After much heated deliberation, we picked out the Wisden IPL 2020 Team of the Tournament. What’s yours?
IPL 2020 is done and dusted. Mumbai Indians (MI) have won yet another title, their fifth, and despite the best efforts of Delhi Capitals (DC), they lost to a superior side in the final in Dubai on Tuesday.
MI’s victory over DC might have been a straightforward one, but there was no denying that the two best sides of IPL 2020 met in the final. Our Team of the Tournament, picked after plenty of intense deliberation, reflects that: Out of the 11 players in this team, six are made up of players from either MI or DC.
How it started How it's going pic.twitter.com/jV1EXUSV2b
— Wisden India (@WisdenIndia) November 11, 2020
However, there were, in all, plenty of oustanding candidates to choose from, and it’s part of the nature of this exercise that, no matter which team we picked, there inevitably was the feeling that we were being unfair to a few other players.
And so, while bearing all that in mind, pour through the Wisden IPL 2020 Team of the Tournament. Tell us what you think of the team, and pick your own here!
Shikhar Dhawan – DC
17 matches: 618 runs @ 44.14; SR: 144.73; 100s: 2, 50s: 4
The experience in UAE was made better by a fantastic bunch of people by my side. Grateful for the opportunity to go out there and play cricket again. Thank you to everyone involved at @DelhiCapitals – my teammates, coaches, management, and fans 🙏💙 pic.twitter.com/1a87lmx8Ue
— Shikhar Dhawan (@SDhawan25) November 11, 2020
To those who have watched Dhawan over the years, this was a pleasantly surprising version of the flamboyant left-handed batsman. In IPL 2020, Dhawan batted with the sort of freedom he hasn’t always shown while batting for India in T20Is. There were two centuries, four half-centuries, and a mountain of runs – most of them scored without resorting to the unorthodox. If he can replicate this in the international circuit, India will be a very dangerous side.
David Warner (c) – SRH
16 matches: 548 runs @ 39.14; SR: 134.64; 50s: 4
SRH had a slow start, but once they finally found their balance, they were supreme. Warner was a huge part of that. The impression was that he wasn’t as prolific this season as he was in previous editions, but he still ended up as the third highest scorer in the tournament, and led his team to Qualifier 2 through all that. SRH’s middle order wasn’t the best, placing increased onus on Warner and the rest of the top order. Suffice to say Warner delivered. After the campaign was over, Warner said Hyderabad was his second home – something about this team brings out the best in Warner, and vice-versa.
KL Rahul (wk) – KXIP
14 matches: 670 runs @ 55.83; SR: 129.34; 100s: 1, 50s: 5
— Wisden India (@WisdenIndia) November 10, 2020
It’s perhaps a sign of the evolution of modern T20 cricket that Rahul, despite ending the tournament as its highest scorer, still faced some criticism for KXIP’s sixth-placed finish, with some eying his strike-rate warily. However, 670 runs in 14 matches is a tally you cannot ignore – they were crucial as KXIP embarked on a five-match winning streak after a difficult start that put them back in contention for the playoffs. Their eventual elimination mustn’t overshadow the fact Rahul makes this XI by the sheer weight of runs – you cannot argue with that.
Ishan Kishan – MI
14 matches: 516 runs @ 57.33; SR: 145.76; 50s: 4
MI keep doing this – identify young Indian talent, groom them, and sooner or later, they excel. Ishan Kishan had a stellar, breakthrough campaign for MI – he hit 30 sixes in IPL 2020, more than anyone else. His runs meant, even if heavyweights like Rohit Sharma or Kieron Pollard failed, MI would still post daunting totals. Kishan scored 516 runs at a strike-rate of 57.33 – he also rescued MI out of a few potentially disastrous situations, and it won’t be long before India come calling.
Suryakumar Yadav – MI
16 matches: 480 runs @ 40; SR: 145.01; 50s: 4
— Wisden India (@WisdenIndia) October 27, 2020
If there was a popularity table for IPL 2020, Suryakumar Yadav would possibly have topped that. Surya, as he is called, has been around for a while now, and the runs weren’t a surprise. What was a surprising was the Indian selectors continuing to overlook him. In perhaps the perfect riposte, against India captain Virat Kohli’s RCB the day after the squads for the Australia series was announced, he scored a 79*, and was even involved in a stare-off with Kohli himself. In the final, when he sacrificed his wicket for his captain Rohit, he endeared himself to the fans even more.
Hardik Pandya – MI
14 matches: 281 runs @ 35.12; SR: 178.98; 50s: 1
— Wisden (@WisdenCricket) November 5, 2020
Hardik Pandya didn’t bowl this season. That only made his batting more dangerous. Physicists will perhaps one day pore over Pandya’s technique to figure out where such a lean chap generates all that power – he thundered sixes time and again in the death overs to ensure MI had those all-important extra runs that psychologically damages the opponents. To cap it all, he also was the first, and only, player in the tournament to publicly support BLM on the field.
Rahul Tewatia – RR
14 matches: 255 runs @ 42.5; SR: 139.34 | 10 wkts; Econ: 7.08
On the next Wisden Cricket Weekly podcast, the panel are picking a 'Season in the sun' XI, inspired by Rahul Tewatia, a team of players who came from nowhere to shine for a time.
Who would you like to hear discussed? pic.twitter.com/C5vbPitn9H
— Wisden (@WisdenCricket) October 22, 2020
Perhaps the story of the season, Tewatia became a symbol of perserverance and hard work, and indeed, the story of struggle, when he laboured to 5 off 13 balls against KXIP as tensions rose around him, and then remarkably turned it all around with six sixes in the last eight balls to win RR the clash. That made Tewatia an overnight hero. Crucially, he showed it wasn’t a one-off, and was a key cog in RR’s season thereafter, contributing with both bat and ball. More eyes will be on him in IPL 2021.
Jofra Archer – RR
14 matches: 113 runs @ 18.83; SR: 179.36 | 20 wkts; Econ 6.55
Only Kagiso Rabada has taken more wickets at #IPL2020 than Jofra Archer, and only Kieron Pollard, among those with 50 runs, has scored at a higher strike-rate.
And neither of those two have taken a catch anywhere near as good as this this campaign. https://t.co/Fdlssyn3Fu
— Wisden (@WisdenCricket) October 25, 2020
Archer was simply terrific. RR struggled with the ball most times, but it was Archer who rescued them time and again. His bowling was too hot to handle. His batting was on point – he hit 10 valuable sixes – and to top it all, he was also electric in the field, taking a Stokesian one-handed catch at the ropes on one occasion. Archer deserved to be in the knockouts, and perhaps critical England fans will take note of how he fared when he was utilised here.
Yuzvendra Chahal – RCB
15 matches: 21 wkts @ 19.28; Econ: 8.39
— Royal Challengers Bangalore (@RCBTweets) October 27, 2020
Once again, it was left to Chahal to dig RCB out of trouble. With 21 wickets in 15 matches, Chahal was RCB’s highest wicket-taker and miles ahead of the rest of the attack. As the tracks slowed down in UAE, Chahal became more lethal, and time and again, Kohli threw the ball to his best bowler to get crucial breakthrough. Had he had more support, RCB would have made it farther than the Eliminator.
Kagiso Rabada – DC
17 matches: 30 wkts @ 14.96; Econ: 6.73
Hard work pays off 🙌🏿 Grateful to my teammates and management for making it possible 🏏 To the next 50! pic.twitter.com/tx47klwCZe
— Kagiso Rabada (@KagisoRabada25) October 18, 2020
This IPL was a feast for fast-bowling afficionados, and Rabada was a huge part of it. The South African, along with international teammate Anrich Nortje, ensured DC had one of the best attacks, one of the few comparable to MI’s, and with 30 wickets in 17 matches, Rabada ended as the highest wicket-taker of the tournament. If DC are to go one step further next year, Rabada’s form will be key.
Jasprit Bumrah – MI
15 matches: 27 wkts @ 14.96; Econ: 6.73
Discussing yorkers and big sixes with Jasprit Bumrah and Hardik Pandya 🗣️💪
— IndianPremierLeague (@IPL) November 6, 2020
If he doesn’t disturb your stumps, he’ll take off your head. Bumrah – one of THE success stories of the IPL – was lethal as always, with his expert yorkers, with his slower balls, and increasingly this season, a menacing bouncer that knocked quite a few batsmen on their helmets. It was noticeable that, in the league match they rested Bumrah after their qualification was secured, MI lost to SRH. Here’s a bowler whose ceiling, incredibly, still seems high, and at this rate, he’s not going to be stopped till he conquers all before him.