Bengaluru, May 13: Former Australian captain and batting legend Ricky Ponting has revealed his all-time "Best XI" in the Indian Premier League (IPL). The tournament is in its 10th year now.
Ponting, who played the IPL and also was a coach at Mumbai Indians, has left out some big names in his line-up, to be captained by Mahendra Singh Dhoni. He has gone in with 7 Indians and 4 overseas players. Ponting unveiled his team on Cricket Australia's (CA) website on Friday (May 12).
The side chosen by the Australia has some big names missing. AB de Villiers, Sunil Narine, Brendon McCullum among others were omitted.
Heres is the complete XI picked by Ponting
1. Chris Gayle (Kolkata Knight Riders, Royal Challengers Bangalore)
Matches: 100; Runs: 3,578
"I've gone for two extremely dynamic opening batsmen and I wouldn't like to be an opening bowler bowling to these two together. Chris Gayle's record speaks for itself; he averages about 42, strikes at over 150 and his longevity in the game is unbelievable."
2. David Warner (Delhi Daredevils, Sunrisers Hyderabad)
Matches: 112; Runs: 3,908
"Dave Warner's ... (IPL) average is about 40 so his consistency is really good, and he's striking at 141."
3. Virat Kohli (RCB)
Matches: 148; Runs: 4,360
"Virat Kohli has done a lot of his damage opening the batting, but I've slotted him in at No.3. He's the sort of player you want in your side, especially in a run chase. Whenever a game is on the line he puts his hand up and gets the job done. He was a bit of a slow bloomer in T20 cricket, it took him a while to work it out, but what I saw up close last year was unbelievable."
4. Rohit Sharma (Deccan Chargers, Mumbai Indians)
Matches: 155; Runs: 4,129
"I had the luxury of coaching Rohit at Mumbai for a couple of seasons. If he's not the best middle-order player in India then I'm not sure who is. He opens the batting for India, but he loves batting at No.4 because he feels like he can control the game and control the innings."
5. Suresh Raina (Chennai Super Kings, Gujarat Lions)
Matches: 160; Runs: 4,538
"I've gone for Suresh Raina at No.5 to give a left-hander in the middle order. He's a very good player of spin bowling; if he has a weakness it's against good quality fast bowling so I'll bat him in the middle order to keep him away from the overseas quicks."
6. Mahendra Singh Dhoni (CSK, Rising Pune Supergiant)
Matches: 155; Runs: 3,506; Catches: 66; Stumpings: 29
"MS Dhoni is at No.6 and he'll also be the captain of my side. He brings huge experience and whenever he's at the crease ... you're always a chance of winning the game. I've seen him do it off his own bat on several occasions so I'll go with him as skipper, with the gloves and batting at No.6."
7. Dwayne Bravo (CSK, MI, GL)
Matches: 106; Runs: 1,262; Wickets: 122
"He doesn't do a lot with the bat, to be fair, but he has got the ability to go out there and win games."
8. Harbhajan Singh (MI)
Matches: 136; Wickets: 127
"The off-spinning option I've gone for is Harbhajan Singh. He's got an outstanding record, he's good with the bat and he's solid enough in the field."
9. Amit Mishra (DC, DD, SRH)
Matches: 124; Wickets: 134
"I've gone for a bit of a shock here and have put Amit Mishra in the side. He's got an outstanding IPL record."
10. Lasith Malinga (MI)
Matches: 107; Wickets: 152
"Lasith Malinga is probably the best T20 bowler of all time. I'd certainly rank him that way anyway."
11. Ashish Nehra (CSK, DD, MI, Pune Warriors, SRH)
Matches: 88; Wickets: 106
"A left-arm option is always nice so Ashish Nehra is the other quick I've gone for. He's been around a long time, offers great consistency."
Note: All statistics as on May 12, 2017