Anil Kumble's surprise pick between MS Dhoni and AB De Villiers for No.5 slot in all-time IPL XI

Published on Jan 25, 2023 06:11 PM IST

Ahead of IPL 2023 season, former stars of the game- Chris Gayle, Suresh Raina, Scott Styris, Parthiv Patel, Robin Uthappa, and Anil Kumble, deliberated hard across a two-part episode-‘Legends Lounge’ on JioCinema to select an all-time IPL XI.

AB De Villiers: Anil Kumble; MS Dhoni
AB De Villiers: Anil Kumble; MS Dhoni

Wicketkeeper-batters AB De Villiers and MS Dhoni were the best of their time in international cricket and still held in high esteem for inspiration as icons for upcoming budding cricketers. Both players ruled the cricket field with their power-hitting and trademark shots. For cricket experts, De Villiers was Mr. 360 for his sensational ability to hit in corners of the ground and Dhoni was the pioneer of helicopter-shot and a 'finisher' who won India many matches single-handedly. South Africa's De Villiers and India's Dhoni enthralled the spectators with their legendary ability in the Indian Premier League as well. While the former has retired from all forms of cricket, Dhoni is still up and running in the IPL.

Ahead of IPL 2023 season, former stars of the game- Chris Gayle, Suresh Raina, Scott Styris, Parthiv Patel, Robin Uthappa, and Anil Kumble, deliberated hard across a two-part episode-‘Legends Lounge’ on JioCinema to select an all-time IPL XI. In the course of discussion for the same, the group of stars picked Virat Kohli and Chris Gayle as the openers. Suresh Raina and Rohit Sharma were picked as the No. 3 and No.4 respectively.

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On the question of No.5 and No.6, De Villiers and MS Dhoni were the preferred selections by most in the group. But legendary India spinner Kumble surprised everyone and chose Dhoni over De Villiers for the No.5 slot. He infact, didn't select Mr.360 at all and preferred West Indies' Kieron Pollard at the No.6 slot.

“It is very difficult to get AB de Villiers in my team because MS Dhoni comes in at five as captain and wicket keeper and Pollard at six. I would look at the impact the particular player has had at No. 6 in terms of winning matches from difficult positions and of course, titles is something that I looked at as well, at No. 6,” said Kumble.

Coinciding with Kumble's choice, Patel picked Dhoni at No.5 but went ahead with Windies' power-hitter Andre Russel at No.6. However, after lot of deliberations, the group came to the consensus that De Villiers and Dhoni would be the best fit.

At No.7, the group picked all-rounder Hardik Pandya while West Indies' mystery-spinner Sunil Narine made the cut at No.8. India's Yuzvendra Chahal got picked as the second spinner at No.9. Jasprit Bumrah and Sri Lanka legend Lasith Malinga were the consensus choices for No.10 and No.11 respectively.

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