As confirmed by the BCCI President Sourav Ganguly, there will be an All Stars Match right before the tournament kicks off on 29th March. The reports from ESPNCricinfo suggest that the match will be played between the sides on the basis of zones. One side will comprise of players coming from South and West Indian franchises while the other side will include players from North and East Indian teams.
To explain it in simpler words, players from CSK, MI, SRH and RCB will combine to form one side while the rival side will have players from KKR, KXIP, DC and RR. Based on that report, we tried to make the best possible playing XI of both sides. In previous article, we gave you the predicted playing 11 of South-West team. In this one, we will discuss about the playing 11 of North-East team.
In case you missed the playing 11 of South-West team, click here : https://cricpick.in/ipl-all-stars-game-predicted-playing-11-of-south-west-team-made-of-cskrcb-srh-and-mi-players.html
North-East XI : ( DC+KKR+KXIP+RR )
Openers : Jos Buttler & KL Rahul (captain)
Overlooking the availability of English players on the scheduled day, Jos Buttler is a perfect partner to accompany KL Rahul at the top. Buttler’s strike rate hasn’t fallen below 150 in each of last 3 seasons and KL Rahul has had two glorious seasons with KXIP after recovering from a shoulder surgery in 2017. In case Buttler is unavailable, Chris Gayle will be the ideal replacement for him. With Ashwin being in the team as the main spinner, it would be fascinating to see Buttler keeping to him. In the last edition of IPL, Ashwin mankading Buttler had generated quite a bit of furore across the world.
Shubman Gill is a very promising youngster and has scored lots of runs in domestic cricket this season. However, he hasn’t got too many chances to showcase his talent at one of the greatest cricketing stages. Gill had an average season for KKR last time but let’s not forget he had batted lower down the order in a lot of matches which isn’t his strongest suit. He is a much better top order player which he had gone on to prove in the limited chances he got. He will be exciting to watch with Pant and one of Buttler or Rahul around him.
Rishabh Pant is a volcano of talent wanting but failing to explode at the International level but his IPL career has been a far cry from what he has achieved at international level. Pant has scored over 350 runs in each of last 3 seasons and his strike rate hasn’t gone below 160 in any of them. Pant bats at 4 for Delhi in IPL and this is the position where he has got all the success.
Shimron Hetmyer/ Nicholas Pooran
Both the players are very similar in the way they bat and they both bring a certain and much required Caribbean flavor in batting. Nicholas Pooran has slightly larger and better experience of playing IPL than Hetmyer has but considering the price tag associated with the latter, he is supposed to grab more eyeballs. There are Glenn Maxwell and Eoin Morgan too who can be picked to play at this position. With such a strong top order, a team would ideally want a dasher batting at 5 and Hetmyer, who showed great ball striking ability on his last 2 Indian tours gives them that option.
All-rounder : Andre Russell & Axar Patel
The most valuable player of IPL 2019, Andre Russell needs no explanation why he is in the side. Questions might be asked about Axar Patel’s inclusion in the side. Assuming that, there will be a limit of only 4 overseas players even for this match, Axar Patel and Krishnappa Gowtham were the only two Indian all-rounders available. With South-West side packed with Right handers, Axar Patel being a left hand bowler would give the captain more assurance than Gowtham. Also, in a one-off game and the lineup studded with so many star players, you don’t think he would quite get a chance to bat. On that note, Axar being the better bowler out of the two has to be picked to play at 7.
Spinners : Ravichandran Ashwin & Shreyas Gopal
As said above, it would be quite fun to watch Buttler and Ashwin playing for the same team after what had happened last year. Buttler’s IPL teammate Shreyas Gopal is one of the best leg spinners going around in IPL arena and Indian domestic circuit at the moment. Both these spinners pick themselves, clearly.
Fast Bowlers : Mohammad Shami & Jofra Archer
Who wouldn’t love to watch both Kagiso Rabada and Jofra Archer bowling hostile spells to someone like Virat Kohli or David Warner in tandem? However, since we are still unsure about the overseas players rule, we’d assume that only 4 overseas players would be allowed in this game and hence Rabada can be replaced by Mohammad Shami who keeps getting better day by day even in the shortest format. Shami just won India a game against New Zealand in final over. Archer, on the other hand, is injured at the moment but he should be match fit till this game. If he fails the fitness test, Kagiso Rabada as his replacement will be no brainer.