IPL 2022 – Best Playing XI of the third week of the tournament
The third week of the tournament was jam-packed with thrilling cricket action. Chennai Super Kings (CSK) opened their account in their fifth match against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) this week, thanks to a record 165-run third-wicket partnership between Robin Uthappa and Shivam Dube. Meanwhile, the Mumbai Indians (MI), the tournament’s five-time champions, suffered their fifth successive defeat.
As the tournament enters the middle stages, points tables are taking shape and teams’ lineups appear to be consistent. The reason for this is that their key players are playing at the correct time. When it comes to crucial players, a few players stood out during the tournament’s third week, and in this article, we are going to run down the best playing XI of the third week of the tournament.
Number 1. Robin Uthappa
Robin Uthappa, the perennially dependable and proven match-winner, has been a part of the IPL since its inception in 2008 and has constantly produced runs for his respective teams in a professional manner. After performing effectively in the little opportunities he received for the franchise in 2021, Chennai Super Kings (CSK) secured Uthappa’s services in the 2022 mega auction.
The experienced opener smashed his highest IPL total of 88 from 50 balls in a match against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), comprising nine maximums and four boundaries. His knock came at a critical time for the squad, as he helped his team earn their first victory of the season after four straight defeats.
Uthappa is CSK’s second-highest run-scorer this season, with 194 runs in five matches. Hopefully, he can maintain his current form in the remaining matches and offer a firm foundation for the four-time IPL champions.
Number 2. David Warner
David Warner is one of the best left-handed openers in the modern age across all three formats. With the exception of last year, the Australian hitter has been the only constant international player to score 500 or more runs in every season since 2014. His consistency and ability to score runs fast elevate him to the ranks of the best batters in IPL history.
Warner hit 61 off 45 balls in his second game of the season against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), helping Delhi Capitals (DC) reach a magnificent total of 215/5. His spectacular knock featured six fours and two sixes. It was enough for Delhi to drown Kolkata and get back on track.
The 35-year-old batsman, who had a bad run in IPL 2021, would try to keep the strong start going as Rishabh Pant & Co. aim for their first trophy after a couple of playoff exits.
Number 3. Shivam Dube
Shivam Dube, a powerful middle-order batsman and a useful medium pacer, was a key founding member of CSK in the 2022 season. At the IPL 2022 mega auction, Chennai paid INR 4 crores for the Mumbai-based all-rounder. The 28-year-old has a reputation for hitting the ball cleanly and has played up to expectations this season.
Dube hit an unbeaten 95-run knock off 46 balls against RCB on Tuesday, his highest IPL score. His spectacular knock contained eight sixes and five fours. The southpaw combined with Robin Uthappa to sew the biggest third-wicket partnership in IPL history, propelling CSK to a mammoth total enough to secure their first win of IPL 2022.
So far, Dube has had a breakout season in the yellow jersey. The daring hitter has smashed 207 runs in 5 matches with a great strike rate of 176.92. The Mumbai all-rounder will seek to continue his good form as he attempts to make a comeback to the Indian team.
Number 4. Suryakumar Yadav
Suryakumar Yadav has been the most productive batter for the Mumbai Indians (MI) during the last three years. The middle-order hitter missed the first two games of the season owing to a finger injury, but he made a strong comeback in the third game against the Kolkata Knight Riders, scoring 52 runs off 36 balls (KKR).
In terms of this week’s performance, the versatile batter struck an undefeated 68 runs off 37 balls against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) to rescue the team from a precarious position when they were 79/6. Yadav’s inning was impressive on a pitch where numerous Mumbai batters struggled to score, as he hammered six sixes and five fours all over the park.
In the following game, the Mumbaikar maintained his form with a stunning knock of 43 runs off 30 balls. However, his knocks were ineffective in preventing Mumbai’s defeat. The five-time IPL champions will be hoping Suryakumar continues his outstanding form as they attempt to return to the championship after five straight defeats.
Number 5. Hardik Pandya
The captain of the new IPL franchise, Gujarat Titans (GT), has excelled in all three areas. Pandya has led his side from the front to the top of the points table as captain, with four wins in five matches. After a lengthy injury layoff, the ace all-rounder returned to action and has been in superb form ever since.
Pandya contributed a responsible unbroken 50 off 42 balls against Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH), helping his club register a competitive total of 162 on the board. With the ball in four quota overs, the 28-year-old took one wicket at a 6.75 economy rate.
The flashy all-rounder from Baroda then struck an eye-catching knock of 87* off 52 balls in the following game against Rajasthan Royals (RR). He hit eight fours and four sixes in his superb knock. With the ball in hand, he contributed to bowling once more, taking one wicket in 2.3 overs. Hardik Pandya also caused Sanju Samson to be run out, which turned the game in Gujarat’s favour.
