Mumbai, Apr 18 : On the 13th anniversary of IPL, Star Sports expert Jury on Saturday named CSK captain M S Dhoni and Mumbai Indians skipper Rohit Sharma as the joint Greatest of All Time (GOATs) captains of the cash-rich tournament.
The Star Sports expert jury on Cricket Connected show, which airs every Saturday at 1900 hrs, were split right down the middle, to make their pick on the greatest ever captain. While Dhoni shouldered the responsibility of taking the Yellow Army to 10 playoffs out of the 11 seasons, Rohit proved to be the most successful captain, pocketing four titles in seven seasons for Mumbai Indians.
The jury picked 'Mr 360 Degrees' AB De Villiers as the GOAT in the batsmen category. It was a tough choice as the shortlist comprised of players such as Suresh Raina and Virat Kohli, who are among the leading run scorers. Chris Gayle, the biggest entertainer of the IPL, was also part of the list, but in the end, De Villiers won the battle due to his skill of negotiating any kind of bowling attack, coupled with the widest range of shots. The South African's ability to turn the match from any position in the favour of his team, also earned him several brownie points. Royal Challengers Bangalore and Team India captain Virat Kohli was voted the IPL's greatest Indian batsman for being the highest scorer in the history of the tournament with 5412 runs in 177 matches, at a staggering average of 37.84.
Mumbai Indians' pacer machine Lasith Malinga, the leading wicket-taker of the IPL so far with 170 scalps in 122 matches, took away the title of the GOAT in the bowler's category. Kolkata Knight Riders' spinner Sunil Narine occupied the second position, while SRH pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar finished third, but was voted the Greatest Indian Bowler in the IPL. Shane Watson, one of CSK’s vital cog in the wheel, won the battle among the GOAT all-rounders.
Watson, who fought valiantly for the Yellow Brigade in the 2019 VIVO IPL final with a bloodied knee, went past Dwayne Bravo and the powerful Andre Russell, primarily due to his consistency. Even though the Australian does not bowl anymore, what went in his favour were his vital contributions to the side in the earlier years during his bowling days. In the Coach category, the calm and composed Stephen Fleming (Chennai Super Kings) emerged the winner as he pipped Trevor Bayliss of KKR by a small margin.
The jury comprised of 50 members, including 20 former cricketers, 10 senior sports journalists, as many statisticians & analysts, seven broadcasters, and three anchors and analysts, who chose the best among the list of top 10 players in each category and a list of five players each in categories of Greatest Captain and Coach. A shortlist of three names based on the 50-member jury's votes were then deliberated upon by former KKR captain and two-time IPL champion Gautam Gambhir, former England captain Kevin Pietersen, ICC World Cup and IPL champion Ashish Nehra, 2007 ICC World T20-winning all-rounder Irfan Pathan and former Kiwi pacer and IPL commentator Danny Morrison. UNI