The 2020 Indian Premier League drew to a close with Mumbai Indians deservedly laying their hands on a second consecutive title. Rohit Sharma and his men were on a different level to the rest of the teams throughout the competition in a complete team effort across the past seven weeks in the UAE.
Since the start of the tournament in October, we have been picking the Team of the Week with help from our social media followers. To pick our Team of the Season, we’ve narrowed down the top performers to 22 players before putting them to a vote on our Instagram stories.
After a 24-hour voting period in which two players jostled for each position, this is the final XI.
KL RAHUL – KINGS XI PUNJAB (WK)
Having racked up runs consistently in the past three editions, KL Rahul took it up a notch in 2020 by bagging his maiden Orange Cap. The elegant batsman’s other conquests this season included a second IPL ton, while he also registered five half-centuries.
Rahul’s 670 runs came at an average of over 55, although he did struggle to up the rate of scoring at times. His opening partnership with Mayank Agarwal turned out to be a prolific one for KXIP as the two players plundered nearly 1,100 runs between them over the course of the campaign.
DAVID WARNER – SUNRISERS HYDERABAD (C)
He took his time to get into the swing of things in the UAE, but David Warner did manage to peak at the right moment for Sunrisers Hyderabad. Only Rahul and Shikhar Dhawan scored more runs than the Australian in the campaign and his performances helped power Hyderabad’s late charge to the play-offs.
While he will be disappointed to not lead his team over the line in the play-offs, Warner can be satisfied after his sixth successive IPL season tally of 500 plus runs.
SURYAKUMAR YADAV – MUMBAI INDIANS
There were multiple cogs in the Mumbai wheel, though few were as crucial to the title-winning campaign as Suryakumar Yadav. That he remains an uncapped player is India’s loss and Mumbai’s gain after what has been yet another season of consistency for the No3 batsman.
What sets Suryakumar apart from the other ‘anchors’ in the league is his ability to score at a quick pace. The right-hander amassed 480 runs over the course of the season and was involved in several key partnerships with different batsmen. Why he hasn’t been considered for India’s upcoming limited-overs clashes against Australia is a mystery.
ISHAN KISHAN – MUMBAI INDIANS
Although Mumbai’s victorious campaign was built around a star-studded cast, it was the unwavering consistency of their unheralded domestic players like Surykumar and Ishan Kishan which gave them another gear over their rivals.
Flashes of brilliance amid a frustrating lack of consistency had defined Kishan’s IPL career before the 2020 edition. That all changed in the UAE, with the left-hander arguably emerging as the batsman of the season. His tally of 516 runs is nearly double his previous best IPL campaign, and they came at an average of 57.33.
HARDIK PANDYA – MUMBAI INDIANS
It is only fitting that the batting spine of this XI is composed of Mumbai’s players, with Hardik Pandya bringing some much needed ammunition in a finisher’s role. He was unable to bowl in the competition after his recent history with back injuries, but Pandya’s batting contributions were worth its weight in gold for Mumbai.
No batsman hit sixes as frequently as Pandya, who struck a total of 25 maximums off just 157 deliveries. Pandya is one of the cleanest hitters of the cricket ball, and it does travel a long way when he middles it.
MARCUS STOINIS – DELHI CAPITALS
The Australian beat off some tough competition from Sam Curran for this spot, and is a deserving candidate after his best ever individual IPL campaign. While he didn’t have the consistency of some other players in this XI, Stoinis delivered big whenever he got going.
Three blazing half-centuries were among the Aussie’s big contributions with the bat, while his medium pace also turned out to be a handy asset for Delhi. Some 13 wickets came for Stoinis in this season alone, whereas his tally in four previous IPL campaigns stood at just 15. Coming under Ricky Ponting’s wings at Delhi Capitals seems to have done wonders for his confidence.
KIERON POLLARD – MUMBAI INDIANS
If it was Pandya who provided the late fireworks for Mumbai in the second half of the campaign, then it was Kieron Pollard who carried that torch in the early stages. The Windies all-rounder finished the season with a strike-rate of over 190, courtesy of the 22 sixes he struck in just 140 deliveries.
With Pollard and Pandya as cushions in their lower middle-order, it is no wonder that Mumbai generally overpowered other teams in the batting department. He also did a useful job with the ball in hand, chipping in with four wickets while doubling as a relief bowler for the champions.
RASHID KHAN – SUNRISERS HYDERABAD
To maintain an economy-rate of just 5.37 runs an over would be considered a massive success for any bowler in the ODI format these days. For Rashid Khan to achieve this feat in a T20 tournament is nothing short of brilliant.
It is rare to find a bowler of Rashid’s calibre for any franchise as the Afghan leg spinner guarantees four quiet overs every time he takes to the field. Not only did he stifle opposition batsmen with his methodical bowling, Rashid also chimed in with 20 crucial wickets for the Sunrisers.
YUZVENDRA CHAHAL – ROYAL CHALLENGERS BANGALORE
If there was any spinner with a similar impact to Rashid in the 2020 IPL, then it was Bangalore’s Yuzvendra Chahal. No other spinner claimed more wickets (21) than the India international and Chahal held fort for an otherwise inconsistent RCB bowling attack.
Rarely did the leg-spinner go wicket-less in the campaign, and he was a big reason for Bangalore’s early season dominance. The pitches in the UAE allowed Chahal to fully showcase his talents and were a far cry from the batting friendly pitches he has to contend with back at the Chinnaswamy stadium in Bangalore.
JASPRIT BUMRAH – MUMBAI INDIANS
There were several prime candidates for the pace slots in the XI, with Rajasthan’s Jofra Archer having a solid claim after a stunning individual campaign. The England fast bowler is pipped to the spot by an equally brilliant, if not more, Jasprit Bumrah.
The India star picked up steam towards the business end of the tournament and finished with a staggering tally of 27 wickets in just 15 appearances. His pace partnership with Trent Boult worked like a treat for Mumbai as both international stalwarts complemented each other’s qualities perfectly. Few in the world, if any, can match his ability to thrive in the death overs.
KAGISO RABADA – DELHI CAPITALS
The South African will be disappointed to end up the runners-up medal, although he can take solace for clinching the Purple Cap. Delhi might be regretting their decision to trade Trent Boult to Mumbai, but Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje is as good as a pace pairing as they come in the IPL.
A total of 30 wickets came for Rabada in the campaign, with the majority of them coming in the middle and death overs. While he was slightly on the expensive side compared to Bumrah and Archer, Rabada’s wicket-taking abilities played a major part in Delhi’s march to their maiden final. The only area where Delhi will want Rabada to improve in the future is the knack of picking up wickets with the new ball in hand.
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