Mumbai pacer Dhawal Kulkarni, on Saturday, picked his best active IPL XI and named MS Dhoni as the skipper of the side over both Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli. Kulkarni’s side also included Suresh Raina, Jasprit Bumrah, and Hardik Pandya alongside the Windies duo of Dwayne Bravo and Chris Gayle.
A relentlessly consistent pacer who relies on bowling in the corridor of uncertainty, Dhawal Kulkarni has been one of the most consistent performers in domestic cricket over the course of the last decade and that, in turn, has also enabled him to become a seasoned campaigner in the IPL. Kulkarni, who currently is a part of the Mumbai Indians side, has previously played for Gujarat Lions and Rajasthan Royals and his consistency across platforms even saw him play 12 ODIs for India between 2014 and 2016.
On Saturday, however, the pacer decided to have some fun and in an Instagram chat with Cricktracker, decided to pick his current best IPL XI. The 31-year-old chose Universe Boss Chris Gayle and Hitman Rohit Sharma as the side’s openers, leaving out both KL Rahul and David Warner, who have been tearing the competition apart in recent years. Unsurprisingly, the pacer’s No.3 and No.4 spots were occupied by the RCB duo of Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers, while Chennai Super Kings’ Suresh Raina took the No.5 spot in the side.
Kulkarni named MS Dhoni as the captain and wicket-keeper of the side at No.6 and, interestingly, opted for two charismatic all-rounders - Dwayne Bravo and Hardik Pandya - at No.7 and No.8. Sunrisers Hyderabad’s Rashid Khan took the spot at No.9 as the lone spinner in Kulkarni’s side, while the prolific Indian white-ball duo of Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar completed the pacer’s side.
Dhawal Kulkarni’s current-best IPL XI: Chris Gayle, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, Suresh Raina, MS Dhoni (C & WK), Dwayne Bravo, Hardik Pandya, Rashid Khan, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar.