Sanjay Manjrekar has picked his best XI of IPL 2020.
Manjrekar did not include RCB captain Virat Kohli in his team.
The Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 has reached its business end with only two games left in the season. After defeating Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) by 6 wickets, Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) will now play in the second qualifier against Delhi Capitals (DC) on Sunday. The winner of this contest will go into the final to battle against Mumbai Indians (MI).
As the league stage comes to a conclusion, several experts have started coming out with their best elevens of the season. Following the pattern, former India international Sanjay Manjrekar has picked his best XI of IPL 2020.
Manjrekar began the proceedings by naming Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) duo of KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal as openers of his team. Though KXIP didn’t qualify for the playoffs, but both Rahul and Mayank displayed top-quality batting throughout the season.
Rahul is currently the highest run-scorer of the tournament with 670 runs in 14 games at a phenomenal average of 55.83. Mayank, on the other hand, has accumulated 424 runs at a strike-rate of 156.45.
Manjrekar ignored RCB skipper Virat Kohli, the seventh-highest run-getter (466) in the competition, for the number three position. He instead picked MI batsman Surya Kumar Yadav, who is having a spectacular season. Surya has so far scored 461 runs in 15 matches with four half-centuries.
“My No. 3 is Suryakumar Yadav, which is great for someone like him to have made it to this IPL XI. He bats at No. 3, and I don’t think any No. 3 has batted as well and as consistently as he’s done. It’s not just about runs and consistency but also about the quality of shots as well that he’s played,” said Manjrekar as quoted by ESPNcricinfo.
Known as RCB’s spinal column, AB de Villiers was number four batsman in Manjrekar’s best XI of the season. The former Proteas skipper has amassed 454 runs in 15 matches, including five fifties. Manjrekar also included KXIP batsman Nicholas Pooran in his team.
No place for Kagiso Rabada and Trent Boult in Manjrekar’s XI
Among pacers, Manjrekar went with Rajasthan Royals (RR) speedster Jofra Archer, KXIP seamer Mohammed Shami and MI paceman Jasprit Bumrah.
Surprisingly, the cricketer-turned-commentator didn’t pick Kagiso Rabada, the second-highest wicket-taker of IPL 2020. Rabada has so far bagged 25 scalps in 15 matches. Manjrekar also ignored Trent Boult – highest wicket-taker (22) among left-handed bowlers in this season.
“When it comes to fast bowling, I’m looking at Jofra Archer, who better them him to shoulder the responsibility. Bumrah, obviously comes in and I don’t think I need to explain,” the Mumbaikar added.
High-class leg-spinners Rashid Khan and Yuzvendra Chahal were the two front line spinners in Manjrekar’s XI along with the presence of Axar Patel as the batting all-rounder.
“I’m going to go with the ever-reliable champion bowler from Afghanistan Rashid Khan and [Yuzvendra] Chahal because he’s had a great IPL and it’s almost like he’s got this freedom from the Chinnaswamy Stadium to bowl on these stadiums of the UAE,” Manjrekar remarked.
Here is Sanjay Manjrekar’s IPL XI:
KL Rahul (wk), Mayank Agarwal, Suryakumar Yadav, AB de Villiers, Nicholas Pooran, Axar Patel, Rashid Khan, Jofra Archer, Yuzvendra Chahal, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah.