The ninth edition of the Indian Premier League reached its conclusion on Sunday with Royal Challengers Bangalore taking on Sunrisers Hyderabad in the grand finale at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium. In the end, the Hyderabad franchise tasted its maiden IPL triumph by virtue of their winover RCB by 8 runs in an edge-of-the-seat contest. As the nation resumed its normal schedule the following dayafter being in frenzy of a cricketing extravaganza which lasted for 51 days and stretches across 10 venues, we present to you a fantasised squad comprising of 15 gifted players who looked the most impressive through the tournament. The task was as difficult as nailing jelly to a tree since we had to choose from a pool of 191 players among whom some enjoyed a rich vein of form while others struggled to cope with the intense competition that was on offer. After looking at the pros and cons of all the players, we have compiled a team which is listed below.
1. DAVID WARNER (SRH) (CAPTAIN)
It seems that theSunrisers Hyderabad captain has vouched to rewrite the Biblical story of ‘David and Goliath’. A batting talisman in the guise of a 5 feet 7 inches tall Australian, the 29-year old has gone from strength to strength since bursting onto the scene in 2009. The winner of the orange cap in 2015, Warner couldn’t pilot his team into the playoffs last season, crumbling in the wake of the knockouts. This season though, he turned things around by leading Sunrisers Hyderabad to its maiden IPL title. Interestingly, the Australian vice-Captain had decided that he would stop consuming alcohol temporarily in a bid to enhance his fitness after going through a poor run of form during the Ashes in England a year ago. The self-imposed year-long booze ban ended on Sunday when he joined his teammates to celebrate their title triumph. Assuming the mantle of being the leader of SRH’s batting department, the left-handed opener from New South Wales amassed 848 runs from 17 games at an average of 60.57 this season to finish second in the top run-getters’ list behind Virat Kohli. He also struck 88 fours (most by any player in IPL 9) and 31 sixes over the course of the 51-day long tournament. Warner not only impressed everyone with his smart on-field tactical changes but also his consistent batting display, which rescued his side from arduous situations on multiple occasions; as is evident from his knocks of 93* in the second qualifier (against Gujarat Lions) and 69 off 38 balls in the final(against Royal Challengers Bangalore). His exemplary captaincy thereby, earns him the honour to lead this star-studded side.
Stats- Matches 17, Runs 848, HS 93*, N.O 3, Avg.- 60.57, S/R- 151.42, 9 fifties.