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IPL 2013 Dream Team

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IPL 2013 Dream Team
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The IPL 2013 was widely considered to be a success for the sheer quality of cricket it produced to go with the huge crowds at all venues throughout the competition and the record numbers of viewers on television and online.

There were records broken in all three departments of the T20 game and some great innings, bowling spells and catches which stood out at the end of the competition.

Here, we select the best 11 players to comprise the 2013 IPL Dream Team, based on the performances of the players in their respective departments throughout the competition.

Openers : Starting with the openers, it was an easy choice to go with the two most prolific batsmen in the competition. Mike Hussey and Chris Gayle finished first & second in the points table and with their brilliant performances were easily most suitable for the openers slot. Ajinkya Rahane was a close third contender for the slot but missed out due to the superior performances of the other two players.

Middle Order : Suresh Raina and Virat Kohli were both brilliant at the number three spot for the Chennai Super Kings and the Royal Challengers Bangalore respectively with their terrific stroke-play and also added great value to the side with their fielding.

Shane Watson was the automatic choice for third foreign player as an all-rounder owing to his magnificent performances with both bat and ball, over the other contenders Dwayne Bravo and Kieron Pollard , who were not nearly as consistent or prolific in both of these departments.

Rohit Sharma also made it to the squad at number 6 position for his brilliant batting and with his ability to hit sixes, he would make a great option, coming in towards the end of the innings as a pinch-hitter or finisher. He gets the nod over AB de Villers and Stuart Binny for this role.

Wicket-Keeper : MS Dhoni was the best choice for this role in the Dream team and he also gets the captaincy position over Rohit Sharma for being the experienced and shrewd tactician that he his in the T20 format. His batting abilities saw him play some astonishing innings in the competition and he would be the ideal number 7 to come in to bat. He gets the nod over Dinesh Karthik for this role inspite of Karthik out-scoring MSD in the tournament.

Bowlers : With Shane Watson already in the squad, two front-line seamers and two spinners would have given the perfect balance to the bowling line-up. Harbhajan Singh and Amit Mishra were the two best spinners in this competition and with their experience and proven record, were the best choices for this role.They would also compliment each other well during the middle overs.

With only one slot left for a foreign player, James Faulkner, the second highest wicket taker in the competition was the best choice to fill that slot and open the bowling with another brilliant performer Mohit Sharma of the Chennai Super Kings. Faulkner gets the nod over Lasith Malinga and Mitchell Johnson for this role owing to his better record and more consistent performances.

Substitutes :

Dwayne Bravo missed out in the Playing XI to Shane Watson to help fit the balance of the side, but the Purple Cap holder would add value to the side with his all-round abilities and be an automatic substitute to any of the foreign players in the squad.

David Miller also missed out on a spot in the XI but his explosive batting abilities make him another great substitute to any of the foreign players.

The Dream Team : Chris Gayle, Micheal Hussey, Suresh Raina, Virat Kohli, Shane Watson, Rohit Sharma, MS Dhoni (c&wk), Harbhajan Singh, James Faulkner, Amit Mishra, Mohit Sharma.

Substitues : Dwayne Bravo, David Miller


 

Individual Player Profiles

Chris Gayle : The West Indian batsman was easily the single most destructive batsman in the competition, smashing 708 runs in the competition at an average of 59.00 and a strike rate of 156. 17 of his 51 sixes in the competition came in his terrific 66-ball 175 against the Pune Warriors India. , the highest individual T20 score till date.

Michael Hussey : "Mr. Cricket" lived up to his tag of being a prolific run-getter and ended up the Orange Cap Holder in the competition with 733 runs from 17 innings at a strike rate of 130. Easily the most consistent batsman in the tournament, he gave numerous good starts to the Chennai Super Kings and hit an amazing 81 boundaries in the competition.

Suresh Raina : The Left-handed Super Kings recovered from a slow start in the competition to rise up the batting charts and ended up the fourth highest-run getter in the competition, amassing 548 runs at a strike rate of 150. His best score was against the Kings XI Punjab when he made exactly 100* and he was lively and agile in the field.

Virat Kohli : Kohli did a fairly good job as the skipper of the Royal Challengers this season and would have rued some close finishes that denied his side a place in the Play-Offs. As a batsman though, he was outstanding and ended up third in the list for the Orange Cap with 634 runs at a strike rate of 138 which included 6 half-centuries. He was also brilliant in the field with his catching and throwing.

Shane Watson : Voted as the 'Most Valuable Player' (MVP) in the competition for his contribution with bat and ball, Shane Watson was the backbone of the Rajasthan Royals right through the competition and gave them the edge in many games. He scored 543 runs at a strike rate of 142 , took 13 wickets at an economy rate of 7.15  and played his two best knocks against the Super Kings when he made 101 and a 34-ball 70, the latter in a winning cause at Jaipur.

Rohit Sharma : The Captain of the victorious Mumbai Indians team, Rohit Sharma took over the mantle from Ricky Ponting and led his side with great maturity and determination to see them through to the title. He also made 538 runs from his 19 innings and was Mumbai's highest run-scorer in the competition, not to mention his 28 sixes, the third highest by an individual player.

MS Dhoni (c & wk) : Captain. Batsman. Keeper. MSD took on all his roles with his usual cool detachment and nearly took his team to the title for the third time. He excelled in his role as a finisher coming in at number 6, helping the Super Kings post and chase competitive totals. Striking at an impressive 162 runs/100 balls, Dhoni made an 461 runs in the from his 16 innings and led the Super Kings to amazing wins right through the competition.

Harbhajan Singh : Mumbai's most experienced bowler, Harbhajan ended up third on the list for the purple cap with 24 wickets at an average of 19.00 and an impressive economy rate of 6.51 runs/over. He bowled well in the middle and death overs, and was also called on to open the bowling on a couple of occasions. As a batsman, his 116 runs from 14 innings included crucial runs to help see Mumbai over the line, most notably against the Kolkata Knight Riders at the Eden Gardens on 24 April.

James Faulkner : The Australian pacer proved to be a great buy for the Rajasthan Royals franchise this season as he steadily made his way up to number two on the list for Purple Cap holders and ended the competition with 28 wickets from 16 games at an average of 15.25 and economy rate of 6.75. He also picked up two of three five-wicket hauls this season, and had a remarkable strike rate of 13.53 with the ball.

Amit Mishra : The Delhi leg-spinner was a real revelation for the Sun Risers Hyderabad this season picking up 21 wickets from 17 games at an economy rate of 6.35. That included a hat-trick against the Pune Warriors India, making him the first player to take three hat-tricks in the IPL. He made good use of the conditions at Hyderabad, and helped bowl his side to victories in some close low-scoring encounters.

Mohit Sharma : Chennai Super Kings' latest star, Mohit Sharma had a great first season of the IPL and settled into his role as the spearhead of the attack perfectly. Bowling his right-arm medium fast deliveries  he managed to generate pace and swung the ball to trouble the opposition batsmen right through, finishing the tournament with 20 wickets from 15 games at an economy rate of 6.43.

Substitutes:

Dwayne Bravo : The Purple Cap holder and first man to pick up 30+ wickets in one season of the IPL, Dwayne Bravo reached new heights as a bowler for the Super Kings this season with his medium-paced bowling and clever changes of pace. Enthusiastic and never too far from another dance to show, Bravo was a live-wire in the field too and ended up with 32 wickets at a strike rate of 11.71, the best for any bowler in the competition. He also scored 121 runs in his 12 innings at a strike rate of 114.

David Miller : Perhaps the find of the tournament, David Miller had a late entry into the competition and took time to get in, but never looked back after his match-winning 41-ball 80 against Pune on 21 April. His real highlight though was the remarkable  knock of 101* off 38 balls against the Royal Challengers at Mohali where he helped his side chase down 191 in 18 overs after they were 64/4 at one stage. Though he was not as consistent as he would have hoped for. he still ended up 418 runs in 12 innings at a strike rate of 165 and an average of nearly 60., ending up the highest run-getter for the Kings XI Punjab this season.