Hardik Pandya
Hardik Pandya PC-AP

Former India opener Aakash Chopra has picked his T20 team for the year 2022, with three Indian players included in his team from the previous calendar year. Apart from three Indians, he has included two players from England and Pakistan, as well as one each from Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe, New Zealand, and South Africa.

England won the ICC T20 World Cup 2022 in Australia after defeating Pakistan in a thrilling final. Aakash Chopra included three Indian players, Hardik Pandya, Suryakumar Yadav, and Bhuvneshwar Kumar, and named Jos Buttler, who led England to the World Cup title, as captain of his team.

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Aakash Chopra
Aakash Chopra (Image Credits: Twitter)

Jos Buttler Is Captain And Opener – Aakash Chopra

In a video shared on his YouTube channel, Chopra named England skipper Jos Buttler as his team’s captain and opener. He picked Mohammad Rizwan as the second opener ahead of Alex Hales and Virat Kohli.

“The first person in my team is Jos Buttler. He is my team’s captain and opener. He has the T20 World Cup trophy in his hands. He is absolutely sensational. If you see his international numbers – 462 runs in 15 matches at an average of 35 and a strike rate of 160. He regularly scored runs in crucial matches.”

Joss Buttler
Joss Buttler (Image Credits: Twitter)

“There is a little fight for the second spot, whether you should keep Alex Hales or Kohli can get a place, I am going with Mohammad Rizwan. 996 runs in 25 matches at an average of 45 and a strike rate of 123. If Jos Buttler is on one side, I feel Rizwan will also hit a little more. It will work out even if he doesn’t do that.”

Chopra picked Suryakumar Yadav at No. 3 and wanted to give him more overs. The former Indian opener picked only New Zealand player Glenn Phillips, who scored a century against Sri Lanka in the World Cup.

“I want Suryakumar Yadav to come at No. 3. He is the world’s No. 1 batter. 1164 runs in 31 matches at an average of 46 and a strike rate of 187. You set the yardstick and he will live up to that. Suryakumar Yadav is my No. 3 for sure and I want to give him more overs.”

Suryakumar Yadav. PC- ICC
Suryakumar Yadav. PC- ICC

“At No. 4, I have kept the guy who scored a century in the World Cup match against Sri Lanka in Sydney when New Zealand were 15/3. Glenn Phillips – 716 runs in 21 matches at an average of nearly 45 and a strike rate of 156.”

Chopra picked David Miller as the only South African in the XI and said he was arguably the most improved T20 batsman of the year. He said, “At No. 5, I have kept the player whose stature has multiplied many fold. He has been the most improved T20 batter of the year. That’s David Miller – he has played in a different fashion. 361 runs in 16 matches at an average of 60 and a strike rate of 164.”

The reputed commentator picked Hardik Pandya and Sikandar Raza as two all-rounders for his side.

“I have given a place to Hardik Pandya in my team. He picked up 20 wickets and scored 607 runs at a strike rate of 146. He has been very good. Important contributions – he batted and bowled well against Pakistan and batted amazingly well in the semi-final against England.”

Hardik Pandya
Hardik Pandya (PC-Getty Images)

“At No. 7, I am keeping Sikandar Raza. He has scored 735 runs in 24 matches at an average of 35 and a strike rate of 150 and picked up 25 wickets at an average of 17. It has been an extremely good year.”

Aakash Chopra Picked Sam Curran, Haris Rauf, Wanindu Hasaranga And Bhuvneshwar Kumar

The 45-year-old chose Sam Curran and Haris Rauf as the two pacers, with Wanindu Hasaranga as the leg-spinner ahead of Shadab Khan. Chopra completed his XI by selecting Bhuvneshwar Kumar, the third Indian in the playing XI, as the third pacer.

“I am thinking Shadab Khan or Wanindu Hasaranga. I am thinking why not Wanindu Hasaranga – 34 wickets for Sri Lanka at just 15.67. His team won the Asia Cup final, he has done well. He is a match-winner.”

Wanindu Hasaranga
Wanindu Hasaranga. Pic Credits: Twitter

“Then I have Sam Curran, who has 25 wickets in 19 matches. He was the Man of the Tournament and Man of the Match of the finals. He is just unbelievable. After that, I had places for two other fast bowlers. I have kept Haris Rauf – 31 wickets in 23 matches, I rate him very highly.”

“After that, it could have been Bhuvneshwar Kumar or Joshua Little. I am tilting towards Bhuvneshwar Kumar – you might say a slight Indian bias. I think it was a very good year for Bhuvneshwar Kumar – 37 wickets in 32 matches and an economy of 6.98.”

Aakash Chopra’s T20 Team Of The Year

Jos Buttler, Mohammad Rizwan, Suryakumar Yadav, Glenn Phillips, David Miller, Hardik Pandya, Sikandar Raza, Wanindu Hasaranga, Sam Curran, Haris Rauf, Bhuvneshwar Kumar

Also read: IND vs SL: “Suryakumar Yadav Is The Flagbearer Of India’s New T20 Template, His Graph Kept Climbing Continuously” – Aakash Chopra

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