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Ricky Ponting's best all-time IPL XI

12 May 2017

Cricket Network

Cricket Network

Former Mumbai coach selects his best-ever XI from 10 years of the Indian Premier League

With the 10th season of the Indian Premier League nearing an end, cricket legend Ricky Ponting has completed the difficult task of selecting the best XI he's ever seen in the tournament.

Unlike the Team of the 2017 IPL that he selected midway through the tournament, Ponting was only allowed to pick four overseas players in his all-time XI, in keeping with the rules of the tournament.

Ricky Ponting's Team of the IPL - so far

So with seven spots taken up by Indian players, there were always going to be some notable omissions from around the world.

"It was a very tough team to pick because I could only get the four overseas guys in there," he said. "So there were a few notable names that have missed out on selection.

"Things got pretty difficult but I've tried to put the best possible team together that I've ever seen in IPL history."

1. Chris Gayle (Kolkata Knight Riders, Royal Challengers Bangalore)

M: 100 | R: 3578 | Ave: 41.12 | SR: 151.61 | HS: 175* | 50s: 21 | 100s: 5

Ricky Ponting's insight into Chris Gayle

"I've gone for two extremely dynamic opening batsmen and I wouldn't like to be an opening bowler bowling to these two together. Chris Gayle's record speaks for itself; he averages about 42, strikes at over 150 and his longevity in the game is unbelievable."

2. David Warner (Delhi Daredevils, Sunrisers Hyderabad)

M: 112 | R: 3909 | Ave: 39.87 | SR: 142.78 | HS: 126 | 50s: 35 | 100s: 3

Ponting backs Warner to be player of the tournament

"Dave Warner's ... (IPL) average is about 40 so his consistency is really good, and he's striking at 141. (He and Gayle are) both left handers ... so it'd be interesting trying to bowl to those two up front whether you're a spinner or a quick."

3. Virat Kohli (Royal Challengers Bangalore)

M: 148 | R: 4360 | Ave: 37.26 | SR: 129.83 | HS: 113 | 50s: 29 | 100s: 4

Ponting on the Smith-Kohli rivalry

"Virat Kohli has done a lot of his damage opening the batting, but I've slotted him in at No.3. He's the sort of player you want in your side, especially in a run chase. Whenever a game is on the line he puts his hand up and gets the job done. He was a bit of a slow bloomer in T20 cricket, it took him a while to work it out, but what I saw up close last year was unbelievable."

4. Rohit Sharma (Deccan Chargers, Mumbai Indians)

M: 155 | R: 4129 | Ave: 33.03 | SR: 131.28 | HS: 109* | 50s: 32 | 100s: 1

Rohit's replica of classic Waugh catch

"I had the luxury of coaching Rohit at Mumbai for a couple of seasons. If he's not the best middle-order player in India then I'm not sure who is. He opens the batting for India, but he loves batting at No.4 because he feels like he can control the game and control the innings. Whether it be fast bowling or spin, he plays them all well. And he's a deceptively big hitter as well for someone who's not of huge stature, and that's what you want in the middle order in your T20 team."

5. Suresh Raina (Chennai Super Kings, Gujarat Lions)

M: 160 | R: 4538 | Ave: 34.37 | SR: 139.20 | HS: 100* | 50s: 31 | 100s: 1

Rampant Raina leads Gujarat to rousing victory

"I've gone for Suresh Raina at No.5 to give a left-hander in the middle order. He's a very good player of spin bowling; if he has a weakness it's against good quality fast bowling so I'll bat him in the middle order to keep him away from the overseas quicks. His strike rate is unbelievable, he's a very consistent player, he's a gun fielder and he can bowl some part-time off-spin if required as well."

6. MS Dhoni (c) (wk) (Chennai Super Kings, Rising Pune Supergiant)

M: 155 | R: 3506 | Ave: 38.10 | SR: 136.95 | HS: 70* | 50s: 17 | 100s: 0 | Ct: 66 | St: 29

Don't write off 'champion' Dhoni: Ponting

"MS Dhoni is at No.6 and he'll also be the captain of my side. He brings huge experience and whenever he's at the crease ... you're always a chance of winning the game. I've seen him do it off his own bat on several occasions so I'll go with him as skipper, with the gloves and batting at No.6."

