IPL 2014: Team of the Tournament, Featuring Sunil Narine, Robin Uthappa and More
Whew! What a ride it has been. The Indian Premier League 2014 is done and dusted, and Kolkata Knight Riders are champions. There have been some impressive individual performances. Some have been consistent, others have had splashes of brilliance.
When it comes to cobbling together a team of the tournament, there are almost certainly a few special players who will miss out. Picking this XI was a particularly tricky task since a few players faded away toward the end after getting off to a blistering start.
These sorts of things are always quite subjective, and while cases for all players have been argued, you will almost certainly disagree with a few selections. Share your thoughts of who should be in and who should be out in the comments.
1. Robin Uthappa
Arguably the most impressive batsman of the tournament, Robin Uthappa topped the run-scoring charts with 660 runs at an average of 44.00. It’s his consistency that really set him aside from the rest of the players, though. With 10 consecutive scores of 40 or more, there is nobody else you’d rather have in your team. It’s worked well enough for him to earn a recall to the Indian side, too.
2. David Warner
Although David Warner wasn’t overly consistent, he does deserve some credit for making himself useful no matter where he batted in the Sunrisers Hyderabad batting line-up. He finished with 528 runs at an average of 48.00, including six fifties. All those runs came at an average strike rate of 140.80.
3. Suresh Raina
Suresh Raina had a good tournament with 523 runs at an average of 40.23. With five fifties in total, he was fairly consistent. He was especially impressive toward the end of the tournament, with four of those fifties coming in the last six games. That’s the kind of clutch player you want in your team when push comes to shove.
4. Virender Sehwag
After a slow start, old boy Virender Sehwag played some vintage knocks later in the tournament. He finished with 455 runs in total, 100 of which came in one swashbuckling, all-consuming match. Not bad for a 35-year-old lad.
5. Glenn Maxwell
Glenn Maxwell was virtually a phantom in the latter stages of the tournament, but the start of his season earns him a place in this XI. Although he flopped in the final (after being promoted down the order), what makes Maxwell so dangerous is that he's simply there to enjoy himself. Milestones are irrelevant and, as long as he can give the ball a good, old thwack, all is good.
6. Lendl Simmons
Lendl Simmons might be a somewhat out-of-left field choice, but for a player who made such a big impact in such a short space of time, he deserves the nod. Having scored 394 in just eight matches—with three fifties and a hundred to show for his efforts—Simmons was one of the key players in helping Mumbai turn around their campaign.
7. JP Duminy
Poor JP Duminy was basically the only batsman in the Delhi team to perform consistently. For his persistent efforts in trying to dig his team out of a hole and for his 410 runs at an average of 51.25, Duminy earns a spot in the side.
Note: It’s only because Duminy offers an extra bowling option that Brendon McCullum misses out on this spot.
8. Bhuvneshwar Kumar
One of the most sensational young bowlers around at the moment, Bhuvneshwar Kumar performed out of his skin for the Sunrisers Hyderabad. With 20 wickets at an average of 17.70 and the ability to swing the ball both ways in all conditions, Kumar was one of the most entertaining, consistent bowlers of the tournament.
9. Sunil Narine
Sunil Narine’s mystery spin does the world of good for any side, and with 21 wickets at an average of 19.38, he did a good job for the Kolkata Knight Riders this season. Despite having a few rather average outings toward the end of the tournament, Narine's variation is a handy asset for any side. However, it's only just that he edges into the team ahead of Ravi Jadeja.
10. Mohit Sharma
Mohit Sharma finished as the top wicket-taker of the tournament. With 23 wickets at an average of 19.65, Sharma was a key part of the Chennai Super Kings' campaign. Whether taking the new ball up front or finishing sides off at the death, Sharma was stellar all throughout this year’s tournament.
11. Sandeep Sharma
Sandeep Sharma outperformed the experienced Mitchell Johnson for much of the tournament. Finishing with 18 wickets in total at an average of 19.66, Sharma was one of the Kings XI's standout bowlers. Most impressive, though, was his strike rate. He took a wicket every 13.3 balls, the lowest of all the bowlers in the top eight wicket-takers.