Kieron Pollard to lead Irfan Pathan's IPL 2020 Team of the Tournament

Kieron Pollard to lead Irfan Pathan’s IPL 2020 Team of the Tournament

KL Rahul and Shikhar Dhawan to open the innings.

Irfan Pathan
Irfan Pathan. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Former India all-rounder Irfan Pathan has picked his IPL 2020 team of the tournament. The former cricketer assembled his star-studded squad during a discussion regarding the same on Star Sports. The thirteenth edition of the tournament came to an end last Tuesday (November 10) with the final between Mumbai Indians and Delhi Capitals.

Mumbai Indians retained their title by beating Capitals by five wickets in the title-decider. The Rohit Sharma became the first team to win the IPL five times and also became just the second team after Chennai Super Kings to retain the IPL title. Chennai Super Kings had retained their title in 2011 after its inaugural IPL victory in 2010.

Coming to Irfan Pathan’s team, he stuck to the existing rule of including seven Indians and four overseas players in the team. The team did not have any player from Kolkata Knight Riders, Sunrisers Hyderabad and Chennai Super Kings. He named three players each from Delhi Capitals, Mumbai Indians, two each from Royal Challengers Bangalore and Kings XI Punjab and one from Rajasthan Royals.

Irfan Pathan’s team

The former cricketer started by naming KL Rahul and Shikhar Dhawan as the openers of his IPL 2020 team. He did not include SRH captain David Warner due to the four-foreign-player rule. Rahul and Dhawan finished IPL 2020 as the highest and second-highest run-scorers respectively. They were the only players who crossed the 600-run mark in the just-concluded tournament.

“KL Rahul for sure and along with him Shikhar Dhawan. I cannot include David Warner as we can have only 4 overseas players,” Pathan said.

At number three, Pathan picked Suryakumar Yadav who scored 480 runs with the help of four fifties. The former cricketer-turned-commentator praised the right-handed batsman at a brisk pace and playing match-winning knocks for the franchise. For the No. 4 spot, he went with RCB superstar AB de Villiers who scored 454 runs.

“The way Suryakumar Yadav played his knocks, we always say that his average is very good, but the strike rate at which he played was the best part, and he was winning them the matches, so I will definitely go with him,” said Pathan.

“AB de Villiers – his strike rate was very good this year as well. You expect him to score a lot of runs, but this year as well, he won RCB matches; you remember the match against Rajasthan Royals where they (RCB) needed 35 runs in two overs, and he won the match from there. Apart from that also, he played some wonderful knocks,” he added.

For the fifth spot, he picked Mumbai Indians’ Kieron Pollard over Hardik Pandya and also named him as the captain of the side before picking Marcus Stoinis as the seam-bowling allrounder of his side. He picked Rajasthan Royals’ Rahul Tewatia as the spin-bowling allrounder of the side.

“I will have Kieron Pollard to bat at No.5, and he will also be the captain of my team. I had the option of Hardik, but he is not bowling and Pollard will give me the bowling as well as captaincy. He is an amazing fielder, so I will get a three-dimensional player,” reasoned Pathan.

“At No.6, I will have Marcus Stoinis, who will give me the bowling as well. He was in amazing form (during IPL 2020) and played spin also well. I will have Rahul Tewatia at No.7 because he was the only Indian player who comes on the list of players who scored 200 runs and took ten wickets. If we talk about the entire history of the IPL, there are only 10-12 Indian players who have achieved this feat. He also won two matches on his own and bowled brilliantly as well,” he added.

For the bowling lineup, Pathan picked three pacers and one spinner. Yuzvendra Chahal was the sole specialist spinner in the side while Kagiso Rabada, Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami were the three pacers. He picked Chahal over Rashid Khan because of Tewatia’s presence and preferred Shami ahead of T Natarajan because of the former’s ability to bowl with new as well as the old ball.

Irfan Pathan’s IPL 2020 Team Of the Tournament

KL Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan, Suryakumar Yadav, AB de Villiers, Kieron Pollard (c), Marcus Stoinis, Rahul Tewatia, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kagiso Rabada, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami.