Crickit's IPL 2024 Playing XI: No Travishek, Sanju Samson over Rishabh Pant and the captain is… | Crickit
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Crickit's IPL 2024 Playing XI: No Travishek, Sanju Samson over Rishabh Pant and the captain is…

May 29, 2024 07:10 AM IST

Following a riveting edition of the IPL, a list of 11 players have been shortlisted who we think make Crickit's IPL XI of 2024.

The dust has settled on a truly captivating IPL season, the 17th edition reaching its conclusion on Sunday night. The Kolkata Knight Riders emerged victorious, etching their names onto the coveted trophy for a third time after defeating a valiant Sunrisers Hyderabad in the final.

Crickit's IPL 2024 XI: Virat Kohli, Mitchell Starc and Sanju Samson just had to be there(AFP-PTI)
Crickit's IPL 2024 XI: Virat Kohli, Mitchell Starc and Sanju Samson just had to be there(AFP-PTI)

Throughout the tournament, a bunch of exceptional performances stood out. The league stage and the high-pressure playoffs witnessed moments of brilliance alike. Interestingly, the group stages saw a batter's paradise unfold, with batters consistently outshining the bowlers before the script flipped dramatically in the knockout stages, where bowlers came into their own. Not a single team managed to post a score exceeding a modest 180 runs.

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With that in mind, let's delve into the heart of the matter: the ideal Playing XI of the season. To curate this team, we've meticulously considered each player's overall influence on the tournament. Statistics were critical, but so was the impact they made based on their specific positions. Additionally, the context of the match situation and the importance of the contest in which a player performed factored heavily into our selection process.

1 Virat Kohli

Did someone say he is a spent force in T20 cricket? Well, as a certain someone would say 'definitely not'. 741 runs at an average of 61.75 recements Virat Kohli as a potent threat in T20s. And if anyone had concerns regarding his strike-rate, he banished those as well by conjuring his best strike rate of 154.7 in the IPL. It was almost as if Kohli took personally anything that was said against him – be it Sunil Gavaskar's thought process that he slows down against spin, or that at 35, his best days in T20 cricket were behind him. Kohli revelled in his role as opener, which not only earned him his second Orange Cap after that memorable 2016 season eight years ago but also propelled him into contention to partner Rohit Sharma at the top for India at the T20 World Cup.

2 Sunil Narine

Wait, is this 2014 all over again? Well, it surely seems so. Sunil Narine was right at the heart of Kolkata Knight Riders' third IPL title. With the ball, Narine was back with his bag of tricks, picking up 17 wickets and bamboozling the bowlers with his power-hitting, scoring 488 runs. Narine didn't put a foot wrong. The experiment of him opening the batting for KKR which first began in 2017, came full circle as Narine peeled up his maiden T20 century with three fifties to go along. With Phil Salt, Narine added over 500 runs in partnership alone, including seven 50-run stands.

3 Sanju Samson (Wicketkeeper)

Facing stiff competition from Rishabh Pant for a place in India's T20 World Cup squad, Sanju Samson, the Rajasthan Royals captain, was in blistering form throughout, en route to enjoying his most successful IPL season of all time. Samson's form with the bat – 531 runs at an average of 48.2 and strike-rate of 153.4 with five half-centuries reflected in his captaincy as well, as Rajasthan Royals dominated the league stage and put on a run of seven straight wins to become the second team qualifying for the Playoffs. Samson's form tapered off a bit towards the end but he had done enough to really push Pant for a place in India's World Cup Playing XI.

4 Rajat Patidar

Who would have thought that after the horror Test series against England, Rajat Patidar would emerge as Royal Challengers Bengaluru's second most prolific batter after Virat Kohli? It was almost as if the IPL was tailor-made for Patidar to break out of his Test shell as he blasted 395 runs with five fifties at a strike-rate of 173-plus. His four sixes in one over from Mayank Markande was the first sign of Patidar coming into his own and had it not been for his perfect supporting act to Kohli, RCB would have struggled to stage the miraculous comeback they did in the second half to defy all odds and qualify for the Playoffs.

5 Riyan Parag

Riyan Parag, typically known for making headlines with his words and antics rather than his cricketing prowess, turned the tide dramatically by emerging as RR's most successful middle-order batter. Beyond his outstanding season of 532 runs at an average of 52 and strike-rate of 149.3, the four half-centuries and the nine 30-plus scores Parag delivered was the deal-breaker. Besides, with 33 hits over the fence, Parag was the fifth-highest six-hitter of IPL 2024.

