked Bhuvneshwar Kumar, while terming him ‘increasingly impressive’ as an excellent learner of the game before completing the playing XI with leg-spinner Amit Mishra, who according to him has been excellent with the ball in previous editions for his side.
For Bhogle the idle choice was to go with ace off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin while stating Harbhajan could be more aggressive with the bat, as the latter has the strength to deceive the batters at his will.
Here’s the list of All-Time IPL Playing XI picked by Bhogle:
|6||Mahendra Singh Dhoni (Skipper)||Wicketkeeper batsman|
|10||Lasith Malinga||Fast bowler|
|11||Bhuvneshwar Kumar||Fast bowler|
The overseas players include Chris Gayle followed by Shane Watson, Dwayne Bravo and Yorker specialist Lasith Malinga.