Former India opening batsman Virender Sehwag has revealed his best XI for the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2019 but both MS Dhoni and Virat Kohli were not included in the team.
Sehwag named Australia opener David Warner as the captain of his team with both KL Rahul and Hardik Pandya finding place in his best XI of the tournament.
Talking to Cricbuzz, Sehwag picked Shikhar Dhawan and Jonny Bairstow as his openers with KL Rahul coming to bat at number 3. The all-important no. 4 position goes to to Warner who earned a lot of praise from Sehwag.
“I have seen Warner’s performance as an opener, and I have seen his performance as a middle-order batsman. He can play the same at both the slots, can score runs and deliver consistently. I have also made him the captain as he is a smart cricketer which we had seen in SRH’s run to title win 2016,” explained Sehwag.
Sehwag also abides by the rule of picking four overseas players in his playing XI and said he chose his side, not on the basis of names but the performance of players in the tournament that took off on March 23 because of the ICC World Cup starting May 30.
“Everyone must be thinking why I didn’t pick Kohli or AB de Villiers, but I have picked players based on their performance,” he added.
The middle order of Sehwag’s team consist of the explosive batting trio of Rishabh Pant, Andre Russell and Hardik Pandya. All three batsmen have played brilliant knocks in IPL 2019 and Sehwag picked Pant as his ‘favourite cricketer this year.
Among bowlers, Kagiso Rabada and Jasprit Bumrah were Sehwag’s perfect pace options and when it came to the spinners, the young duo of Rahul Chahar and Shreyas Gopal made the cut.
Virender Sehwag’s best XI of IPL 2019:
Shikhar Dhawan, Jonny Bairstow, KL Rahul, David Warner (c), Rishabh Pant (wk), Andre Russell, Hardik Pandya, Shreyas Gopal, Kagiso Rabada, Rahul Chahar, Jasprit Bumrah.
In the end, Sehwag mentioned Imran Tahir’s name as his 12th man in the team. Tahir is the second-highest wicket-taker in the tournament with 24 scalps.