Indian Premier League has been a cauldron of the wildest assortment of cricketers’ right since its inception. Spanning from experienced campaigners to unheard heroes, from rebellious youngsters to one-season wonders, from phenomenal foreigners to overhyped national cricketers, IPL brims with the most polarized set of collections across its gilt-edged history.
In this piece, we will look at a bunch of eleven cricketers, probably the best from every nation to have ever played in IPL. Though this selection can be highly controversial as you may not like a few names on the list.
Chris Gayle (West Indies) and David Warner (Australia):
Needless to say, Gayle will always be the first pick to be drafted into any T-20 side. Known for his monumental hitting flair, the West Indian southpaw can banish the bowlers in any corner of the park without even moving an inch in the crease. With 4484 IPL runs at a staggering strike rate of 151.03 that stayed witness to 326 sixes, he will spearhead this team’s opening too.
Laced with him will be the Australian hard-hitter, David Warner. Winner of the Orange Cap for a record three times in the span of his glittering IPL career, Warner will play the most perfect companion to Gayle as his calculated risks laced with some phenomenal strokeplay makes him one of the most feared batsmen in the cricketing roster. With 4706 runs from 126 games, Warner rages at an astonishing strike rate of 142.39.
Jos Butler (England)
Though the English batsman struggled to leave an early mark in IPL, he took his own time to settle in the extreme conditions of the subcontinent. His late seasons in the fray has drawn emphatic fanfare after he fired 548 runs from 13 games that witnessed 5 half-centuries, while he followed it up with 311 runs from 8 matches in the next season.
With a penchant for the aerial routes, Butler is one of the most destructive batsmen to grace the ranks of any team in the shortest format of the game. With 1386 runs from 45 matches, he also boasts of an unbeaten 95 as his career-best in the Indian extravaganza.
Abraham Benjamin de Villiers (South Africa)
One of the two torch-bearers for Royal Challengers Bangalore across this illustrious podium of T-20 cricket, ABD still continues to be a vicious threat in batting. Despite calling it a day in international colors, his batting heroics have simply excelled over the years and he has now turned himself into a man of ruthless aggression behind the masquerade of the disarming smile.
With 4395 runs from 154 games that have seen him smash three centuries in IPL, De Villiers will be the backbone to this team’s middle-order pyrotechnics.
Shakib-Al Hasan (Bangladesh)
In the recent years of startling resurgence from Bangladesh, Shakib has been their main man in catapulting them to the current status of one of the most underrated sides that can bring down any formidable world power on their given day.
Despite known for his batting prowess that can throw any opposition off their guards, his contributions in IPL has notably hogged more limelight because of his bowling.
With 59 wickets from 63 matches and 746 runs that have seen him file the best case for a Bangladeshi player in IPL, he will be a useful addition to the squad due to his all-rounder capabilities.
Brendon Mc Cullum (New Zealand)
It took us a lot of time to make a call on the fact that whether it would have been Williamson or Baz who could have made the cut for this wonderful side. The blistering 158 in the opening match of this glamorous fray, helped.
Mc Cullum unleashed an unprecedented onslaught against the Bangalore bowlers in the opener of the tournament post which he went into hibernation mode for at least the next couple of seasons.
However, once he switched his allegiance from KKR, it was altogether a different incarnation of McCullum which we all witnessed. Chronicling 2880 runs from 109 games, he was a living nightmare for the bowlers the day he got going.
Despite the fact that Williamson is probably better than his captain in the current days, however, the span spent by the two are vastly different and that also played a crucial role in calling Baz over Kane.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni (wk) ( c ) (India)
Another tough call to make as there were several Indian players who were hot favorites for this list that included the likes of Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, Virat Kohli and Suresh Raina, Dhoni made the cut for his added finesse of captaincy.
It is not easy to manage a team of such renowned cricketing lads unless you have a charismatic presence like that of Dhoni behind the stumps. Also known for his finishing ability that has seen Chennai and Pune won countless glories through his bat, Dhoni’s numbers are staggering too. He managed to register 4432 runs from 190 games that also feature 23 half-centuries.
Alongside his batting flair, he has also effected 136 dismissals behind the stumps which can be assorted into 98 catches and 38 stumpings.
Rashid Khan (Afghanistan)
It is a rare spectacle that a bowler brags about an economy rate of fewer than 7 runs per over in T-20 cricket. However, this rising sensation from Rashid has made it possible. Racking up 55 wickets from 46 matches, this young leggie has already challenged the might of imperative monikers in the ranks of the Indian Premier League.
Particularly lethal in the death overs which compel a batsman to commit an unwilling error, Khan can produce crucial breakthroughs by bowling consistent dot balls.
Sohail Tanvir (Pakistan)
Haplessly for the Pakistani cricketers, it was just a solitary season at IPL before BCCI decided to debar them from the fray. However, in this one season itself, Sohail Tanvir established himself as one of the best players of the season that also witnessed him notching up the Purple Cap.
He scalped 22 wickets from 11 games at an average of 12.09 and also played a meaty hand in the finals with the bat as he managed to fire 21 crucial runs to steal away the thriller from Chennai Super Kings.
His career-best figures in IPL of 6 wickets against Chennai, left the Yellow army reeling in utter disbelief.
Lasith Malinga (Sri Lanka)
One of the most successful bowlers of the tournament, Malinga has played a whopping 122 games to register 170 wickets in his span of glittering years at Mumbai Indians.
Known for his brutal yorkers in the death overs, Malinga has a proclivity towards hitting the deck hard consistently at 140 kays.
His 5 for 13 is the career-best figures in his prolonged days at Mumbai and his inclusion to this squad makes him an absolute banger in the bowling echelons.
Sandeep Lamichhane (Nepal)
Though relatively new in the group of elites, Sandip has shown considerable promise in his opening season in IPL. After hogging the limelight in the Hong Kong Sixes, he started putting in even better shifts as a wrist spinner that bamboozled the batsmen for a fair deal.
Roped in by Delhi for a whopping 2 million, the young lad from the heart of Nepal has managed to chronicle 13 scalps from 9 games that he has been a part of.
His best figures of 3 for 36 sparked several echoes in the bowling ranks, leaving the batsmen scratching their heads to decode his mystery.