MS Dhoni to lead, while Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli to open as we look at the most experienced playing 11 of IPL 2020.
‘Experience’ is a word that has recently gained plenty of prominence in T20 cricket. Considered as the format for the youngsters and flamboyant Cricketers, initially, T20 games have evolved lately to value the presence of experience in the squad.
Right from Rajasthan Royals in IPL 2008, who won the tournament with a relatively inexperienced squad to CSK in IPL 2018, who won the tournament with the most experienced squad, we have seen how T20s are giving more prominence to experience.
So, on that note, we have tried to offer a perspective in this article, that is both relevant and interesting at the same time. In the below write-up, we talk about the most experienced playing 11 of IPL 2020, and also examine how most teams stack up based on this aspect.
The only criteria we have to measure this is the number of IPL games each cricketer has played. Considering this, and their performances so far, here is how the most experienced playing 11 looks like for IPL 2020.
#1 Rohit Sharma (MI) || Matches – 188
Runs: 4898 || Avg: 31.6 || SR: 130.82
Winner of the IPL trophy five times, Rohit Sharma’s rise as a prodigy from season one to one of the most successful IPL players has been phenomenal. Over the last twelve years, the dashing batsman from Mumbai has made heads turn with his phenomenal hitting abilities, which has also given him a fitting nickname called the ‘Hitman’.
Despite having several match-winners in his side, Mumbai Indians’ performance next season would depend a lot on their most-experienced batsman, Rohit Sharma. As he leads MI in IPL 2020, he would want to leave behind the taboo of winning the IPL in odd years.
#2 Virat Kohli ( RCB) || Matches – 177
Runs: 5412 || Avg: 37.84 || SR: 131.61
Virat Kohli is probably the best example of the positive impact that IPL has had on Indian cricket. Raw talent in season one, Virat smoothened his edges as he interacted with the greats of the game, and improved himself to become the greatest to have played the game.
Although he currently sits as the top of the batting charts with 5412 runs in 177 matches, Virat is yet to reach the ultimate goal of winning the trophy. Come to IPL 2020, RCB have a much better-balanced squad, but Virat needs to fire, both as a player and as a captain, to help achieve the target of securing his maiden IPL Trophy in 2020.
#3 Suresh Raina (CSK) || Matches – 193
Runs: 5368 || Avg: 33.34 || SR: 137.14
Mr. IPL aka. Suresh Raina has been a constant feature in almost every batting chart in the last 12 seasons of IPL. The UP cricketer has played the most games in the IPL, and is one of the major reasons for CSK’s success in the competition.
However, Raina will have a huge battle to overcome in the upcoming season. He is currently nursing an injury, and with a below-par performance in the previous edition, Raina would have a lot to prove in IPL 2020. Needless to say, if he has a fantastic IPL, a spot in the T20 World Cup would not be far.
#4 AB de Villiers (RCB) || Matches – 154
Runs: 4395 || Avg: 39.95 || SR: 151.23
Amongst all the foreigners who have graced the IPL, AB de Villiers has been the most loved player. His 360-degree shots and acrobatic stunts on the field have lit each IPL season so far. Just like Virat Kohli, he might not boast of a trophy as yet, but that’s the only thing he has not achieved in the tournament so far.
In the 154 games he has played till now, AB has scored 4395 runs at an average of 39.95, and a strike-rate of 151.23. Considering he always bats under pressure at RCB, these stats are staggering. The focus though will be on winning more games for RCB next season, and help the franchise land their maiden title.
#5 Dinesh Karthik (KKR) || Matches – 182
Runs: 3654 || Avg: 27.06 || SR: 129.8
Apart from that one title-winning season with Mumbai Indians, Dinesh Karthik’s journey in IPL has been far from satisfactory. But, considering he has been the second-best wicket-keeper batsman in India in the last 12 years, game-time has never been an issue for him.
In 182 matches, Dinesh has scored 3654 runs at an average of 27.06. He has done this, playing for 6 franchises across the country. DK would be leading a talented KKR squad in IPL 2020, and would want to utilize all his experience to inspire a relatively inexperienced KKR side.