Number 6. Dinesh Karthik
Dinesh Kartik is one of the few cricketers to have played in every IPL season since 2008. As a captain, he also guided the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) to the playoffs in 2018. Throughout his IPL career, the experienced wicket-keeper batsman has performed admirably and represented six different teams. Royal Challengers Bangalore purchased him in the 2022 mega auction.
So far this season, the 36-year-old cricketer has lived up to the expectations of his new franchise. Kartik played only two balls in their game against the Mumbai Indians (MI) and struck an undefeated seven, including one six. As Bangalore chased down the total decisively, the top-order made major contributions.
Karthik hammered 34 runs with a strike rate of 242.86 in their next game against Chennai Super Kings (CSK), including two fours and three sixes. However, the squad fell short of the 23-run mark, allowing the reigning champions to claim their first victory of the season.
Number 7. Andre Russell
When it comes to T20 cricket, the Caribbean allrounder is one of the most destructive and hard-hitting batsmen. In recent editions, he has been one of the top performers for Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR). He was one of four players retained by the franchise before to the 2022 mega auction.
He took the wicket of Rishabh Pant, who was looking dangerous, in the fifth league encounter against Delhi Capitals (DC). In the following game, against Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH), he batted brilliantly, scoring 49 runs off 25 deliveries, including four boundaries and as many sixes. With the ball, he took key wickets of Kane Williamson and Rahul Tripathi but was unable to save his team from losing.
Andre Russell has been the trump card for the Kolkata-based team, whether it’s in run-chases or setting a large total. Hopefully, his all-round qualities can help the 2021 runner-up win their third IPL crown.
Number 8. Yuzvendra Chahal
Yuzvendra Chahal, a veteran leg-spinner, is currently one of the most proficient leg-spinners in the world. He has established himself as a bowler who can beat any batsmen with his variations over the last several years. Despite his shenanigans with the ball, Royal Challengers Bangalore discharged him (RCB). The Rajasthan Royals (RR) eventually won the big auction for INR 6.50 crores.
Chahal has already made his mark in Rajasthan colours with some outstanding performances. He was named player of the match after bowling 4/41 against the Lucknow Super Giants, who comprised Quinton De Kock, Ayush Badoni, Krunal Pandya, and Dushmantha Chameera. The 31-year-old then dismissed a dangerous-looking Abhinav Manohar on a score of 43 in the following game against Gujarat Titans (GT).
Chahal now owns the Purple Cap after taking 12 wickets in five matches at an economy of 6.80 runs per over. He has been in superb form, and Rajasthan would want him to keep it up as they seek their second IPL title.
Number 9. Kuldeep Yadav
Kuldeep Yadav is a unique breed of spinner who can bowl leg-spin with his left arm. His previous two IPL seasons, however, were not quite up to par, as he largely warmed the benches for Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), leading to his exclusion from the Indian cricket team.
However, he has resurrected his career after the Delhi Capitals (DC) signed him for the IPL 2022 mega auction. Kuldeep has taken 10 wickets in four matches, at an economy of 7.40 runs per over. Kuldeep has shown more courage in bowling this year than the prior year, and he has never wavered from his objectives, even in difficult situations.
Kuldeep underlined his worth against his former team, KKR, taking four wickets, including Shreyas Iyer and Pat Cummins. His performance as Player of the Match aided his team’s defence of the total and return to winning ways.
Number 10. Kagiso Rabada
Kagiso Rabada, a South African speedster, is recognised for his raw velocity, bounce, and accuracy. Rabada has climbed rapidly in international cricket since his debut and is now a key bowler for South Africa. In the ongoing IPL season, he has continued to do well for his new IPL team, Punjab Kings (PBKS). The franchise paid a whopping INR 9.25 crores for him in the 2022 auction, and the seasoned fast bowler is living up to the expensive price tag.
The Johannesburg native took two key wickets of Rohit Sharma and Suryakumar Yadav in a league encounter against the Mumbai Indians. The pacer finished his session with statistics of 2/29, assisting his team to their third victory of the competition.
The speedster has featured in over 50 IPL games and was instrumental in the Delhi Capitals’ incredible run in 2019 and 2020. Hopefully, he’ll bring the same zeal to his new IPL team this season as they go for their first IPL crown.
Number 11. T Natarajan
Thangarasu Natarajan, a Tamil Nadu native, is well-known for hitting yorker lengths at will in death overs. Natarajan dominated the 2020 IPL season with continuous yorkers, earning him a spot on the national team. This season, he was repurchased by Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) at the super auction earlier this year for INR 4 crores.
So far in IPL 2022, the left-arm bowler has been in fantastic form. Natarajan gave the opposition the early lead against the Chennai Super Kings (CSK), picking up two wickets at a 7.50 economy rate. In the following game against Gujarat Titans (GT), he regularly hit the right places, earning him two more wickets in his four overs quota.
On the first delivery of his last stint against the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), the Yorker specialist sent Venkatesh Iyer back to the pavilion. He also dismissed Nitish Rana, who was on 54 at the time. He finished with 3/37 as Hyderabad defeated Kolkata in their third game of the season.