7. Dwayne Bravo (Chennai Super Kings, Gujarat Lions, Mumbai Indians)

M: 106 | R: 1262 | Ave: 22.94 | SR: 126.32 | HS: 70* | 50s: 4 | Wkts: 122 | Ave: 22.58 | Econ: 8.19 | SR: 16.5 | BBI: 4-22

2016: Bravo reaches magical milestone in Mohali

"He doesn't do a lot with the bat, to be fair, but he has got the ability to go out there and win games. He hits the ball on the off-side against spin and fast bowling, but it's his bowling that would really be beneficial in this team. His yorkers, slower balls and change ups are probably some of the best IPL cricket has ever seen, along with Malinga's. He'd probably bowl one over in the Power Play and then three at the end, that's how good he is at the death."

8. Harbhajan Singh (Mumbai Indians)

M: 136 | Wkts: 127 | Ave: 26.65 | Econ: 6.95 | SR: 22.9 | BBI: 5-18

Harbhajan has been a mainstay of Mumbai's side // BCCI

"The off-spinning option I've gone for is Harbhajan Singh. He's got an outstanding record, he's good with the bat and he's solid enough in the field. The variations he has, he's got a good top-spinner, sometimes he gets his doosra to do just enough away from the right-hander, and his experience and know-how against the absolute best batsmen in the world is what gets him the nod."

9. Amit Mishra (Deccan Chargers, Delhi Daredevils, Sunrisers Hyderabad)

M: 124 | Wkts: 134 | Ave: 23.94 | Econ: 7.37 | SR: 19.4 | BBI: 5-17

2016: Mishra spins Delhi past Kings XI's Aussie trio

"I've gone for a bit of a shock here and have put Amit Mishra in the side. He's got an outstanding IPL record, he's got great variations and he's a wicket-taker because he's not scared to throw the ball up. He turns the ball enough both ways and he's been a great performer for a long, long time."

10. Lasith Malinga (Mumbai Indians)

M: 107 | Wkts: 152 | Ave: 18.87 | Econ: 6.90 | SR: 16.4 | BBI: 5-13

Feb 2017: Australia players wary of Malinga return

"Lasith Malinga is probably the best T20 bowler of all time. I'd certainly rank him that way anyway. He has a great ability to take wickets with the new ball, he attacks the stumps, tries to bowl yorkers and tries to knock top-order batsman over, which is what you want. He'd bowl one or two overs for me in the Power Play then I'd hold him back so he can bowl those yorkers and slower balls at the end, which not many batsmen can get on top of."

11. Ashish Nehra (Chennai Super Kings, Delhi Daredevils, Mumbai Indians, Pune Warriors, Sunrisers Hyderabad)

M: 88 | Wkts: 106 | Ave: 23.53 | Econ: 7.84 | SR: 18.0 | BBI: 4-10

Ashish Nehra has played for five different IPL franchises // BCCI

"A left-arm option is always nice so Ashish Nehra is the other quick I've gone for. He's been around a long time, offers great consistency, the ability to swing the new ball just enough and his ability to nail what he needs to nail at the right times under pressure is probably what sets him aside from most others."


Sunil Narine (Kolkata Knight Riders)

M: 79 | Wkts: 95 | Ave: 20.55 | Econ: 6.32 | SR: 19.5 | BBI: 5-19

Narine blasts IPL's fastest fifty

"I've seen Sunil Narine bamboozle batsmen for years in the IPL. His record is probably not as good as you'd think in terms of wickets, but he shuts down the scoring, he's very hard to pick and very hard to get on top of. So he could have easily found his way into my team."

AB de Villiers (Delhi Daredevils, Royal Challengers Bangalore)

M: 129 | R: 3473 | Ave: 38.16 | SR: 148.16 | HS: 133* | 50s: 22 | 100s: 3

De Villiers brilliance not enough for RCB

"AB de Villiers is another one who would walk into most IPL teams through the history of the game. But with the record that my openers, Gayle and Warner, have it was a bit hard to fit AB de Villiers in the middle order. But he's an out-and-out match-winner; he can bat at No.3 to No.6, he wins games by himself and he scores 360 degrees around the ground. He's pretty much the blueprint of the modern T20 player. He's exceptional and he's unlucky to miss out."

Brendon McCullum (Chennai Super Kings, Gujarat Lions, Kochi Tuskers Kerala, Kolkata Knight Riders)

M: 103 | R: 2753 | Ave: 28.09 | SR: 131.22 | HS: 158* | 50s: 13 | 100s: 2

McCullum scored 158* in the first ever IPL match // BCCI

"Brendon McCullum has been around for a long time and has played lots of match-winning innings. I was lucky enough to share the crease with him in the first IPL game when he made 158 and I thought 'wow, where has that come from?'. He's got a very good strike rate, he's a consistent opener and he's a match-winning type."