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INDIAN PREMIER LEAGUE 2017

Ponting's Team of the IPL - so far

28 April 2017

Martin Smith


@martinsmith9994

Martin Smith


@martinsmith9994

Former Mumbai Indians coach picks two Australians in his team of the IPL to date

We're at the midway point of the 2017 Indian Premier League so cricket legend Ricky Ponting has put together his Best XI from the tournament so far.

While IPL rules dictate that only four overseas players can be picked in any one match, we've relaxed those rules to allow the best performers to rise to the top in Ponting's team.

Consequently, Ponting's XI comes from all over the world, with four Indians, two Australians, two South Africans, an Englishman, a Kiwi and an Afghani in his side.

1. Hashim Amla (Kings XI Punjab)

M: 7 | R: 299 | Ave: 59.80 | SR: 145.85 | HS: 104* | 100s: 1 | 50s: 2

Awesome Amla crashes maiden T20 hundred

"Amla has been passed in at a couple of auctions in a row and he's getting to the back half of his career, but he's playing better in this IPL than I think I've ever seen him play. I saw the highlights of his hundred the other night (against Mumbai) and it was pretty spectacular stuff, especially what he was able to do to (Lasith) Malinga at the back end of that innings. He's in great form, he's striking the ball well, scoring quickly and he's been quite consistent as well."

2. David Warner (Sunrisers Hyderabad) (c)

M: 7 | R: 282 | Ave: 56.40 | SR: 129.35 | HS: 76* | 100s: 0 | 50s: 2

Warner wows with another IPL fifty

"It's pretty hard to argue with picking either of those guys as openers. I identified David Warner as the guy I thought might be the Player of the Tournament and he's on track to do that so far. His team is going OK as well. He's explosive, gets his team off to a good start and I like what he's done with his leadership as well."

3. Suresh Raina (Gujarat Lions)

M: 8 | R: 309 | Ave: 61.80 | SR: 141.74 | HS: 84 | 100s: 0 | 50s: 2

Rampant Raina leads Gujarat to rousing victory

"Suresh Raina made a slowish start to the tournament, but the past few games have been outstanding. He's been one of the very best IPL players for the past five or six seasons. He's a consistent run-scorer, he's a match-winning player and whenever he scores fifty or more, his team is always a great chance of winning the game. I particularly like the way he plays through the off side; he comes down the wicket to the spinners and hits inside-out over the off side really well and he's done that well in the tournament so far."

4. Jos Buttler (Mumbai Indians) (wk)

M: 8 | R: 230 | Ave: 28.75 | SR: 154.36 | HS: 77 | 100s: 0 | 50s: 1

"I know Jos Buttler has been opening for Mumbai, which is an unusual role for him, but I've got him at No.4. Having coached him there last year, anytime he was exposed against the new ball he was found wanting but they've had some different game plans this year ... and he's got them off to some great starts and he's been a reflection of how well the Indians are going. He'd also be the wicketkeeper in my team."

5. Nitish Rana (Mumbai Indians)

M: 8 | R: 266 | Ave: 38.00 | SR: 135.02 | HS: 62* | 100s: 0 | 50s: 3

Mumbai menaces make it rain sixes

"I had young Nitsh Rana at Mumbai for a couple of years and it was only the last couple of games last year where he got some exposure and he played really well. He's a very dynamic left-hander and he hits spin particularly well. If he's got a weakness it's against good quality fast bowling, but he's been outstanding so far and he's someone who could potentially play for India down the track as well. He's a very exciting young talent."

6. Glenn Maxwell (Kings XI Punjab)

M: 7 | R: 193 | Ave: 38.60 | SR: 182.07 | HS: 44* | 100s: 0 | 50s: 0

Kings royalty smash 50 in two overs

"Glenn Maxwell gets in purely based on his all-round ability to bat anywhere in the order, he's a great fielder and he can bowl some handy right-arm off-spin as well. He's scored about 190 runs at a strike rate of 180 so he's a handy package to have in that middle order at No.6."

7. Chris Morris (Delhi Daredevils)

M: 7 | R: 126 | Ave: 42.00 | SR: 175.00| HS: 52* | Wkts: 12 | Ave: 12.66 | Econ: 6.90 | SR: 11.0 | BBI: 4-26

Morris hammers Pune in spine-tingling cameo

"Chris Morris bowls 145kph with the new ball, swings it out to the right-handers and his yorkers and change-ups at the end of the innings are very good. And he's a very damaging batsman as well; he's a big tall guy who can hit the ball long and hard. He's a pretty complete package in a T20 game."

8. Harbhajan Singh (Mumbai Indians)

M: 7 | Wkts: 4 | Ave: 38.25 | Econ: 5.88 | SR: 39.0 | BBI: 2-23

"I've gone with an old sparring partner of mine and someone I coached at Mumbai, Harbhajan Singh. Interestingly enough he missed the first game of the tournament due to conditions, but since he's been back in the team his economy rate has been really good. Mumbai look for him to be the guy who can bowl up front with the brand new ball, particularly if they've got left-handed batsmen in, and he generally takes wickets there. He's got great variations, he's a wily customer, he's been around for a long time and he bowls well in all conditions. He's a handy fielder and I think he's an underrated hitter late in the order as well ... so his selection was a no-brainer."

9. Bhuvneshwar Kumar (Sunrisers Hyderabad)

M: 7 | Wkts: 16 | Ave: 11.00 | Econ: 6.28 | SR: 10.5 | BBI: 5-19

"Bhuvneshwar Kumar is an out-and-out swing bowler who probably bowls just over 130 kph, but he takes wickets up front, which is what the Power Play overs are all about with that new ball. To be fair, he probably bowls better to left-handers because his natural shape comes back into the right-handers and goes right across the left-handers. His economy rate has been good and they'll probably use him for as many overs as possible up front and maybe save him for one at the end."

10. Mitchell McClenaghan (Mumbai Indians)

M: 8 | Wkts: 12 | Ave: 23.25 | Econ: 8.71 | SR: 16.0 | BBI: 3-24

"I've gone for another Mumbai boy in Mitchell McClenaghan, who we got in the auction for a bit of a bargain basement price about three years ago. He hasn't had a bad tournament since he's joined Mumbai and he just keeps getting wickets. The reason we got him and the reason we talked about him was because of his wicket-taking ability in pretty much all forms of cricket has been quite remarkable. And if you compare his T20 record to someone like Trent Boult or even Mitchell Johnson, he just takes more wickets. He's a handy hitter as well and he's pretty handy in the field for a fast bowler too."

11. Rashid Khan (Sunrisers Hyderabad)

M: 7 | Wkts: 10 | Ave: 19.50 | Econ: 6.96| SR: 16.8 | BBI: 3-19

Warner impressed by the wrath of Khan

"I like what I've seen in Rashid Khan in his first year in the IPL. David Warner has talked him up a lot already and they like what they get from him. He's a right-arm leg-spinner and we all know how valuable leg-spinners can be in the tournament. Even someone like Amit Mishra you could probably throw in that side as well."

About the Writer

@martinsmith9994
Martin Smith is a writer for cricket.com.au. He previously wrote for Yahoo!7 Sport and Fox Sports.