IPL 2022: 25 games in, what the Team of the Tournament could look like

IPL 2022: Here's a look at the team of the tournament after 25 matches in the group stage.

Jos Buttler, Suryakumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya, Yuzvendra Chahal and Umesh Yadav have been among the top performers in the first three weeks of IPL 2022.   -  SPORTZPICS

The Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022 is into its third week. The 'comeback men' and young Indian talent have dominated so far. Here's a look at the team of the tournament after 25 matches in the group stage:

Top Order

Jos Buttler (Rajasthan Royals)

England’s white-ball maverick has marked his return to competitive cricket with a bang at the top of the order for Rajasthan. 

In just his second innings this season, Buttler put the scars of a horrid Ashes tour behind him by slamming the first ton of the tournament. Buttler stomped a shaky Mumbai Indians at the Wankhede Stadium to reach his third T20 ton within a year.

The Englishman's exceptional range was next on display when he racked up an unbeaten 70 against Royal Challengers Bangalore with six maximums. 

Buttler currently tops the Orange Cap race and six-hitting charts. He will undoubtedly be the driving force behind Rajasthan's bid for a playoffs spot after four years.

MT: 5 Runs: 272 HS: 100 AVE: 68.00 SR: 152.80  100s - 50s - 2 4s - 23 6s - 18 


READ: IPL Orange Cap updated after SRH vs KKR: Jos Buttler continues to lead runs tally

Shubman Gill (Gujarat Titans)

In a rejuvenated start to his white-ball aspirations, Shubman Gill has clicked in the top order for his new franchise. Gujarat Titans has been heavily reliant on Gill for a brisk, sustained presence in the middle and he has delivered emphatically since falling for a duck on his franchise debut. 

Gill's versatility helped him set up a winning total against Delhi Capitals with a 46-ball 84. He backed it up with a counter-attacking career-best knock of 96, laced with 12 boundaries, in an uphill 190-run chase against Punjab Kings. 

His strike rate has stood out - knocking at 152.67, well above his career total of 126.03. The 22-year-old has been particularly severe on the spinners, targeting the V with boundaries.

MT: 5 Runs: 200 HS: 96 AVE: 40.00  SR: 152.67 50s: 2 4s: 20  6s: 5

 

Shivam Dube (Chennai Super Kings)

Into his fourth season and a third stint in the IPL, Shivam Dube has finally found clarity and purpose with his new franchise. Chennai Super Kings has valued the Mumbaikar's abilities with the bat.

Dube has stood tall in a packed batting order that has been under the pump. He has unlocked a method of belting the spinners with his eye-popping six-hitting capabilities. 

Dube helped Chennai snap a four-match losing streak with a quickfire 95 from 46 balls against Royal Challengers Bangalore - a career-best knock comprising six fours and eight maximums. Dube has floated through the middle-order but gets a promotion in this eleven for the lack of a sheer out-and-out performer at number three.

MT: 5 Runs: 207 HS: 95* AVE: 51.75  SR: 176.92 50s: 2 4s:16 6s: 13


Other notable performers:
Prithvi Shaw (DC), Rahul Tripathi (SRH)

READ: Longest sixes in Indian Premier League: Dewald Brevis 112m-hit biggest of IPL 2022

Middle Order

Hardik Pandya (c) (Gujarat Titans)

The suspense has unravelled - India's premier all-rounder is back, up and running. Captain Hardik Pandya is leading the Gujarat cavalry with impact performances across departments. 

Hardik has bowled his quota of four overs in full tilt for the first time since the 2019 season. The former Mumbai Indians all-rounder has exhibited his range with the bat in a fresh, assertive role at number four in the batting order. Hardik's toned-down approach with the bat has seen him play second fiddle to Shubman Gill in a line-up prone to top-order collapses. 

The 28-year-old displayed glimpses of his marauding best when an onslaught of 52-ball 87 and a crucial direct-hit run out of Rajasthan Royals skipper Sanju Samson set up Gujarat's fourth win in five matches.

MT: 5 Runs: 228 HS: 87* AVE: 76.00 SR: 136.52  50s: 2, 4s: 26  6s: 6

Wickets: BBI: 1/18 Bowl AVE: 35.00 Eco: 7.57 Bowl SR: 27.75 


READ: IPL 2022 Points Table Updated: Kolkata Knight Riders slips to fourth after losing to Sunrisers Hyderabad

Suryakumar Yadav (Mumbai Indians)

Jot down a T20 playing eleven anywhere in the world today, and it would be hard to look past Suryakumar Yadav in the middle-order. Suryakumar returned from a month's injury layoff with trademark flair and notched up 163 runs in three innings for an ill-fated Mumbai Indians. 

While the five-time champion is scrambling to plug the gaps, Suryakumar has looked at home in the finisher's slot. He has faced the bowlers with aplomb, and his audacious strokeplay has ticked all the right boxes in another T20 World Cup year.

'SKY' nearly led Mumbai to its first win with a 30-ball 43 in a 199-run chase against Punjab Kings, only to see it fizzle out and end in a fifth straight defeat. If Mumbai is to pull off an incredible U-turn, its senior pros Rohit Sharma, Kieron Pollard and Ishan Kishan will have to rally around Surya, who is currently in a league of his own.

MT: 3 Runs: 163 HS: 68* AVE: 81.50  SR: 158.25    100s: 50s: 2, 4s: 11  6s: 12


Other notable performers: 
Liam Livingstone (PBKS), Deepak Hooda (LSG)

Finishers

Shimron Hetmyer (Rajasthan Royals)

While his fitness standards have been questioned by West Indies time and again, Shimron Hetmyer has turned up with his own set of answers this season.

Hetmyer poses a menacing threat to the spinners in the middle-overs. But he has also ripped apart the pacers in the back-end in a relatively new role as a finisher.

The Rajasthan Royals powerhouse has dominated the death overs with his incredible six-hitting prowess at a jaw-dropping strike rate of 262.00. The Royals have preferred to bat big to defend totals and Hetmyer has been the ideal catalyst.

Sixty-six per cent (131) of Hetmyer's runs this season have come in the last four overs against the pacers, off which 110 runs have come off 14 sixes and eight fours. Cricket West Indies, he surely has your attention now.

MT: 5 Runs: 197 HS: 59* AVE: 65.67  SR: 177.47  50s: 1, 4s: 12 6s: 15


READ: IPL records: Top five most expensive overs in IPL history

Dinesh Karthik (wk) (Royal Challengers Bangalore)

He's still got it. Upon a sensational return to his former franchise, Dinesh Karthik has opened up talks of a potential return to India's T20I set-up.

The 36-year-old has led the carnage among Indian batters in the death overs with 85 runs from 39 balls at an astounding strike rate of 217.94. 

In five matches, Karthik had twice come in to break Bangalore out of jail in chases against Kolkata and Rajasthan. He was sent to provide the final flourish against Mumbai and Punjab. Karthik's invincible touch had him nearly pull off an improbable win over Chennai in a 217-run chase that ended in a close defeat. 

If the Tamil Nadu stalwart sustains his scorching form, he could emerge as a vital figure in India's final rehearsal for the T20 World Cup. And of course, the 'Ee Sala' chants will go through the roof.

MT: 3 Runs: 163 HS: 68* AVE: 81.50  SR: 158.25    100s: 50s: 2, 4s: 11  6s: 12


Other notable performers: Andre Russell (KKR)

READ: MS Dhoni to Chris Gayle - oldest batters to score an IPL fifty

Bowlers 

Harshal Patel (Royal Challengers Bangalore)

While his regular wickets made heads turn in 2021, Harshal Patel has now moulded himself into a silent enforcer in the middle-overs for Royal Challengers Bangalore.

After four matches, Harshal's figures from overs 7-16 read - 10-2-32-6. His staggering economy rate of 3.20 is the best among all bowlers as he continues his bid to become a prime T20 bowler for India with his variations.

Bangalore sorely missed their star bowler against Chennai Super Kings where they were subjected to a brutal assault by Shivam Dube and Robin Uthappa. They will hope for his swift return to action.

MT: 4 Wickets: 6 BBI: 2/11 Ave: 14.66 Eco: 5.50 SR: 16.0

 

Yuzvendra Chahal (Rajasthan Royals)

Stung by his snub from India's T20 World Cup squad last year, Yuzvendra Chahal has charted his comeback with his sizzling wicket-taking form for his new franchise.

Chahal leads the Purple Cap race with 12 wickets from five outings. His crucial spell of four for 41 against Lucknow Super Giants helped Royals snatch a thrilling three-run win.

The leggie has been the key enforcer for Royals in the middle overs. Chahal has snapped up the most wickets (11) in the phase and leads the tussle with his spin contemporaries in Kuldeep Yadav, Wanindu Hasaranga, Rashid Khan and Sunil Narine.  

MT: 5 Wickets: 12 BBI: 4/41 Ave: 11.33 Eco: 6.80 SR: 10.0


READ: IPL Purple Cap updated after SRH vs KKR: Yuzvendra Chahal continues to lead wickets tally

Umesh Yadav (Kolkata Knight Riders)

Three deliveries into his first IPL match in two years, Umesh Yadav removed the leading run-scorer of the 2021 edition, Ruturaj Gaikwad, to set the tone for his season.

Umesh's surge in the PowerPlay has seen him pick the most wickets (6) in the phase. While he has often drawn criticism for leaking runs, an improved Umesh has maintained an impressive economy of 6.60 from five matches so far.

READ: Umesh Yadav: Shreyas Iyer has been the best captain for me

MT: 6 Wickets: 10 BBI: 4/23 Ave: 16.30 Eco: 6.79 SR: 14.4

 

T Natarajan (Sunrisers Hyderabad)

Another star on the comeback trail, T Natarajan has returned from a spate of injuries with a point to prove. The left-armer has unloaded his famed yorkers once again to give a unique dimension to Sunrisers Hyderabad's four-dimensional seam attack.

While Kane Williamson's men rely on his nous in the death overs, Natarajan has also posed a threat up-front in the PowerPlay where he has picked four wickets from as many overs.

MT: 5 Wickets: 11 BBI: 3/37 Ave: 15.45 Eco: 8.50 SR: 10.91


Other notable performers:
Wanindu Hasaranga (RCB), Avesh Khan (LSG)

READ: Khaleel Ahmed excited to bowl at Wankhede Stadium for the first time in IPL 2022  

12th man: Tilak Varma (Mumbai Indians)

In his maiden IPL season, young Tilak Varma has flourished under the spotlight. Mumbai Indians has thrown him into the deep end, and he has vindicated the faith shown in him with 157 runs from five innings. In his second game, the 19-year-old batted like he belonged and smashed a 33-ball 61 against Rajasthan, albeit in a losing cause.

As Mumbai embraces a rocky transition phase, Tilak seems to be one among the few earmarked for bigger things in its imminent future.​

MT: 5 Runs: 157 HS: 61 AVE: 39.25 SR: 160.20  50s - 1 4s - 12 6s - 9
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