Chopra names his T20I XI of the decade
Former Indian cricketer Aakash Chopra recently made the headlines when he picked ODI XI of the decade. Now, he has picked his T20I team of the decade and the video of which was shared on his official Facebook page.
Players like MS Dhoni, Chris Gayle, AB de Villiers and David Warner didn’t make it to the XI. The former Indian opening batsman also gave a reasonable explanation as to why he didn’t pick these players.
“It was a very difficult exercise because a lot of players have not even played 50 matches for their team in the last 10 years. That happened with a lot of West Indians. The team is good, they only come together to lift trophies. For example, Chris Gayle does not have even 40 matches.”
Rohit Sharma deservedly earns his place in Chopra’s XI. He scored 2438 runs at an average of 32 and a strike rate of 140. “It is generally said that anyone who has a combination of average and strike rate above 170 is a good T20 player. Rohit Sharma is not good, he is an outstanding T20 player and is a runaway match-winner,” former Indian player added.
The cricket expert picked Aaron Finch alongside Rohit. “Along with him, I have picked another right-handed batsman in Aaron Finch. He is known for his Finch-hitting. He has scored 2149 runs at an average of 38 and hold your breath, he has a strike rate of 154. There could have been Chris Gayle and David Warner but can you put either of them ahead of these two.”
Kohli is arguably the best batsman across formats. Chopra mentioned his name in his XI. “Then Virat the run-machine. He is placed at the top of the list of highest run-scorers in T20Is in the last 10 years. He has scored 2902 runs at a very healthy average of 50 and a strike rate of 138. I thought about KL Rahul and Babar Azam but how many players will play in the top-order,” the cricket analyst added.
Chopra speaks highly of Shakib-Al-Hasan
Shakib Al Hasan deservedly made it to Chopra’s T20I XI of the decade. There is no doubt about his all-round potential. He is one of the best all-rounders in the world at present. “Then I have picked Shakib Al Hasan.
He has two skills and you want that when you make a good T20 team, there should be at least one bowler in the top 6 who can give the overs. His name will feature in the top 5 wicket-takers of the decade. He has scored 1360 runs, taken 75 wickets and doesn’t even give 7 runs an over,” Chopra added.
Shockingly, Chopra snubbed MS Dhoni in his T20I XI of the decade. “At No.5, I have got Jos Buttler. I was really split down the middle between him and Dhoni. He has scored 1551 runs at a strike rate of 140. He is a game-changer, let’s be honest.”
Glenn Maxwell is a perfect T20 material and it is no surprise seeing him in the XI. “Then I am picking Glenn Maxwell. He is a big show when he plays for Australia, forget about other places and has scored more than 1600 runs at an average of 33 with a strike rate of 158. He will give few overs as well,” he said while picking Maxwell at No.6.
Chopra picked Kieron Pollard ahead of Andre Russell. “After that, I have picked Kieron Pollard. I thought about AB de Villiers but you can’t have him at No.7 and thought about Mohammad Hafeez and Shoaib Malik as well but I picked Pollard because he is the best option at No.7. I thought about Andre Russell but he has not done much in international cricket.”
Rashid Khan only specialist spinner in Chopra’s XI:
Rashid Khan has been picked by Chopra at No.8. Playing less than 50 matches, Rashid has taken 89 wickets at a phenomenal average of 12.6. He has also maintained a very good economy rate of 6.14. “Rashid Khan is just a runaway sensational T20 champion,” Chopra added.
The former Indian opener picked Jasprit Bumrah was the first seamer. The fast bowler took 59 wickets in 50 matches at an average of 20. His economy rate of 6.66 is also pretty decent in an era where batsmen are dominating the bowlers in the shortest form of the game. “Bumrah is frugal and a wicket-taker and bowls at different stages of the game,” added Chopra.
Veteran pacer Lasith Malinga made it to Chopra’s T20I team of the decade. Even though he is tad expensive, he knows when to get wickets for his team. He has taken 72 wickets at an average of 21. After that, Australian left-arm fast bowler Mitchell Starc has also made it to the XI.
He is not expensive all the times but at times, he is on the receiving end. He has played 35 games and has taken 47 wickets at an impressive bowling average of 19.38 with a pretty decent economy rate of 6.95. “I made an exception for Starc as he is the only player I have picked who has played less than 40 matches,” Chopra said.
Aakash Chopra’s T20I team of the decade:
Rohit Sharma, Aaron Finch, Virat Kohli, Shakib Al Hasan, Jos Buttler (wk), Glenn Maxwell, Kieron Pollard, Rashid Khan, Jasprit Bumrah, Lasith Malinga, Mitchell Starc