Through the tournament, there were hits and misses, flops and valuable players. Here is my team of the T20 Leag, with the limit of 4 foreign players, in batting order:
- Robin Uthappa (KKR)
Orange cap winner and reborn as an opener, Uthappa was the prime reason behind KKR’s resurgence in the league in 2014. His keeping still leaves a lot to be desired, but he can walk into any team on strength of only his batting. His ten consecutive 40s was a record, until he failed in the final, where his teammates picked themselves up and won him a league trophy.
- Manan Vohra (KXIP)
He came in late to replace Pujara and a few others at the top, with KXIP inexplicably holding back the youngest player that they had retained till their 10th game. But when he did come in, he made an impact instantly and combined with Sehwag to make up for the late failures of Maxwell and Miller. The boy is as talented as ever, and could combine well with Sanju Samson for the Indian team in the near future.
- David Warner (SH)
Warner turned on the style after a lean first few games, making up for Finch’s loss of form, and carrying his weak batting order to a couple of inspirational victories. His fielding was an added bonus, though he will rue a few crucial dropped catches.
- Glenn Maxwell (KXIP)
The Big Show failed to fire in the second half of a prolific tournament, but still put his team on their path to their first final with a couple of truly phenomenal T20 batting performances. He will ache for consistency next year, but will be feared internationally the world over after this.
- JP Duminy (DD)
He was the only bright spot in another disastrous Delhi campaign. He batted and finished with aplomb and even bowled a full quota of 4 overs many times, proving his worth as a world class all rounder. Unfortunately, the Delhi management refused to promote him up the order and paid the price for this stupid error.
- MS Dhoni (CSK)
He went about his business unnoticed and won matches whenever he was needed to. Moreover, he led from the front and didn’t hesitate to criticize his players. Between him and Raina, CSK have the most valuable duo in league history.
- Akshar Patel (KXIP)
Easily the best spinner of the league, the youngster impressed everyone with his consistency and guile – carving out a place for himself in the Bangladesh tour coming next. Hopefully, he is the future that India so badly needs in the spin-bowling department. The only thing that can work against him is that Jadeja and him play the same role.
- Bhuvaneshwar Kumar (SH)
He rarely had an off game and made up for Steyn’s colossal failures. His swing was back and he became the bowler that hit the scene running two years ago. He bamboozled guys like Smith with his movement, and even bowled well in the death overs.
- Sunil Narine (KKR)
Once again, he proved to be KKR’s main weapon. Till the final, where Saha swatted him to all corners, nobody could read him. He is now a two-time league winner with the same team, and the most difficult bowler to read on the Eden Gardens pitch.
- Mohit Sharma (CSK)
Purple cap winner and perpetual wicket-taker, Mohit continued from where he left off last season. Looks like he will be a part of the permanent national setup under MS Dhoni.
- Varun Aaron (RCB)
For his sheer pace, despite his high economy rate, the boy deserves a place for fighting fire (his own failing batting lineup) with more fire. Sans injuries, his future looks bright.
Honorable mentions: Dwayne Smith (CSK), Ravindra Jadeja (CSK), Shakib Al Hasan (KKR), Suresh Raina (CSK) and Rohit Sharma (MI).