The summer cricket extravaganza Indian Premier League (IPL) concluded on Sunday with Rohit Sharma-led Mumbai Indians lifting the trophy for a third time, maximum by any team in the league.
Both the players and fans were on a joyride as the league hosted a series of hard-fought clashes before the commencement of the mini World Cup – Champions Trophy, starting 1 June in London.
With the wrap up of the cash-rich league, thestatesman.com present you a combined eleven from all eight teams, who shone throughout the season 10.
Smith: The leading warrior
Australian skipper enjoyed a fair outing in India ahead of Champions Trophy. Despite having lost the title by just one run, Smith’s journey in the IPL 2017 was praiseworthy.
In 15 matches of the season, Smith scored 427 runs with a highest knock of 84 runs (not out). He made three 50-plus knocks and smashed as many as 38 boundaries and 12 sixes.
Rising Pune Supergiant were highly criticised when they handed captaincy from MS Dhoni to Smith. However, the 27-year-old Australian came atop in fighting spirit and led the side to a runner-up finish.
Too much devastation at top-order
The combined XI has to be unbeatable at top-order as most of the openers in the league, if not all, performed up to their aggressive reputation. David Warner, Gautam Gambhir and Shikhar Dhawan have made a cut in our line-up.
Respective captains of Sunrisers Hyderabad and Kolkata Knight Riders, Warner and Gambhir, were up to hit the ball with the word go. The top scorer of the league Warner scored 641 runs in 14 matches, while Gambhir made 498 runs in 16 matches with his classical textbook cricket.
Dhawan, who smashed 479 runs in 14 matches for SRH, will be a great bet at No. 3. Dhawan played three 50-plus knocks and a highest 77-run knock that displayed a sign of improvement ahead of Champions Trophy.
Pace heavy bowling attack
Another blissful find of the season was pacers dominating the game, which was highly subjugated by batsmen. Indian spearheads Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jaydev Unadkat and Jasprit Bumrah exhibited remarkable skills on Indian pitches to intimidate the best of batsmen.
Paceman Bhuvneshwar ruled the top wicket-takers’ chart by claiming 26 wickets in 14 matches with a wonder-spell of 5/19 against Kings XI Punjab in Hyderabad.
Besides Bhuvneshwar, Bumrah also stretched his muscles ahead of the mini World Cup with an exemplary bowling in death overs. He claimed 20 wickets in 16 matches with an impressive spell of 3/7 against Kolkata Knight Riders in the second qualifier.
Porbandar-born pacer Unadkat also struck at right times for his team and emerged as a find of the IPL 2017. He took 24 wickets in 12 matches at a notable bowling average of 13.41.
Spin with a blend of experience and magic
Experienced Imran Tahir and young-gun Rashid Khan will be an invincible leg-spinners’ pair if put in a team. Both the spinners ruled the top wicket-takers’ chart early in the season and managed to keep their dominance intact throughout the season.
Tahir took 18 wickets in 12 matches, while Rashid bagged 17 wickets from 14 matches of the IPL 2017.
Combined XI: David Warner, Gautam Gambhir, Shikhar Dhawan, Steve Smith (C), Suresh Raina, Robin Uthappa (WK), Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jaydev Unadkat, Jasprit Bumrah, Imran Tahir, Rashid Khan