IPL 2023 Team of the Tournament
After 74 matches and nearly two months, the 16th edition of the Indian Premier League comes to a climax with Chennai Super Kings clinching the silverware for the 5th time, equalising Mumbai Indians’ tally.
Like any other year, some players took the season by storm, records were broken, and the cricket’s history pages got new foldings. Be it the team that was crowned the champion or the team that finished at the bottom half of the league table, we were treated by some mesmerizing performances throughout the space of two months.
So, it is that time of the year to scratch the head and dig out the Team of the tournament for IPL 2023 with the best permutations and combinations.
Top Order- Faf du Plessis, Shubman Gill and Virat Kohli
When it comes to the opening slot, the Royal Challengers Bangalore captain makes the cut for one end. He has smashed 730 runs from 14 innings which includes eight half-centuries. He is also the highest run-getter for his own franchise in 2023 i.e. RCB.
With an average of 56.15 and a blistering strike rate of 153.68, du Plessis has notched up 29.18% of the team’s runs. RCB fetched him in the IPL auction 2022 and since then, he has been a mainstay at the top of the order for the Bangalore-based franchise.
His innings against the Punjab Kings of 84 runs off 56 balls and the innings of 79 runs off 46 balls against the Lucknow Super Giants along with the 73 runs off 43 balls against the Mumbai Indians in the season opener are a few of the riveting knocks to highlight from IPL 2023.
Talk about breakthrough seasons, IPL 2023 should be the year of the 23-year-old batter with a touch of sheer elegance. Just like Virat Kohli’s golden form in IPL 2016, and Chris Gayle’s form in IPL 2011, Shubman Gill was on another level in the 16th edition of IPL.
Having stockpiled 851 runs from 16 innings, Gill won the Orange cap in the recently concluded edition of the mega-league. Currently, he has the record for the second-highest most runs notched in a season of IPL after Virat Kohli’s 973 in 2016.
Gill also earned the Most Valuable Asset of the Season award for the Gujarat Titans. Watching the youngster bat at the top of the order was a treat for all the cricket fans. He smashed three centuries in the ongoing season with one of them coming against the Mumbai Indians in the Eliminator.
The right-handed batter finished the tournament with an average of 60.79 and a strike rate of 156.43. Henceforth, Gill makes the cut for the other opening slot for the IPL 2023 team of the tournament.
Virat Kohli found his form back during the 2022 Asia Cup and since then there has been no stoppage. He went on to dominate the 2022 T20 World Cup and followed it with a dominant run through the IPL 2023.
The right-handed batter will be the no. 3 in the team of the season as he garnered 639 runs in 14 innings with six half-centuries and two centuries. He notched up back-to-back tons against SRH and GT. The 101* off 61 balls against the Hardik Pandya-led unit came at a crucial juncture when it was mandatory for RCB to win. The conditions weren’t very suitable for batting and it was Kohli the lone warrior in their ultimate match of the league stages.
Although he batted as an opener throughout the season, it is a known fact that Virat Kohli is a well-accomplished batter for the no.3 position.
Middle Order – Suryakumar Yadav, Rinku Singh & Nicholas Pooran
The 16th edition of IPL didn’t start in the best suitable way for Suryakumar Yadav. But as one says, the form is temporary and class is permanent, the Mumbai-based batter went to find his form as the competition progressed and stormed around venues with his fancy batting approach.
He piled up 605 runs from 16 innings with the stats displaying five half-centuries and a solitary ton that came against the Gujarat Titans. He has been a floater from batting positions 3-5 for the team and has soaked up pressure on various occasions.
The best part of all is the strike rate with which he has batted. Surya scored runs at the rate of 1.81 per ball in IPL 2023 and finished with an average of 43.21. This is the sixth consecutive year when the flamboyant batter piled up 300 or more runs in a season of IPL.
Scoring 474 runs from 14 innings, as an individual who bats at no. 5 or 6 isn’t a rosy job. There have been various situations when the team needed someone to step up and it was Rinku Singh who did the job for KKR. His five successive sixes against Yash Dayal to drive the team to triumph has to be one of the best moments from IPL 2023.
The southpaw batted with an average of nearly 60 and a strike rate of 149.53. With the Indian team requiring a role at the lower batting order, a national call-up isn’t too far away from the UP batter.
Nicholas Pooran has gelled up for his side at crucial times when a mammoth task was to be accomplished. The Caribbean star scored 358 runs from 15 innings with an impressive strike rate of 172.95.
His blitzkrieg of 62 runs off 19 balls against RCB, an unbeaten innings of 44 runs off 13 balls against SRH, and a crucial innings of 58 runs off 30 balls against KKR are a few of the knocks which is an epitome of a finisher role. The last innings against KKR came at a time when LSG needed to win the game by hook or crook to reach the playoffs.
All-rounders- Ravindra Jadeja & Rashid Khan
A six and a four off the final two balls against Mohit Sharma in the finals has to be one of the moments to be cherished forever by the cricket fans who are avid followers of the Indian Premier League. The all-rounder has been doing the talking with both the willow and cherry in hand for the Chennai Super Kings this season.
Ravindra Jadeja bagged 19 wickets from 16 matches this season with an economy of 7.42. He has been taking wickets in every 16-17 balls in IPL 2023. Although his numbers for batting aren’t huge, he has mostly done the finishing job at the lower order for the franchise. Henceforth, the left-arm all-rounder would be a perfect fit for the no.7 spot.
Rashid Khan, the Afghan superstar has been a force to reckon with for the Gujarat Titans in IPL 2023. Be it any tournament across the globe, this is the guy the skipper can bank on. The magician ended up with 27 wickets from 16 matches and fell short of earning the purple cap by a single wicket.
He has been Hardik’s go-to man for breaking partnerships and achieved the only hat trick of the mega-tournament. Moreover, Rashid has also turned up with the bat in hand in various circumstances. His 79* off 32 is an example to cite.
Bowlers- Mohammed Shami, Yuzvendra Chahal and Matheesha Pathirana
Mohammed Shami has successfully nailed one of the most difficult jobs in cricket- delivering inside the powerplay. The Bengal pacer has been brilliant with his seam presentation and bamboozled batters with the new cork.
With 28 wickets from 16 matches. His 4/11 has to be one of the best spells of IPL 2023 where Delhi Capitals incurred a collapse. Shami is also the highest wicket-taker in the powerplays of IPL 2023.
Joining Shami in the bowling department would be another Indian bowler- Yuzvendra Chahal. Despite having a flying start, Rajasthan Royals fumbled midway through the season and finished fifth in the points table. Apart from Yashasvi Jaiswal’s emergence, Chahal’s consistency with the ball has to be one of the positives for the franchise.
The wrist-spinner snared 21 wickets from 14 games in the recently finished edition. He became the fifth leading wicket-taker of the season and the highest for RR. This is the fifth consecutive time that Chahal has taken 18 or more wickets in an IPL edition.
Each year, we get to witness the emergence of a few new stars in IPL. Matheesha Pathirana has to be one of those products that amazed a mass with his skill of bowling in the slog overs. The Sri Lankan bowler has the ability to nail the yorkers perfectly and that too with a sheer pace of over 145 kph.
After representing in 11 matches, the young gun has pocketed 17 wickets in IPL 2023. With an economy stating 7.72, the slingy-actioned bowler is certainly a star to watch out for.
Impact Subs: Yashasvi Jaiswal, Heinrich Klassen, Axar Patel, Piyush Chawla, Mohammad Siraj