The IPL 2014 Dream Team: No Saha, no Pandey, no Sehwag
This list seeks to reward consistency over one-off performances.
With the seventh season of the Indian Premier League coming to an end, it is time to pick the best of the best. The Kolkata Knight Riders won the title but there were many outstanding performances during the course of the tournament. But this list seeks to reward consistency.
Here's a look at our dream team for the tournament:
Robin Uthappa (16 mts, 660 runs, avg of 44.00, SR 137.78)
Uthappa rose to the top in classical style. He wasn't just trying to bludgeon the ball out of the park -- he was playing with a calm that was almost at odds with the Twenty20 format itself. If KKR reached the final, it was majorly due to the efforts of their opener. He was also the top-scorer in IPL 7.
Dwayne Smith (16 mts, 566 runs, avg of 35.37, SR 136.05)
Mumbai will still be ruing the moment they decided to let Smith go. He, alongwith fellow opener Brendon McCullum, pretty much carried Chennai Super Kings for the early part of the season. His big-hitting has always had an effortless quality to it and that was true this time round too.
Glenn Maxwell (16 mts, 552 runs, avg of 34.50, SR 187.75)
He is the maverick in any line-up. When he was hot -- they was no shot he couldn't hit; no bowling attack he couldn't demolish and no target was too big. Despite his lean run towards the end of the tournament, he was still among the top scorers in the tournament. That says something.
Suresh Raina (16 mts, 523 runs, avg of 40.23, SR 188.39)
He just gets it done every season. The only man to have played in every match for CSK and the only man to score over 400 runs in every season. That unmatchable consistency is why he is in the team.
David Miller (16 mts, 446 runs, avg of 44.60, SR 149.16)
Maxwell got all the accolades in the early going but Miller was just as deadly as a finisher. He does it without ever looking flustered. His hitting is clean as a whistle and technically correct as well.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni (16 mts, 371 runs, avg of 74.20, SR 148.40)
The best finisher. Still as potent as a skipper. Does one need say more? With Uthappa also part of the set up, he could also be used purely as a finisher.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar (14 mts, 20 wickets, avg 17.70, ER 6.65)
Mohit Sharma got the most wickets but Bhuvneshwar was more impressive at the death. He also consistently got wickets with the new ball - the best India pacer in the tournament.
Lasith Malinga (10 mts, 16 wickets, avg 15.81, ER 6.45)
He left early for Sri Lanka duty but he is still the best T20 fast bowler in the world. In 10 matches, he got 16 wickets and was just superb.
Akshar Patel (17 mts, 17 wickets, avg 23.82, ER 6.13)
Even in the final, as his fellow bowlers were being carted all around the park, Akshar Patel stood out. He is accurate, economical and knows how to stick to a plan.
Pravin Tambe (13 mts, 15 wickets, avg 23.73, ER 7.26)
An inspirational figure, both on and off the field. He went about his job quietly. He is an accurate leg-spinner and has enough guile to fool the best in the business.
Sunil Narine (16 mts, 21 wickets, avg 19.38, ER 6.35)
He got carted around a bit in the final but otherwise there is no end to Narine's mystery. He is an outstanding bowler who understands T20 cricket and it's requirements. The best spinner in T20 cricket by a mile.
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