The recently concluded IPL 2020 will be remembered as one of the best and memorable tournaments in its history.
The 13th season was so competitive during the league stage that the last team for the playoffs was confirmed on the final day. The cricketing fraternity is still dealing with the hangover of this interesting competition.
Reflecting on the tournament, former Indian pacer Ashish Nehra has picked his best playing XI of IPL 2020. For the opening pair, Nehra went with Orange Cap winner KL Rahul and Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) skipper David Warner, while left out Delhi Capitals’ (DC) Shikhar Dhawan, who was the second-highest run-scorer of the tournament with 618 runs.
Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) captain Virat Kohli also failed to make a cut in Nehra’s team. Instead, he chose Mumbai Indians (MI) batsman Surya Kumar Yadav and RCB superstar AB de Villiers for No. 3 and No. 4 positions respectively.
“If you go just by the tournament performance, then my openers will be KL Rahul and David Warner,” Nehra said on Star Sports.
“At No.3, I am not choosing Virat Kohli. It’s not that he has not scored runs but the impact runs were scored by Suryakumar Yadav, so I will keep him at No.3. There is no T20 team completed without AB de Villiers. So, he will be No.4.”
In the middle order, Nehra went for Ishan Kishan and Hardik Pandya. Kishan was the highest run-getter for MI with 516 runs from 14 matches while Hardik played the part of a finisher on more than one occasions.
Among the bowlers, the former lanky pacer picked four specialists of the game – Jofra Archer, Rashid Khan, Yuzvendra Chahal and Jasprit Bumrah. Nehra has kept his 11th option open in form of Mohammed Shami and Ravichandran Ashwin.
“At No.5, I would say Ishan Kishan. I will also keep him as my wicket-keeper, although AB de Villiers will also be an option. At No.6, Hardik Pandya. After that Jofra Archer and Rashid Khan, both can bat as well.
“And then Chahal and Jasprit Bumrah. My final pick will be one of Ravichandran Ashwin or Shami. If three fast bowlers are required, I will go with Archer, Bumrah and Shami. If only two are required, I will go with Bumrah and Archer and will play Ravichandran Ashwin instead of Shami,” Nehra added.
The 41-year-old admitted that it was tough for him to leave out Chennai Super Kings skipper MS Dhoni, but at the same time, stressed how closely fought this season of the IPL was. Besides Dhoni, Nehra also didn’t pick the Purple Cap winner Kagiso Rabada in his best XI.
“We also have Kagiso Rabada and Kane Williamson. And my thinking is that I will never make a team without MS Dhoni, but his tournament was not good. So, if you go by the tournament performances, this will be my XI,” Nehra concluded.
Ashish Nehra’s best IPL 2020 XI:
KL Rahul, David Warner, Surya Kumar Yadav, AB de Villiers, Ishan Kishan (wk), Hardik Pandya, Jofra Archer, Rashid Khan, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah, Ravichandran Ashwin/Mohammed Shami.