Ricky Ponting picks his team of IPL 10 thus far
Ponting picks up four players from the host country India, two Australias, two South Africans, an Englishman, a Kiwi and the ever-performing Afghani in his squad.
Updated - Apr 28, 2017 1:43 pm
Former Mumbai Indians head coach and Australia’s legendary batsman Ricky Ponting has put together his IPL 2017’s best XI thus far. However, unlike the IPL rules and the fantasy rules, Cricket Australia has allowed the Australian to be flexible about picking the foreign players.
Ponting picked up four players from the host country India, two Australias, two South Africans, an Englishman, a Kiwi and the ever-performing Afghanistan player in his squad. Punter named the South African Hashim Amla to open the innings alongside the aggressive Australian David Warner.
The South African has begun this tournament with some style and flare raking up 299 runs in 7 games at the top of the order for the Kings XI Punjab, at an average of 59.80. His highest score of 104* came against Punter’s former side, where the opener knocked the cans of Malinga’s bowling.
“I saw the highlights of his hundred the other night (against Mumbai) and it was pretty spectacular stuff, especially what he was able to do to (Lasith) Malinga at the back end of that innings. He’s in great form, he’s striking the ball well, scoring quickly and he’s been quite consistent as well.” Punter was quoted as saying by cricket.co.au.
Warner has not had a dynamic tournament as his partner at the other end has. The left-hander has only scored 282 runs in the seven games at an average of 56.40.
“It’s pretty hard to argue with picking either of those guys as openers. I identified David Warner as the guy I thought might be the Player of the Tournament and he’s on track to do that so far,” added Ponting.
Suresh Raina is the pick for the No.3 position where he has been in some form for his team Gujarat Lions. The skipper Raina, is also the current orange cap holder in the tournament, amassing 309 runs in just the eight games at an average of over 60, which is tremendous in this format.
“He’s been one of the very best IPL players for the past five or six seasons. He’s a consistent run-scorer, he’s a match-winning player and whenever he scores fifty or more, his team is always a great chance of winning the game,” said Punter about Raina’s IPL 10 thus far.
He picked up the English keeper-batsman Jos Buttler at the no.4 slot, wherein the Englishman has played at the top of the order for the Mumbai Indians. The Englishman has scored 230 runs at a steady strike rate of 154.36.
The Mumbai Indians’ sensation Nitish Rana has caught the eye of the former coach with his top-skill batting for the side. The Indian has scored 266 runs at an average of 38 helping his side get over the line on a numerous occasion.
Ponting did not forget his Australian pal and Kings XI Punjab skipper Glenn Maxwell in his XI. Maxwell has not been consistent in this tournament blowing hot and cold on occasions. However, his average of 38.6 seemed to be on the right side of things.
South African all-rounder Chris Morris gets the recognition that he has yearned for. His all-round display has earned him a place in this side. Morris averages a staggering 42 with the bat at a strike rate of 175. He has also picked up 12 wickets in the tournament, also in contention for the Purple cap.
The old sparring partner of Ponting – Harbhajan Singh makes it to the XI with his impressive bowling spells. The offie has picked up four wickets in the tournament at an economy rate of under 6, which is a marvellous statistic comparing the scoring in the fast-paced game.
Bhuvaneshwar Kumar, Mitchell McClenaghan and Rashid Khan make it to the last three spots in the Playing XI. Playing for the Sunrisers Bhuvaneshwar Kumar and Afghanistan’s Rashid Khan have impressed the critics in the tournament. The right-arm quick leads the bowling chart with the most number of dismissals in the tournament with 16 wickets under his hood at an economy of 6.28.
The leggie from Afghanistan, too, like his bowling partner has picked up 10 wickets at an economy rate of under 7, which is incredible for a young wrist spinner who has just made his debut to a tournament of this stature.
The left-arm quick from New Zealand has impressed his former coach with some staggering display with the ball. The Kiwi has picked up 12 wickets in the tournament with a nice and steady economy rate for a fast-bowler.
Ricky Ponting’s IPL XI of the season thus far:
Hashim Amla (KXIP), David Warner (SRH), Suresh Raina (GL), Jos Buttler (MI), Nitish Rana (MI), Glenn Maxwell (KXIP), Chris Morris (DD), Harbhajan Singh (MI), Bhuvneshwar Kumar (SRH), Mitchell McClenaghan (MI), Rashid Khan (SRH)