#6 MS Dhoni (C&WK) ( CSK) || Matches – 190
Runs: 4432 || Avg: 42.2 || SR: 137.85
When the ‘Yellow’ hue comes across, MS Dhoni is a different cricketer altogether. He is animated, he keeps well, captains the team to perfection, and bats like that long-haired Ranchi youngster we all fell in love with, many years ago. Such is his long-lasting impression that a CSK side without Dhoni in it is unimaginable.
However, next season’s route is likely to be different for Dhoni and co. While the personal agenda of T20 World Cup 2020 is definitely going to be on Dhoni’s mind, an IPL Trophy would be his priority before the mega IPL Auction in 2021.
#7 Kieron Pollard (MI) || Matches – 148
Runs: 2755 || Wkts: 56
Kieron Pollard is the second-most experienced overseas player in the competition. Although KP has operated more as a batsman, he does have 56 crucial wickets to his name for Mumbai Indians, and has recently also started bowling a good number of overs for the West Indies.
Pollard’s role in the Mumbai team has been chalked down to perfection. He works as a floater, although he is the most important batsman in the middle-order. Depending on the pitches, he is also given the responsibility to chip in with a few overs. Not to forget, he is one of the fiercest hitters of the cricket ball.
#8 Ravindra Jadeja (CSK) || Matches – 170
Runs: 1927 || Wkts: 108
Having started as a U19 cricketer in season one, Ravindra Jadeja has grown in leaps and bounds to become one of the best all-rounders in the country right now. He started with a successful campaign with Rajasthan Royals before being a permanent member of the Chennai Super Kings.
Jadeja would be one of the first names to make it to CSK’s team-sheet next season. He would once again be pivotal if CSK have to bring the trophy back home. Not to forget, a good performance by Jadeja will only make his T20 World Cup 2020 chances even better.
#9 Dwayne Bravo (CSK) || Matches – 134
Runs: 1483 || Wkts: 147
The West Indian all-rounder, Dwayne Bravo has been a part of two of the most successful teams in the IPL – Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings. Both these stints have been successful, although the latter has produced the trophies.
In 134 matches, Bravo has picked 147 wickets and been a cool customer at the death for CSK. In most games, Dhoni employed the West Indian purely as a death bowler, and brought the best out of him. Besides this, he is an aggressive stroke-maker lower down the order. He would once again play a crucial role for CSK in IPL 2020.
#10 Harbhajan Singh (CSK) || Matches – 160
Wkts: 150 || Avg: 26.44 || ER: 7.05
The fifth CSKian on the list, Harbhajan Singh’s career has been quite similar to that of Bravo- playing for two most successful franchises. Although, he has played most of his career in Mumbai Indians than in Chennai Super Kings.
Having played in 160 games so far, Harbhajan’s experience will yet again be of use to Dhoni, next season. While his success in the powerplay is well-known, if the Punjab cricketer can work on his bowling during the middle-overs, the upcoming season could become a fruitful affair for him.
#11 Lasith Malinga (MI) || Matches – 122
Wkts: 170 || Avg: 19.8 || ER: 7.14
The most experienced pacer in the competition, Lasith Malinga has also been the best pacer this competition has witnessed. The records prove it too, as his record of 170 wickets from 122 games has not been surpassed by anyone in the tournament.
Into his final phase of his career, Lasith Malinga still has plenty to offer as a bowler. He was excellent last year in T20Is, and even helped Mumbai Indians win the trophy with a fantastic performance in the final. While the inclusion of Boult does change a few things, he would want to make an impact in any opportunity he gets for the franchise In IPL 2020.
Thanks for reading! Do you think this could have been the experienced and strongest playing 11 for IPL 2020? Please, let’s know in the comments.
Nesara is an Author at AK4Tsay1 Cricket. He is an Engineer by profession. Watching Cricket, Football & Movies is one of his topmost priorities within the day.