6 Heinrich Klaasen

While SRH's pair of 'Travishek' featuring Abhishek Sharma and Travis Head should be credited for completely overhauling the way Sunrisers Hyderabad played their cricket, the presence of Heinrich Klaasen as the beast in the middle order deserves equal mention, if not more. Coming off the SA20, where he was the second-highest run-scorer, bludgeoning 447 runs from 13 matches, Klaasen took it up a notch by amassing 479 runs with four fifties at a strike-rate of 171. Not only did he live up to his reputation of being a six-hitter clubbing 38 of them, but his performance against spin – strike rate of 182.1 – was arguably the best by a middle-order batter this season.

Klaasen's domination against both Narine and Chakravarthy was a sight to behold. The South African superstar has smashed the Indian mystery spinner for 31 runs in 15 deliveries at a strike rate of 206.7 while getting dismissed once in three innings. He also took Narine for 30 off 18 deliveries without giving away his wicket even once in four innings to the off-spinner.

7 Pat Cummins (Captain)

After winning the World Test Championship and the ODI World Cup, Pat Cummins would have loved to score the perfect hat-trick by winning the IPL final but it wasn't to be, only missing it by a whisker. Picked for 20 crore at the IPL auction last December, Cummins with the ball wasn't the most deadly or threatening pacer in the series, but his captaincy was top-notch, which is why he is the skipper of our IPL XI. Cummins picked 18 wickets and largely operated in the middle-overs where he bagged nine wickets at an economy of 7.9. With the bat, he played handy cameos and crucial knocks to give SRH much-needed lift in the death overs.

8 Mitchell Starc

Mitchell Starc had a pretty erratic league stage for KKR, picking up 12 wickets from 12 matches, but big-match Mitch lived up to his record-breaking price of 24.75 crore, announcing himself in time for the two Playoff matches. Securing a place in this line-up solely for his performance in Qualifier 1 and the final, Starc breathed fire, picking up 3/34 and 2/14 to knock the stuffing out of SRH twice in two games. In Qualifier 1, Starc silenced Head, castling his middle stump and dismissed Abhishek in the final with what many believed was the 'ball of the tournament'. Starc was making the ball talk, making it swing viciously and hitting timber. He became the first player to win the award twice in the playoffs in a single season.

9 Kuldeep Yadav

Kuldeep Yadav's bowling stocks have been on the up since he returned from injury, and if his heroics in the England Test series, the way he contained batters in the IPL bodes brilliantly for India in the T20 World Cup. Kuldeep's economy rate read 8.70, which at first may appear steep, but was an asset for Delhi Capitals, whose other bowler bled runs. His figures of 2/25 was a game-changer for the Capitals against the Rajasthan Royals as a 20-run win gave Rishabh Pant and his team the confidence to hang in there.

10 Jasprit Bumrah

Mumbai Indians hit rock bottom this season, finishing last with 10 losses from 14 matches, their worst performance in history, mirroring the struggles from the 2022 edition when the team was undergoing transformation. But despite the team's dismal showing, Jasprit Bumrah cut a champion figure. Bumrah finished with 20 wickets at an exceptional economy rate of 6.48 – the best in the competition. He was a lone ranger for the Mumbai Indians, excelling with the new ball in the powerplay and at the death, boasting the lowest economy rate in both phases. Bumrah's consistency was remarkable, claiming three or more wickets in four matches and maintaining an economy rate of less than seven in nine games. His phenomenal performance stood out in a tournament where bowlers were often at the receiving end of relentless batting onslaughts.

11 Varun Chakravarthy

One of KKR's standout performers this season, Varun Chakravarthy, had an indifferent start but peaked just at the right time during the business end of the tournament. Among KKR's impressive bowling unit, where five bowlers claimed 17 or more wickets, Chakravarthy was the leading spinner with 21 wickets, just three shy of Purple Cap winner Harshal Patel. Chakravarthy raised his game when it mattered most. In the first eight games, he managed 8 wickets at an average of 35.3 and an economy rate of 9.7. However, in the next seven matches, his performance surged dramatically, taking 13 wickets at an impressive average of 9.2 and an economy rate that dipped to 5.7.

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