While the future of now-suspended IPL 2021 hangs in the balance amid the COVID-19 crisis across the country, fans got to see some impressive individual performances this year. Franchises like Chennai Super Kings and Royal Challengers Bangalore also roared back and played as a unit.
While MS Dhoni-led CSK found mojo after a dreadful last season in the UAE, RCB looked potent to lift the maiden IPL title. Sunrisers Hyderabad and Kolkata Knight Riders, on the other hand, searched for answers until the tournament was shelved mid-way due to growing COVID-19 cases in its bio-bubble.
Meanwhile, cricketer-turned-commentator Aakash Chopra has picked his best XI of the tournament, featuring only overseas recruits who looked in decent touch. Chopra persisted with Faf du Plessis and Jos Buttler at the top, followed by Moeen Ali and Glenn Maxwell at the No.3 and No.4 position respectively.
"I have picked Faf du Plessis first. He has batted amazingly well, scored runs consistently, and at a good pace. I think with him will be Jos Buttler. His real form was seen in the 124-run knock against SRH.
"He was a little hot and cold before that but it was not that he was getting out for five runs. I have kept Moeen Ali at No.3. He made good contributions when he was sent to bat at No.3. At No.4, I have got Glenn Maxwell. RCB started to play him at No.4. We thought he will get stuck on the Chennai pitch but he batted well," said Chopra on his Youtube channel.
Chopra picked RCB's AB de Villiers at No.5 and went with Kieron Pollard and Andre Russell as his two explosive all-rounders. To finish things off, the ex-India batsman kept Chris Morris and Sam Curran for their dual ability and Rashid Khan-Trent Boult as the two bowlers.
"At No.5, I have kept AB de Villiers. He is not your No.5 but when RCB kept him there, we all were surprised. At No.6, the start was slow, there was a knock of 40-odd but then the 87 against CSK, Kieron Pollard became the lord of the Kotla.
"At No.7, I have got Andre Russell. One day when they were 31/5, he demolished the attack. He took wickets as well and even took five wickets in an innings against Mumbai," added Chopra.
"After that, I have kept Chris Morris. Whichever encounters Rajasthan won, his performance has been good, somewhere wickets and runs at other times. Next, I am going with Sam Curran for the simple reason that he is value for money. He does better than his abilities.
"At No.10, I have got Rashid. I thought about Narine and didn't find any other good spinner in the overseas contingent. In the end, I have kept Trent Boult," concluded Chopra.