The bottom four teams would be disappointed that they didn’t make the playoffs but you can always look at the positives. This was the closest IPL because the difference of points between the fourth qualified team and the last team on the table was just two points. If one game had gone the other way then even the bottom teams would have been in contention for a top-four spot. Kolkata Knight Riders, Chennai Super Kings, Kings XI Punjab, and Rajasthan Royals had some really good players who we can look forward to in the next IPL as well. So, here is the best possible XI from the bottom four teams who failed to qualify for the playoffs.
Openers – KL Rahul and Faf Du Plessis
KL Rahul scored 670 runs in 14 games and was the leading run-scorer of the tournament so it was a no-brainer to have him in this side. He was scoring runs for his team even when the results weren’t going their way which tells the fighting spirit of that player. The same was the case with Faf Du Plessis. He started the tournament on a great note with a couple of half-centuries, lost his form in the middle but came back strongly towards the end. The two right-handed batsmen have a perfect balance between attack and defence and hence could form a great combination.
Middle-order – Sanju Samson, Eoin Morgan and Nicholas Pooran
Sanju Samson just lit up the IPL in the first couple of games in Sharjah. He was out of form in the middle-phase but scored a couple of match-winning knocks towards the end of the tournament. Eoin Morgan was the only batsman who was scoring runs consistently for Kolkata Knight Riders. He had to bat at No.4 but he was pushing himself down the order but he was great in all positions. Nicholas Pooran didn’t start the IPL well but he just took off in the middle phase where he smashed a couple of fifties. Pooran is a player you can watch out for in the future as he is here to stay.
All-rounders – Rahul Tewatia and Jofra Archer
Rahul Tewatia was the flavor of the IPL this season. You just couldn’t pick a team without him. He was picking up wickets, taking catches and of course, he was hitting sixes out of the ground, he was everywhere for Rajasthan Royals. He has been a great find for the RR team and they will be hoping that he replicates this kind of performance in the next season. Jofra Archer was the Most Valuable Player of this season as his bowling numbers were just insane. He was bowling two overs in the powerplay and having returns in single digits with a wicket or two. He came in at No.7 or No.8 and smashed a few big ones for his team. Archer was absolutely phenomenal in this year’s IPL.
Bowlers – Mohammad Shami, Shardul Thakur, Varun Chakravarthy and Murugan Ashwin
All of these bowlers have done a great job for their team. Mohammad Shami was brilliant for Kings XI Punjab, especially in that super over where he forced the game into another super over by defending just six runs. Murugan Ashwin was kind of an unsung hero for KXIP as he kept on picking wickets and was economical. Varun Chakravarthy was so brilliant that he got an India call-up in just one season. He foxed many high-quality batsmen with his variations. Shardul Thakur went unnoticed in this IPL but he picked up 10 wickets in nine games at a decent economy rate for CSK. They can form a great combination as there is a perfect mix of pace and spin bowling in this XI.