With the 2017 Indian Premier League [IPL] ending on Sunday and Mumbai Indians emerging as champions, here, we pick the team of the season.
We have restricted the number of overseas players to four, as is the rule when it comes to the playing XIs in the tournament.
Well, being the Orange Cap holder, Warner obviously makes the team. This was the fourth successive season that the Sunrisers Hyderabad captain scored over 500 runs in an IPL season which shows his remarkable consistency.
This IPL campaign saw Warner scoring 641 runs at an incredible average of 58.27 and a strike-rate of 141.81. The highlight of the season for the Australian opener came against Kolkata Knight Riders when he scored 126 from just 59 deliveries.
The experienced South African batsman just about gets into the team ahead of Steve Smith, who also had a tremendous season, in one of the overseas spots.
In his second season for Kings XI Punjab, Amla was outstanding as he managed to notch up two centuries.
Although he missed a few matches at the end of the league stage due to international commitments, he scored 420 runs in the season at an average of 60 and a strike-rate of 145.83.
GAUTAM GAMBHIR (C)
Gambhir was the highest Indian run-scorer this season, with 498 runs at an average of 41.50 and a strike-rate of 128.02.
Gambhir not only had a brilliant season with the bat, he was also very impressive with his innovative captaincy. The move to open with Sunil Narine was a brave one that worked very well for a few matches.
When it comes to the IPL, Raina is almost always among the top run-scorers in any season and it was no different this time around as he scored 442 runs at an average of 40.18 and a strike-rate of 143.97.
Raina was magnificent in the field once again as he took home the Catch of the Tournament award for the one-handed effort against Rising Pune Supergiant.
ROBIN UTHAPPA (WK)
Uthappa’s season ended on a poor note as he managed just four runs in his last four innings, but before that, he was in scintillating form with the bat.
Despite the blip at the end, he was among the top 10 run-scorers of the season, with 388 runs to his name. What was most impressive about Uthappa was the strike-rate (165.10) that he batted at.
The English all-rounder came into the tournament with a hefty price tag on his shoulders and he went about proving why he was worth all that money in fine fashion.
With the bat, Stokes scored 316 runs in 11 innings which included a match-winning century against Gujarat Lions. Add 12 wickets to that and it is no surprise at all that he was named as the Most Valuable Player in the tournament.
Fair play to Ben Stokes, picks up the IPL's most valuable player award in his debut season...— Ali Martin (@Cricket_Ali) May 21, 2017
This was a tough choice to make as Axar Patel and Pawan Negi had very good seasons, but Krunal Pandya’s match-winning knocks in Qualifier 1 and the final sees him get this spot.
Krunal’s 47 in the final was so important to Mumbai’s win that he was named as the Man of the Match. In total, he notched up 243 runs with the bat and his bowling yielded 10 wickets while going at just 6.82 runs per over.
This was another hard selection as Imran Tahir also had a sublime season, having taken 18 wickets in 12 matches over the course of the season.
Rashid, despite taking a wicket lesser and playing two more matches compared to Tahir, makes his way into the team because of his superb economy rate of just 6.62.
For the second straight year, Bhuvneshwar won the Purple Cap for being the leading wicket-taker in an IPL season.
26 wickets from 14 matches at an average of 14.19 and an economy rate of 7.05 are some phenomenal numbers, especially considering that he bowled mostly in the Powerplay and in the death overs.
Indian fans will be hoping that the 26-year-old can take his brilliant form into the ICC Champions Trophy.
Unadkat was one of the main reasons for Pune’s exceptional form in the second half of the tournament which saw them reach the final.
With 24 wickets in just 12 matches in the season, Unadkat was Pune captain Steve Smith’s premier wicket-taking option with the ball.
The left-arm pacer produced a very good performance in the final as well, picking up two early wickets to put Pune on top, but they would fall short by just one run in the end.
Bumrah was the best death-overs bowler in IPL 2017 with his yorkers and slower deliveries in the backend of the innings playing a pivotal role in Mumbai winning the IPL.
In the final, Bumrah got the important wicket of MS Dhoni which turned the match on its head as the former Indian captain is known to be one of the greatest finishers of all time.
In total, he took 20 wickets while conceding 7.35 runs per over which is a really good number when you consider how much he bowled in the death overs.
Bumrah was sensational and his depth bowling is something which will make every Indian proud. In him & Bhuvi,India have rich bowling talent— Mohammad Kaif (@MohammadKaif) May 21, 2017
STEVE SMITH (12th MAN)
Smith brought his rich vein of form from international cricket into the IPL as he ended the tournament as the fourth highest run-scorer (second among overseas batsmen).
He scored 472 runs at an average of 39.33, but his strike-rate of 121.96 sees him miss out on making it into the XI. In the final, he almost guided Pune to their first IPL title before holing out to Ambati Rayudu on the off-side boundary in the final over of the game.
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