IPL 2021: Chopra chooses his best XI from week 2
Former Indian cricketer and current cricket analyst Aakash Chopra has been keenly following the ongoing edition of the Indian Premier League. The former cricketer has been coming up with his own opinions lately.
Now, he has picked his best XI from the second week of the IPL. So far, Royal Challengers Bangalore proved to be a strong force in the league with 3 wins in 3 games. They are on top of this season’s points table.
Chennai Super Kings are second on the points table with 2 wins and 1 defeat. Delhi Capitals and Mumbai Indians follow third and fourth in the list. Both teams won 2 games and lost 1 game.
Kolkata Knight Riders, Rajasthan Royals and Punjab Kings are placed fifth, sixth and seventh in the list. All these three teams won 1 game but lost 2 games. On the other hand, Sunrisers Hyderabad are yet to win even a single game this season after playing 3 games.
Case in point, Chopra picked Delhi Capitals’ talismanic batsman Shikhar Dhawan, Punjab Kings captain KL Rahul and Rajasthan Royals skipper Sanju Samson in his top-3. Dhawan essayed a match-winning 92 during his team’s last game against Punjab Kings while Sanju Samson scored this season’s first century against Punjab Kings.
PBKS captain KL Rahul scored half-centuries in both these games as well. “Shikhar Dhawan is in my side and he’ll perhaps stay there always. He was the man of the match in the last game and is batting beautifully. The way he is batting it will be very difficult to keep him out of the team. I have given KL Rahul a place in the side.
I thought of Mayank Agarwal as well but there haven’t been many great opening performances so I will go with KL Rahul. Sanju Samson scored a century this week so he’ll be my No.3. He will also be my wicketkeeper ahead of KL Rahul,” said Chopra in a video uploaded on his YouTube channel.
The analyst also picked RCB’s middle-order stalwarts namely Glenn Maxwell and AB de Villiers next in the batting order.
He applauded Maxwell’s consistency for playing 3 good knocks including 2 fifties, and AB de Villiers’s potential to change the complexion of the game while coming out to bat in the middle-order.
“All is well with Glenn Maxwell. I thought of David Miller as well but how could I have picked him ahead of Maxwell. I never thought I will say this but consistency’s second name is Glenn Maxwell. He has played three innings and all three have been good. Then AB de Villiers, the way he has batted is sensational. He has single-handedly pushed 170-175 totals to over 200,” added Aakash Chopra.
As far as all-rounders are concerned, the former cricketer picked PBKS batsman Deepak Hooda and KKR’s Andre Russell. PBKS’ new No.4 Hooda stunned everyone with 64 off 28 balls against the Rajasthan Royals. Russell picked up an impressive five-wicket haul against the Mumbai Indians and chipped in with a 31-run knock against RCB.
“Deepak Hooda played one innings and what a solid knock that was. He made every bowler looked pale in that knock of 60-odd runs. I thought of Pollard as well but adding him will destabilize by overseas balance. I have also kept Andre Russell. Five wickets in 10 balls, fantastic. While batting as well, he couldn’t win the game against RCB but tried his level best,” said Aakash Chopra.
Chopra went on to pick the Chahar brothers, Deepak and Rahul, as his bowlers. He also justified the reason as to why he picked Chahar brothers. “I have picked Deepak Chahar and you should too because taking 4 wickets in 4 overs is sensational for any bowler. I have also picked his brother Rahul Chahar. He had two notable outings, a 4-wicket haul and a 3-wicket one. And these are match-changing performances,” said the 43-year-old.
The Agra-born cricket expert chose Harshal Patel and MI’s left-arm pacer Trent Boult as his final two members. “I have picked Harshal Patel. I also thought about Chetan Sakriya, Avesh Khan and Priasidh Kirshna those two are also goof but Patel has been better. He bowls in death and is very economical.
His 5-wicket haul came last week but his performances have been worthy of staying in the team this week as well. Then I have picked Trent Boult. He has bowled well whether it was against KKR or SRH. Death overs bowling is difficult and he has been a wicket-taker,” concluded Aakash Chopra.