The much-awaited 14th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) is ready to get underway from Friday (April 9), with reigning champions Mumbai Indians (MI) taking on Virat Kohli-led Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in the tournament’s opener.
Ahead of the T20 extravaganza, many cricket experts and pundits are giving their opinions on teams who will reach the playoffs and which one will lift the title this year. Following the trend, former India captain and legend Sunil Gavaskar has also picked his all-time IPL XI ahead of the 14th season of the cash-rich league.
Gavaskar picked six-time IPL-winner and the most successful captain in the history of the tournament, Rohit Sharma, and the ‘Universe Boss’ Chris Gayle as the openers of his all all-time IPL XI. Both the players have been outstanding in the top-order and have smashed plenty of runs, especially in the powerplay.
For middle order, Gavaskar picked Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) skipper David Warner, RCB captain Virat Kohli, Challenger’s powe hitter AB de Villiers, Chennai Super Kings (CSK) backbone Suresh Raina and CSK skipper MS Dhoni.
Here it is worth mentioning that all the five mentioned players are on the list of top-10 run-getters in IPL history. While Kohli, Raina and Warner have acquired the first three spots, De Villiers is at the sixth position followed by Dhoni at the seventh place. Gavaskar also named the CSK skipper as the captain and wicketkeeper of his side.
As far as the bowling department is concerned, Gavaskar picked Kolkata Knight Riders off-spinner Sunil Narine and the Indian pace-bowling duo of Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah.
Interestingly, Sunil Gavaskar picked Lasith Malinga, the leading wicket-taker in the history of the lucrative league, as his 12th man.
“I am sorry if I missed out on any players. I have never been a selector in my life, and I now understand how hard it is to pick a team”, said Gavaskar on Star Sports.
Sunil Gavaskar’s All Time IPL XI:
Rohit Sharma, Chris Gayle, David Warner, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, AB de Villiers, MS Dhoni (c & wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Sunil Narine, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah.