The IPL 2018 will mark the beginning of a new era in the Indian Premier League history. Since the league has finished its 10 years, the 11th edition of the tournament will see teams playing with new player combinations. This will have some impact on their performances and excitement will be on its highest when the tournament gets away.
In the precursor of tournament, we saw the auction of players happening on January 27 and 28 and it was full of exciting buys and retentions. Team will step in the IPL 2018 with new players and team combinations.
Keeping that in mind, we have prepared a dream playing XI of players who were bought and retained in the IPL 2018 auction and will be expected to do well in the upcoming 2018 edition.
Check out our IPL dream playing XI for the 2018 edition:
David Warner has not only changed the fortunes of Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) team in IPL as an opener but also as a captain. Warner took SRH took the title win in 2016 edition and also helped the team reach the play offs in the IPL 2017.
Warner also led from the front in IPL 2017 scoring 641 runs in 14 matches including a century. He is an explosive opener who is equally adept at playing spinners and quick bowlers. Warner was retained by Sunrisers Hyderabad in pre-auction player retention and this showed that the SRH team management has full faith in his abilities and leadership to lead the team to the title once again.
Virat Kohli is the only player in the Indian Premier League history to have played for just a single franchise, Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) since the inception in 2008. He is also the only player to have never entered the IPL auction, as he was chosen by RCB team management in 2008 from a draft of U19 players and has been retained ever since.
Kohli was also retained by RCB for IPL 2018, despite a lukewarm performance in IPL 2017, when RCB finished last in the points table. Virat Kohli has proven that he can play the game in any format and IPL 2016 was him displaying his abilities at his prime.
With eyes on redemption in IPL 2018, Virat Kohli will be raring to go with a new look RCB team in the 11th edition of IPL.
The greatest no.3 batsman in IPL history, Chennai Super Kings’ and Gujarat Lions’ Suresh Raina is the only player to score over 400 runs in eight of the 10 seasons of IPL. No one can forget his innings of 87 off 25 balls in IPL 2014 against KXIP and Raina has been CSK’s savior on many occasions.
Chennai Super Kings are making their comeback into the IPL fold and the first thing they did was retaining their ‘chinna thala’ for the IPL 2018. With 4540 runs in the Indian Premier League, Suresh Raina is the highest run-getter in the tournament and has only missed one game in all of the IPLs.
Raina played every match for CSK from 2008-2015 and every match for Gujarat Lions, barring the one he missed due to the birth of his daughter. This dedication and intensity towards the game have brought Raina back into the Indian team for South Africa T20I series and he will bring the same enthusiasm and liveliness in the CSK team when the men in yellow take the field in the IPL 2018.
AB de Villiers
AB de Villiers has been a revelation in the IPL ever since he was picked up by RCB in 2011. The injury had curtailed his IPL 2017, but he will be raring to go in the IPL 2017 after a break from cricket rejuvenated his spirits. He had a good IPL 2016, making 687 runs in 16 matches and his IPL career strike rate of 148.16 shows that he will be as dangerous as ever.
De Villiers was retained by RCB before the IPL 2018 auction and this showed that the 34 years old enigmatic South African was still in the long-term plans of RCB going into the 11th year of Indian Premier League.
The only three-time IPL trophy winning captain Rohit Sharma can bat anywhere in the batting order. Amongst the top 5 highest run-getters in IPL, Rohit Sharma has been consistent throughout his IPL career without being extraordinary.
Despite being an opener for India in the T20 format, Rohit refrains from opening for Mumbai Indians, choosing to bat at no.4 and strengthening the middle order. He is devastating on his day and his strike rate of 130.89 proves his ability to take the game away from the opposition.
MS Dhoni (C-WK)
MS Dhoni is back at the helm of Chennai Super Kings and Chennai have their ‘Thala’ back in the yellow jersey. After spending two seasons with Rising Pune Supergiant and having questions raised on his ability in T20 cricket, MS Dhoni was retained along with Suresh Raina by the CSK team for the IPL 2018.
The only captain to win two back to back IPL titles, MS Dhoni has been the perfect leader and the prototype finisher in the league. He had an excellent IPL season last year for RPS, performing the role of a finisher to the tee and led his side to the finals of the tournament. He has found his mojo back in the shortest format of the game and CSK will hope to revive the great MS Dhoni impact in IPL 2018.
Ben Stokes lit the IPL 2017 on fire with his bat and ball and was the main reason why RPS reached the finals of the tournament. He hit 316 runs at a strike rate of 142.98 with a century and picked 12 wickets as well.
Though he is currently embroiled in the court case with the CPS, Ben Stokes saw escalating bids for him in the IPL 2018 auction and Rajasthan Royals finally bid 12.5 crores for him. Stokes will be available for RR and he is expected to show his form in the IPL 2018, similar to that of 2017 edition.
Sunil Narine changed the fate of Kolkata Knight Riders since joining the team in 2012 season. He has picked 95 wickets in 82 matches so far and was responsible for KKR winning the tournament in 2012 and 2014. Though his performances have not been at the level of his previous outings; the impact of Narine on the psyche of the batsmen has been indelible.
His batting is a bonus for KKR in IPL 2017 and the highlight was his 15 ball half century, as he slammed 224 runs in the season. Narine will be expected to play a big role for KKR with both ball and bat.
Yuzvendra Chahal was picked up by Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in 2015 and he repaid their faith in him by picking 23 wickets in the season. He repeated the performance with 21 wickets in RCB’s best season in 2016.
While Chahal was not retained by RCB, they used their RTM card to buy Chahal back for the IPL 2018 auction. His success for RCB paved a way for Chahal to play for India and his performances for India in the past 12 months will give RCB hopes that he will help them win the title in 2018 edition.
With 35 wickets in last two editions of IPL for Mumbai Indians, Jasprit Bumrah has been a revelation in the IPL. He has gone on from being an IPL sensation to the mainstay of Indian fast bowling attack in limited overs format. Bumrah learned from the best in Lasith Malinga and Shane Bond in Mumbai Indians and has now surpassed the master, becoming the lead bowler for MI.
Bumrah was retained by Mumbai Indians and will continue to york the opposition batsmen in IPL 2018 edition.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar is the only bowler to win the Purple Cap twice in two seasons and is the only reason; he was retained by SRH along with David Warner. Widely considered to be the best T20 and death overs bowler, Bhuvneshwar is known for his yorkers and changes in speed; making it difficult for the batsmen to get him away in the last few overs of the innings.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar will be expected to continue his good run for SRH in the upcoming IPL 2018 season.