IPL 2020: ‘Don’t think any No. 3 has batted as well as him,’ Sanjay Manjrekar picks his IPL XI

Former India batsman and renowned commentator has chosen his 2020 IPL XI, and it’s a list that doesn’t really pack many surprises. Manjrekar’s XI is fairly on expected notes barring one or two entries. Royal Challengers Bangalore captain Virat Kohli, despite being RCB’s second-highest run-getter for his team, does not find a place in the XI, with Manjrekar instead going ahead with Mumbai Indians’ No. 3 Suryakumar Yadav.

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“My No. 3 is Suryakumar Yadav, which is great for someone like him to have made it to this IPL XI. He bats at No. 3 and I don’t think any No. 3 has batted as well and as consistently as he’s done. It’s not just about runs and consistency but also about the quality of shots as well that he’s played. At No. 4 is AB de Villiers; no matter his age, he still makes all your al-time XIs,” Manjrekar said in a video posted by ESPNCricinfo.

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Despite a memorable IPL debut season, Devdutt Padikkal did not find a place in Manjrekar’s XI. Padikkal not just became only the second player to pile 400 runs or more in his maiden season playing the IPL, he also emerged as the leading run-scorer for RCB with 463 runs from 15 matches. Manjrekar instead picked Kings XI Punjab’s opening pair of KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal.

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“The idea is to pick players who’ve had a pretty good IPL and I’m going to restrict myself to four foreign players and keep that discipline and make that job tougher. For the opening pair, I’ve gone with KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal. It was very tempting to go for a Quinton de Kock but then I have just four foreign players and I wanted to use them very carefully,” he added.

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For the middle order and bowling line-up, it wasn’t much of a surprise with some expected names making an entry in Manjrekar’s team. “At No. 5 I’ve got Nicholas Pooran, who’s perfectly suited to bat there. We’re still to see the best of Nicholas Pooran but clearly what you’ve seen so far you can see that he’s a dangerous player,” he said. “When it comes to fast bowling, I’m looking at Jofra Archer, who better them him to shoulder the responsibility. Bumrah, obviously comes in and I don’t think I need to explain.”

Ace leg-spinners Rashid Khan and Yuzvendra Chahal were the two front line spinners in Manjrekar’s XI along with the presence of Axar Patel as the batting all-rounder. “I’m going to go with the ever-reliable champion bowler from Afghanistan Rashid Khan and [Yuzvendra] Chahal because he’s had a great IPL and it’s almost like he’s got this freedom from the Chinnaswamy stadium to bowl on these stadiums of the UAE,” Manjrekar added.

“Axar Patel is my batting all-rounder. He flies under the radar, but this IPL, he’s delivered the match winning, little doses of impact performance to make a difference. Mohammed Shami has been great bowling in the death so he’ll be my pick. I’ll go with KL Rahul as my wicketkeeper batsman.”

Sanjay Manjrekar’s IPL XI: 1 KL Rahul (WK), 2 Mayank Agarwal, 3 Suryakumar Yadav, 4 AB de Villiers, 5 Nicholas Pooran, 6 Axar Patel, 7 Rashid Khan, 8 Jofra Archer, 9 Yuzvendra Chahal, 10 Mohammed Shami, 11 Jasprit Bumrah

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