Two CSK boys, MS Dhoni and Suresh Raina will feature in the team © IANS
Two CSK boys, MS Dhoni and Suresh Raina will feature in the team © IANS

Chennai Super Kings (CSK) won the Champions League T20 (CLT20) 2014 by beating the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) by eight wickets. Through the tournament, there were many notable performers, who put in impact performances for their respective sides. Nishad Pai Vaidya picks the XI for the tournament, which is mostly dominated by the Chennai, Kolkata and the Hobart Hurricanes players.

1. Robin Uthappa (R: 210, Ave: 52.50, SR: 131.25)

One cannot keep Robin Uthappa out of the side given the power of his side. Though he missed the first game, he came back into the side and scored runs instantly. He would have finished as the leading run-getter had Suresh Raina not unleashed his fury in the final. Uthappa has been quite assured and played some delightful shots.

2. Kane Williamson (R: 244, Ave: 40.66, SR: 151.55)

Kane Williamson was the most impressive batsman of the tournament for the simple fact that he showed that class has its place in the shortest format. Williamson played good cricket shots and also scored a ton in the tournament. Through that, there was an air of dependability. It didn’t look as if he was smashing them around the park, but merely caressing them.

3. Suresh Raina (R: 234, Ave: 58.50, SR: 173.33)

There were two innings that stood out, the most important one of which came in the final. Against the Dolphins, he missed out on a ton, but his innings was brutal and punished the South African unit. And, cometh the hour, cometh the man! On the big day, Raina unleashed his best and pummeled the Kolkata Knight Riders bowling into submission.

4. Aiden Blizzard (R: 188, Ave: 47.00, SR: 140.29)

Aiden Blizzard was an important player in the Hobart Hurricanes unit and inspired them to lift their game. His last ball six against Cape Cobras was one such moment and his two important fifties helped them record crucial fifties. He was unlucky to miss out in the semi-final but has walked home with his head held high.

5. Shoaib Malik (R: 172, Ave: 86.00, SR: 138.70)

Shoaib Malik has been in good form in T20 cricket and carried that into this tournament. In the middle order, he was a calming influence and helped shape the innings for Hobart. In the semi-final, he rose to the occasion and paced his innings quite beautifully. Not only does he maintain the scoring rate with quick singles, but also targets the boundaries when the opportunities come by.

6. Jonathan Carter (R: 203, Ave: 67.66, SR: 136.24)

Jonathan Carter was the leading run-getter of the CLT20 2014 until the final, where Uthappa and Raina overhauled him. But, the fact that his tally of 203 came only in four matches shows how well he played. Against the Cape Cobras, he scored a magnificent ton. He was inventive and brave in his strokeplay. Barbados Tridents depended on him to guide their innings in the middle.

7. MS Dhoni (R: 93, Ave: 31.00, SR 178.84, Dismissals: 4) (captain and wicketkeeper)

Dhoni may not have produced the big knocks with the bat, but finished the tournament in style — finishing with a strike-rate of 178.84. Dhoni was sound behind the stumps and captained his style well. Taking a few brave decisions, Dhoni’s calls paid off. For example, he handed the ball to Pawan Negi in the final to bowl the penultimate over and he responded by taking three wickets in that over.

8. Sunil Narine (W: 12, Ave: 8.83, ER: 5.30)

Sunil Narine was at his devastating best, spinning a web around the batsmen. An average of 8.83 is mid-boggling and shows how effective he was. Sadly for Kolkata, he was suspended from bowling due to a suspect action and couldn’t take part in the final. Had he played the final, he could have made a difference.

9. Pawan Negi (W: 7, Ave: 7.14, ER: 6.25)

Negi was picked from obscurity for the semi-final and he smashed a six off his first ball. But, it was his bowling that grabbed the headlines. Against the Kings XI Punjab, he took two wickets. In the final, he returned with fantastic figures of five for 22, the best in CLT20 history. The youngster bowled admirably and responded to the team management’s faith.

10. Ashish Nehra (W: 10, Ave: 15.30, ER: 8.05)

The left-armer was back in form and showed that he is still a wicket-taking force. Ashish Nehra had a bad day on the final, but delivered crucial spells through the tournament. In the first game against Kolkata, he was the one who got Chennai in a good position. In the semi-final too, he delivered with important wickets.

11. Ben Hilfenhaus (W: 8, Ave: 16.87, ER: 6.75)

It was a toss-up between Ben Hilfenhaus and Doug Bollinger. Hilfenhaus beat his Hobart teammate as he had a better economy rate. The right-armer picked up wickets upfront and was consistent in the tournament.

(Nishad Pai Vaidya is a Correspondent with CricketCountry and anchor for the site’s YouTube Channel. His Twitter handle is @nishad_44)