Sanjay Manjrekar, the former Indian batsman and commentator, picked his best playing XI from the consistent performers of the 2020 Indian Premier League (IPL).
He named the Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) duo of KL Rahul who is the leading run-scorer with 670 runs in 14 matches averaging 55.83 and Mayank Agarwal who has 424 runs in 11 matches. KL Rahul is the skipper of Kings XI Punjab while Mayank Agarwal missed some games owing to injury.
Sanjay Manjrekar : No.3 Batsman Is Suryakumar Yadav
At three number three, Sanjay Manjrekar went for Suryakumar Yadav of Mumbai Indians, who scored a magnificent half-century in the Qualifier 1 against the Delhi Capitals (DC) and has amassed 461 runs in 15 matches averaging 41.9 with 4 fifties.
“My No. 3 is Suryakumar Yadav, which is great for someone like him to have made it to this IPL XI. He bats at No. 3 and I don’t think any No. 3 has batted as well and as consistently as he’s done. It’s not just about runs and consistency but also about the quality of shots as well that he’s played,” Manjrekar was quoted as saying in ESPNcricinfo.
Sanjay Manjrekar, however, didn’t go for Virat Kohli, the Royal Challengers Bangalore’s (RCB) skipper, who didn’t capitalize in IPL 2020 considering his standards as shown by his strike rate of 121.35 being the least among top 10 batsmen. Virat Kohli scored 466 runs in 15 matches averaging 42.36.
No Kagiso Rabada In Sanjay Manjrekar’s XI
At number four, the veteran picked South African batsman AB de Villiers, who was arguably the most fluent and accomplished batsman for the Royal Challengers Bangalore scoring 454 runs in the extravagant T20 league.
Sanjay Manjrekar picked up KXIP’s Nicholas Pooran at number five which is a surprise since he scored only 353 runs in 14 matches averaging 35.3. As his all-rounder, he zeroed in on Delhi Capitals Axar Patel. He reckoned that Axar Patel is an under-rated star, but turned up with some crucial performances in pressured situations. Axar Patel had scored 108 runs and picked 8 wickets in 13 matches.
“Axar Patel is my batting all-rounder. He flies under the radar, but this IPL, he’s delivered the match-winning, little doses of impact performance to make a difference,” he stated.
In the fast bowling department, he went for another KXIP player pacer Mohammed Shami, Mumbai Indians purple cap holder Jasprit Bumrah and Rajasthan Royals pacer Jofra Archer. Jasprit Bumrah is currently the Purple Cap holder with 27 wickets and has picked 10 wickets in his last three matches. Both Mohammed Shami and Jofra Archer have 20 wickets each.
However, Sanjay Manjrekar refrained from picking DC’s Kagiso Rabada, who has 25 wickets besides his name. In the spin department, he went for the leg-spin duo of Hyderabad’s Rashid Khan and Bangalore’s Yuzvendra Chahal who have 19 and 21 wickets respectively.
Here’s the best playing XI for IPL 2020 from Sanjay Manjrekar:
KL Rahul [WK], Mayank Agarwal, Suryakumar Yadav, AB de Villiers, Nicholas Pooran, Axar Patel, Rashid Khan, Jofra Archer, Yuzvendra Chahal, Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah.