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Former India spin wizard Anil Kumble made a bold call as he decided to keep AB de Villiers out of his all-time Indian Premier League (IPL) XI. Kumble further explained the exclusion of de Villiers as he included 2011 World Cup-winning captain and four-time IPL winner MS Dhoni over the South African legend.
Both Dhoni and de Villiers established themselves as lethal hitters of the cricket ball during their playing careers with the trademark shots associated with their names. Although de Villiers is widely referred to as ‘Mr. Dhoni, on the other hand, was a ‘helicopter shot’ and a match-finisher, thanks to his sensational ability to make 360′ runs to all corners of the ground.
Chris Gayle, Suresh Raina, Scott Styris, Parthiv Patel, Robin Uthappa, and Anil Kumble had to select an all-time IPL XI during a two-part episode – ‘Legends Lounge’ on JioCinema. During the segment, Kumble revealed that it would be ‘difficult’ to choose the former Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) star over the CSK skipper.
“It is very difficult to get AB de Villiers in my team because MS Dhoni is captain and wicketkeeper at number five and (Kieron) Pollard at number six. I will look at the impact that particular player has at No. 6 in terms of winning matches from difficult positions and of course, titles are something that I have seen at No. 6 as well,” said Kumble.
It is worth noting that de Villiers is the sixth-highest run-scorer in the history of the cash-rich league. In 184 outings and 170 innings, the right-handed batsman amassed 5,162 runs at an average of 39.71 and his highest score was 133 in an innings. Regardless, the South African great’s contribution to the sport has never gone unnoticed and he is considered one of the greatest players by many fans and members of the cricket fraternity.
All-time IPL XI selected by legends: Chris Gayle, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, Rohit Sharma, AB de Villiers, MS Dhoni (c&wk), Hardik Pandya, Sunil Narine, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah, Lasith Malinga.