The Indian Premier League (IPL) will surely occupy the pole position among the multitude of cricket leagues in the world. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) stages the grand T20 spectacle every year for about 7 weeks, typically in the summer months of April and May.
Apart from the top Indian Superstars, the IPL also sees several foreign behemoths plying their trade in the league. And, the IPL has also proven to be the breeding ground for new talent to blossom.
Also, there have been several legends who have taken part in the league and given fans fond memories that will stay with them forever. These legends have now walked into the sunset, but their deeds will be remembered with a great sense of nostalgia.
Having said that, let us take a look at the best-retired XI of all time in IPL history:
1. Shane Watson
It is hard to look beyond the man who retired from the IPL after the 13th edition. Shane Watson is an all-time IPL legend, and his numbers stand testimony to the same. The Australian all-rounder featured in 145 IPL matches and scored 3874 runs at an average of 30.99. What made Watson a matchwinner is a fact that he scored his runs at a strike rate of 137.91.
Watson was also extremely handy with the ball as well. The right-arm pacer took 92 wickets in his career. In fact, Watson took the IPL by storm in the inaugural edition in 2008, where he won the ‘Player of the Tournament’ award. The right-hander scored a whopping 472 runs with the willow for the Rajasthan side in the 2008 edition. With the ball, Watson picked up 17 wickets to allow Rajasthan to win the first-ever edition.
With such an imposing record and with his ability to change matches on their head, Watson will open the batting in this all-time retired IPL XI. He played his last match in IPL cricket in the 2020 edition, for the Chennai Super Kings (CSK).
2. Parthiv Patel
He was diminutive. He could rip through any bowling attack at the top of the order. And, his ability to pick the gaps in the powerplay made him such a valuable asset for whichever IPL side he played for. Parthiv Patel was a batsman who could rattle the opposition with his dexterity.
In his IPL career, Parthiv Patel turned out for as many as 6 teams. And, at the end of his career, he can look back at his journey with a sense of satisfaction. He has scored 500 or more runs for three different teams in IPL cricket (911 for Mumbai, 731 for Bangalore, and 516 for Chennai).
Parthiv played a total of 139 matches in the IPL and scored 2848 runs at an average of 22.60. He played his last match on 4th May 2019. And, in December 2020, Patel announced his retirement from all forms of cricket.
3. Gautam Gambhir (C)
It is impossible to have a retired IPL XI without this man’s name in it. Gautam Gambhir piled up highly impressive numbers in his IPL career that lasted a decade. The left-hander played 154 matches in the IPL and scored 4217 runs at an average of 31.01. He is the 10th highest run-scorer in the history of the league.
Gambhir started his IPL career with the Delhi Daredevils side, but then subsequently moved to the Kolkata Knight Riders franchise. And, it was during his stint as the Kolkata skipper that Gambhir showed the world what an impactful leader he was. The southpaw led the Kolkata side to two IPL triumphs in 2012 and 2014.
Gambhir then moved back to the Delhi side in the 2018 IPL edition where he played his last IPL game. Gambhir will lead this all-time retired IPL XI.
4. Michael Hussey
He was a man who was one of the most dependable batsmen in the IPL. Michael Hussey has generated some glittering numbers. The Australian batting legend played 59 IPL matches and scored 1977 runs at an incredible average of 38.76.
Hussey also won the Orange Cap in the 2013 edition of the IPL. Turning out for the Chennai Super Kings (CSK), Hussey aggregated a whopping 733 runs with the willow, at an average of 52.35 in the 6th edition.
The left-hander played his final IPL match on 24th May 2015, against the Mumbai Indians side. Needless to say, there were very few players in the IPL who could strike the cricket ball with as much grace and panache as this batsman from the land of the kangaroos.
5. Subramanian Badrinath
He was a batsman who might not appeal to you at first sight. He was a batsman who did not play the most audacious strokes with the willow. But, as far as utility is concerned, he was a batsman who would rank right at the top.
Subramaniam Badrinath scored his runs in a methodical way and stepped up for his side with the willow exactly when the situation demanded. The right-hander played 95 matches in IPL cricket and scored 1441 runs at a respectable average of 30.66. He was also a part of the Chennai Super Kings’ squad that won the IPL on two consecutive occasions (2010 and 2011).
Apart from his prowess with the willow, Badrinath was also extremely agile on the field as well. The Tamil Nadu batsman played his final game in IPL cricket in the year 2013, against the Mumbai Indians.
6. JP Duminy
At No.6 comes a man who could switch modes according to the situation of the match. JP Duminy was a man who could rotate the strike, pick the gaps scoring ones and twos, and at the same time also unleash himself and launch an assault on the opposition if the situation demanded him to do so.
And, Duminy has an astounding record in the IPL. The South African played 83 matches in the IPL and scored 2029 runs at an average close to 40 (39.78). He also scored 14 fifties in his IPL career.
In his IPL journey, the left-hander rendered his services for 3 teams. He started his career with the Mumbai Indians, then moved on to the Deccan Chargers, then moved to the Delhi outfit before finishing his IPL career in the same place where he started, Mumbai Indians. He played his final season in the year 2018.
7. Irfan Pathan
At No.7, we have a man who was extremely useful with both the bat and ball in hand. Irfan Pathan is a cricketer who has loads of experience in the IPL. Pathan played 103 matches in the IPL, and picked up 80 wickets at a strike rate of 25.54. With the bat too, Pathan was a handy customer and scored 1139 runs at an average of 21.49.
Pathan kept moving from one franchise to another in his IPL career, and took the field for as many as 5 different sides. He started out with Kings XI Punjab, then moved on to the Delhi outfit, spent a year each with Sunrisers Hyderabad and Rising Pune Supergiant, before finally ending his career with the Gujarat Lions in the year 2017.
In his final IPL edition, he featured in just one match for the Gujarat Lions side. After his cricketing days, Pathan has donned the role of an actor and will be seen opposite Chiyaan Vikram in the Tamil film Cobra.
8. Zaheer Khan
His action was so smooth. His leap was a visual feast, and his ability to make the ball obey his command marked him out as a legend of his time. Zaheer Khan was a man who thrilled cricketing aficionados with the ball for more than a decade.
And, in the IPL too, the left-arm seamer provided some incredible moments for the fans to relish. Zaheer turned out for 3 teams in his IPL career. He started out with the Royal Challengers Bangalore side, then moved to the Mumbai Indians, went back to the Bangalore outfit before finally ending his career with the Delhi Capitals.
And, Zaheer’s numbers in the IPL are incredible. The former Indian pacer featured in exactly 100 matches in the IPL and took 102 wickets. He averaged 27.27, and his strike rate was excellent too, at 21.57. The Indian left-arm pacer last played in the IPL in the year 2017.
9. Anil Kumble
The specialist spinner’s place in this retired IPL XI is taken by the legendary Anil Kumble. The leg-spin maestro has a good record in IPL cricket. Kumble featured in 42 matches and picked up 45 wickets. But then, what made him a lethal weapon was his ability to dry up the runs.
Kumble’s economy rate in his IPL career was just 6.58. He featured in the IPL for 3 editions, and in all the 3 editions, he played for the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) side. In the 2009 edition of the IPL, Kumble emerged as the second-highest wicket-taker of the tournament, picking up 21 wickets. His exploits with the ball helped his side to finish as the runners-up in the second IPL edition.
The Indian spinner played his last game in IPL cricket in the year 2010. And, even in his final game, he did not allow the opposition to be at peace. Kumble picked up 4 wickets, giving away just 16 runs in 3.3 overs, and helped the Bangalore side to thrash the Deccan Chargers by 9 wickets.
10. Lasith Malinga
Lasith Malinga occupies a pedestal of his own, a pedestal that no bowler can reach in IPL cricket. The Sri Lankan bowling legend has a monstrous tally of 170 wickets against his name and is the highest wicket-taker in the IPL. He also picked up 6 four-wicket hauls with the white ball in hand in the Indian T20 league.
Malinga played the IPL for more than a decade. And, he played for just one franchise, the Mumbai Indians. He was a part of the victorious Mumbai side on 4 occasions. Malinga could bowl the yorker with pinpoint perfection, and when he was at his best, the batsmen experienced troubled times.
The Mumbai pacer played his last IPL match in the year 2019. Of the last ball he bowled in his IPL career, Malinga dismissed Shardul Thakur in the 2019 IPL final to help his side to beat the Chennai side by a solitary run and win the title.
11. RP Singh
The final name who makes it to the coveted all-time retired IPL XI is RP Singh. Singh could make the new ball move according to his will and was a tricky customer to handle upfront. The left-arm seamer accumulated very good numbers in his IPL career.
He played 82 games and picked up 90 wickets. But then, it was the regularity with which he picked up his wickets that made him the ‘go-to’ man for his side, and Singh’s strike rate of just 19.72 validates the same.
Again, Singh featured for 5 teams in his career. He initially started with Deccan Chargers, then moved to the Kochi Tuskers Kerala side, and spent one year with Mumbai Indians, Royal Challengers Bangalore, and the Rising Pune Supergiant side. Singh enjoyed his most fruitful stint with the Deccan Chargers. He won the Purple Cap award in the 2009 IPL edition, picking up 23 wickets, and helped the Adam Gilchrist-led side to lift the title.
He played his last match in the league on 10th May 2016 against Sun Risers Hyderabad (SRH).
Note: All the stats have been taken from Cricinfo, Cricbuzz, and Howstat cricket and have been updated as of 2nd February 2021.
Source: The source of this content is our cricket news platform Crictracker.
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