IPL 2022: CricketNext’s Team of The Tournament

The 15th season of the Indian Premier League has ended. The T20 league has now expanded to 10 teams with the tournament getting bigger and more competitive. Two new entrants defied odds to make it to the playoffs with one  of them lifting the trophy. And in a stunning reversal, two behemoths finished at the bottom two of the final standings.

Also Read: Metamorphosis of Hardik Pandya

Overall, an entertaining and a memorable season. So with IPL 2022 now being consigned to history, here’s a look at the CricketNext’s playing XI of the tournament.

Jos Buttler (overseas) – Opener

The Rajasthan Royals opener had a season to remember – the second most prolific for a batter in the history of IPL and took the Orange Cap. He was one of the reasons why RR made it to their first ever final since 2008. Buttler scored four centuries – the joint most by a batter in a single season. He finished with 863 runs – the most in IPL 2022 and the second highest after Virat Kohli during the course of a season.

KL Rahul – Opener and WK

The Lucknow Super Giants skipper and opener scored 616 runs at an average of 51.33 including two centuries and four fifties. His tally was the second best of the season and he often gave LSG  solid start and anchored their innings. His strike-rate though often came under attack from the critics who felt he was deliberately holding himself back to anchor the innings which isn’t his natural game, and also claimed the team suffered occasionally because of it.

Rajat Patidar (No 3)

The uncapped batter was included into the side midway through the season and he was a prime reason why Royal Challengers Bangalore made it as far as the second qualifier despite a mid-season slump. He could drop anchor and accelerate with quite ease, and often found himself in the middle earlier than expected. He played just eight matches and batted in 7 innings but scored 333 runs at a strike-rate of 152.75 including a sparkling century in the Eliminator against LSG to power his team to a comfortable win.

Also Read: The GT Success Story – The Whole is Greater Than The Sum of its Parts

Hardik Pandya (captain) – (No 4)

While season after season, the debate on who is the best skipper revolves around MS Dhoni and Rohit Sharma, allrounder Pandya forced himself into the conversation and made it all about himself thanks to his performances this time around. He dazzled with his batting display – becoming an accumulator rather than a pinch-hitter and scored 487 runs – the most for Gujarat Titans. And he bowled as well, taking eight wickets including three in the final. And then he was spot on with his tactics, bowling change and impressed with his calm demeanor. Such was his impact that few experts have even started projecting him as the next Indian captain.

Liam Livingstone (overseas) – (No 5)

Livingstone came in with the reputation of a big hitter. He didn’t disappoint. When on song, he was breathtaking and was in one such mood when he thrashed Mohammed Shami for the season’s biggest six (117m). He scored 437 runs – the second most for Punjab Kings – at a stunning strike-rate of 182.08. The Englishman scored four half-centuries and also took six wickets with his part-time spin bowling.

David Miller (overseas) – (No 6)

The IPL 2022 will also be remembered for the resurgence of Miller. The South African admitted he didn’t get the kind of backing over the past few years that he enjoyed when playing for the Titans this season. And the result was Miller becoming a pillar of GT’s middle order who would time and again provide stability and finish matches. He scored 483 runs at 68.71 and a strike-rate of 142.72 including two fifties and a high score of 94*.

Wanindu Hasaranga (overseas) – (Bowler)

RCB spent a fortune on landing Hasaranga despite not retaining him ahead of the auction. And he justified the price tag by picking up 26 wickets  from 16 matches – the second most in the season. He would control the middle-overs effectively, more often than not denting the progress of opponents. He was economical – 7.54 – and took a hat-trick as well.

Yuzvendra Chahal – (Bowler)

The season’s Purple Cap winner and the third ever spinner to do so. Chahal was at his best throughout the season for RR. He was released by RCB despite being one of their consistent performers. He responded with vengeance by collecting 27 wickets from 17 matches and also took a hat-trick against Kolkata Knight Riders during a spell which turned the contest in his team’s favour.

Mohammed Shami – (Bowler)

Shami was a key player in GT’s title run. He bowled in the Powerplay overs and then at the death proving how much his captain relied on his skills. He was their lead pacer who showed why sticking to line and length can be an effective way to tackler batters in T20 who come in with a mindset to hit everything. He would often trouble batters with his line and swing. And then surprised them with his pinpoint yorkers too. Shami finished with 20 wickets from 16 matches.

Umran Malik – (Bowler)

Their were several uncapped young players who proved their credentials by putting up game-changing performances. However, none was as eye-catching as Umran who caught the attention of the world thanks to his searing pace. In his first full season for Sunrisers Hyderabad, the young right-arm pacer consistently bowled in the 150 kphs and held the record for having bowled the fastest delivery of IPL 2022 before Lockie Ferguson bettered it in the final. He though was quite expensive – economy of 9.3 – but took wickets in heaps. Umran finished with 22 wickets from 14 matches and took a five-wicket haul as well.

Mohsin Khan – (Bowler)

Another find of the season. The left-arm pacer has been tipped by his LSG captain Rahul to soon play for India. After a late entry into the season, Mohsin never looked back. In nine matches, he took 14 wickets and boasted of an economy of just 5.96. He impressed with his discipline and would often crank up his pace as well showing his versatility. His emergence is the latest chapter in India’s fast bowling  revolution.

Rashid Khan (12th man) – (Bowler)

It’s difficult, nearly impossible, to exclude Rashid from any playing XI. However, the fact that we haven’t given him a place in our first eleven is a reflection of how competitive this season was. The legspinner was vital to GT’s title-winning season taking 19 wickets from 16 matches. And he also won them a game with his batting. And then, he had an economy of 6.59. However, Chahal and Hasaranga were just tad better and therefore edged ahead of him for a spot.

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