On the day (12th May) Mumbai Indians defeated Chennai Super Kings by one run in the thrilling IPL 2019 final, Rohit Sharma and Suresh Raina caught up with each other in a live session on Instagram. Sharma captained the winning Mumbai team in that IPL final whereas Raina batted at number three for the Chennai side. Apart from discussing their international careers, the duo also put their heads down to select a combined all-time XI from Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings.
— Suresh Raina?? (@ImRaina) May 11, 2020
Before selecting the dream team, Sharma and Raina both decided to be in the coaching camp rather than putting up their own names in the final XI. There was scarcely any doubt as to who the openers were going to be. Both the Indian batsmen decided to open the innings with Sachin Tendulkar and Matthew Hayden. Interestingly, Hayden had won the orange cap in IPL 2010 whereas Tendulkar won it the year after.
The Yellow Army dominates the middle order by claiming three out of the next four places. Faf du Plessis, Ambati Rayudu, Kieron Pollard and MS Dhoni take these spots. Rayudu, who currently plays for CSK, has represented MI for seven years from 2010 to 2017. Dhoni not only leads the combined XI but will also keep the wickets.
The lower-middle order is packed with all-rounders. Hardik Pandya from MI is an obvious selection alongside Dwayne Bravo and Ravindra Jadeja from CSK. Bravo has won the purple cap twice and remains the only bowler to take more than 30 wickets in a single season.
Harbhajan Singh will be the primary spinner of this team. The turbanator played in blue for 10 seasons before shifting to CSK in 2017. Jasprit Bumrah shall spearhead the pace bowling attack. Sri Lankan legend Lasith Malinga misses out because of the four overseas players restriction.
Rohit Sharma and Suresh Raina’s MI-CSK combined XI: Sachin Tendulkar, Matthew Hayden, Faf du Plessis, Ambati Rayudu, MS Dhoni (C & WK), Kieron Pollard, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Dwayne Bravo, Harbhajan Singh, Jasprit Bumrah.