Known as the biggest carnival of cricket; the Indian Premier League (IPL) was supposed to begin from March 29 this year. But due to the COVID-19 outbreak followed by worldwide lockdown, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) was forced to postpone the 13th season of the lucrative league for an indefinite period.
Amid the global pandemic, a lot of cricketers, experts, pundits have come up with their all-time IPL XIs featuring players from across the world. Following the bandwagon, former South Africa captain AB de Villiers has picked a star-studded side including himself.
In conversation with veteran cricket commentator Harsha Bhogle, De Villiers revealed his all-time IPL XI in a chat show on Cricbuzz. The spinal column of Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) started the proceedings by naming the openers in the form of Virender Sehwag and Rohit Sharma.
In 104 games, Sehwag has scored 2728 runs with two centuries and 16 fifties. Rohit, on the other hand, is the third-highest run-getter in IPL having scored as many as 4898 runs in 188 matches.
De Villiers picked his captain of RCB, Virat Kohli at number three and placed himself for the next spot. With 5412 runs in 177 matches, Kohli is the leading run-scorer in the cash-rich league. Similarly, De Villiers has clubbed 4395 runs – third-most amongst overseas cricketers.
Interestingly, De Villiers didn’t name Kohli as skipper of his all-time IPL XI. Instead, the 36-year-old went with one of the most successful leaders of the tournament, MS Dhoni. MSD holds the record of smashing the maximum number of sixes (209) in the competition amongst Indian players and third overall.
For the all-rounder, De Villiers selected England’s most exceptional talent of the 21st century, Ben Stokes. In 34 games, Stokes has accumulated 635 runs with one hundred and a half-ton. The English all-rounder has also bagged 26 wickets with 3/15 being his best.
Among bowlers, the Pretoria-born picked three pacers and two spinners. For the seamers, De Villiers chose Bhuvneshwar Kumar from Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH), Kagiso Rabada from Delhi Capitals (DC) and Jasprit Bumrah from Mumbai Indians (MI).
In 117 games, Bhuvi has grabbed 133 wickets – sixth-most by any bowler in the history of IPL. Similarly, Rabada has taken 31 scalps in 18 matches while Bumrah has earned 82 wickets in 77 matches.
When it comes to the spin department, De Villiers has picked SRH’s Rashid Khan and Ravindra Jadeja from Chennai Super Kings (CSK). Jadeja has featured in 170 games and has taken 108 wickets – 10th most by any bowler, whereas Rashid has 55 scalps to his name in 46 contests.
Here is AB de Villers’ All-Star IPL XI:
Virender Sehwag, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, Ben Stokes, MS Dhoni (c, wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Rashid Khan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Kagiso Rabada, Jasprit Bumrah.