IPL 2021: Aakash Chopra names his team of the tournament
The 14th edition of the Indian Premier League has been postponed for an indefinite time by the Board of Control for Cricket in India after the second wave of coronavirus breached the IPL bubble. The virus infected 4 KKR players (Varun Chakravarthy, Sandeep Warrier, Tim Seifert, Prasidh Krishna), 3 non-playing members of CSK (Michael Hussey, Lakshmipathy Balaji, bus cleaner), 1 player from Delhi Capitals (Amit Mishra) and 1 from Sunrisers Hyderabad (Wriddhiman Saha).
Meanwhile, the BCCI is still looking at the possibility of hosting the tournament in September. However, everything has not been finalised yet. So far, 29 of the 60 matches have been done and dusted. Meanwhile, former Indian cricketer Aakash Chopra picked his IPL 2021 XI based on the performances so far.
RCB captain Virat Kohli and MI captain Rohit Sharma failed to make the cut in his team. Although Virat and Rohit chipped in with decent performances this time, they didn’t bring the best out of themselves.
In a recent video shared on his YouTube channel, the cricket analyst chose KL Rahul and Shikhar Dhawan as the two openers in his IPL 2021 XI. Both of them set the tournament ablaze by scoring runs at will.
“I have kept KL Rahul first. He played three big knocks, which includes two nineties and a 60-odd. All three of them came in a winning cause, so whenever he scored runs his team won. He played at a good strike rate as well.
Along with him is Shikhar Dhawan and he has the Orange Cap on his head. The maturity with which he has started playing, this is the upgraded version of Shikhar Dhawan which we have seen from the last IPL,” said Chopra.
The renowned commentator picked CSK opener Faf du Plessis at No.3. The former Proteas captain has been consistently scoring runs for the yellow brigade since last season.
“I have kept Faf at No.3. He opened for his team but I have kept him at No.3. He has been consistent and played in a destructive fashion. CSK’s revival wouldn’t have happened without him,” observed Chopra.
Glenn Maxwell and AB de Villiers come in at No.4 and No.5 in Chopra’s team. “At No.4, I have kept Glenn Maxwell. He scored the difficult runs. His performance in the first five matches was outstanding. I have kept AB de Villiers at No.5. His innings in Ahmedabad was fantastic and the knock against KKR in Chennai was one of the finest you would see in the IPL,” stated Chopra.
The cricket commentator picked Delhi Capitals’ skipper Rishabh Pant as the wicket-keeper batsman at No.6. “At No.6, I have kept Pant. I know it is too low down the order but you can promote him if a left-hander is required to be sent. I will get him to keep and not AB,” added Chopra.
The likes of Jonny Bairstow, Kieron Pollard, Andre Russell and Moeen Ali failed to make Aakash Chopra’s chosen team of IPL 2021, considering the restriction of only four foreigners allowed in the playing XI.
CSK all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja who performed really well with the bat, ball and on the field deservedly earned a place as the spin-bowling all-rounder in the former KKR player’s IPL 2021 XI.
“At No.7, you can keep Jaddu. His bowling was very good and he batted amazingly well. He played in a bold fashion and run-outs while fielding, four catches in an innings. He knows everything, he has been absolutely brilliant,” said Chopra.
The 43-year-old chose IPL’s most expensive player Chris Morris as the seam-bowling all-rounder in his IPL 2021 team. “At No.8, I have got Chris Morris. He continuously did something or the other, either in batting or bowling. On the whole, he kept paying the EMIs of the 16.25 crores for which he was bought,” added Chopra.
The veteran finally picked three specialist bowlers namely Rahul Chahar, Avesh Khan and Harshal Patel. “At No.9, 10 and 11, I have got all three Indians. One is Rahul Chahar, then Avesh Khan and finally Harshal Patel,” signed off Chopra.
Aakash Chopra’s IPL 2021 XI:
KL Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan, Faf du Plessis, Glenn Maxwell, AB de Villiers, Rishabh Pant, Ravindra Jadeja, Chris Morris, Rahul Chahar, Avesh Khan, Harshal Patel