Ajit Agarkar names his all-time IPL XI
Virat Kohli is the captain of the side as Mahendra Singh Dhoni is ignored
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The Indian Premier League is just about to complete ten seasons with so many exceptional players to have played the IPL, it is absolutely difficult to just name XI from them. Recently, many former cricketers have started to make some scribblings on their notebooks, in order to frame a perfect all-time XI. Former Indian pacer Ajit Agarkar has picked his all-time IPL XI, and there are some shocking inclusions in there as well.
Agarkar played 191 ODIs for India and has picked up as many as 288 wickets. The 39-year old former limited-overs specialist has played for Delhi Daredevils and Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL. Recently, he had a shot at the IPL all-time XI. He picked his squad while talking to ESPNcricinfo.
Here is Ajit Agarkar’s all-time XI
Chris Gayle is an obvious name in the list. The Caribbean giant had an IPL to forget this year, but his exceptional performances for Royal Challengers Bangalore has earned him a place in many all-time XIs. He holds the record for the highest individual score in IPL, which is of 175 runs.
Virender Sehwag might be a shocker here. His record in the IPL is not as good as his international record, but Agarkar wants an all-out attacking opening pair.
Virat Kohli is a regular name in many players’ all-time XIs. But handing him the captaincy might be a debatable issue. Kohli has not won a single IPL till now. Nor has he been a part of an IPL winning squad. But Agarkar feels he is the best to captain the side.
When an all-time XI is picked based on the IPL performances right through, the first name that comes to mind is Suresh Raina. The Indian left-handed batsman has performed for Chennai Super Kings day in day out and is now the captain of Gujarat Lions. He is the highest run-getter in the history of IPL.
Rohit Sharma is the captain of the two-time IPL winning franchise Mumbai Indians. They are one of the most stable sides in the tournament, and Sharma is leading them brilliantly.
South African talisman AB de Villiers is another must have in IPL all-time XI. Mr.360° has been the backbone of Royal Challengers Bangalore. This season he was not on song, and Bangalore’s batting collapsed in almost every match. This is a testament to the impact of the star batsman over the shortest format of the game.
Lasith Malinga has been a consistent performer for Mumbai over the years. With age, he might be losing his prowess over the game. But ‘Slinga-Malinga’ is still very much effective for the Indians. The highest wicket-taker of IPL has found himself a place in Agarkar’s XI.
Jasprit Bumrah is more like the younger version of Malinga. Like the Sri Lankan, Bumrah too is excellent with toe-crushing yorkers. Ashish Nehra is the former partner-in-crime of Ajit Agarkar. The veteran bowler was superb for Sunrisers Hyderabad, in what a miraculous comeback. He found himself a place in the Indian team again and now finds himself a place in Agarkar’s team.
Coming to the spinners, Agarkar’s first choice is Sunil Narine. The mystery spinner from West Indies has been instrumental in KKR’s success over the years. With the remodelled bowling action, the mystery may have been solved now, but he has started a new mystery with the bat this time. Opening the innings for KKR, he has been extremely successful and got the fastest fifty this year in just 15 deliveries.
Veteran Indian spinner Harbhajan Singh is playing for the same franchise for 10 years. Like Malinga, he may not be very influential now. But due to his spectacular performance for Mumbai over the years, Agarkar feels it will be unjust to leave him out of the side.
Ajit Agarkar’s all-time IPL XI:
Chris Gayle, Virender Sehwag, Virat Kohli (C), Suresh Raina, Rohit Sharma, AB de Villiers (wk), Lasith Malinga, Jasprit Bumrah, Ashish Nehra, Sunil Narine, Harbhajan Singh