The first player that Aakash has picked is a no-brainer in SRH skipper David Warner.
Warner has been a juggernaut, a constant run-making machine over the years in the IPL and the major reason behind that, as Aakash Chopra reckoned, is the southpaw’s ability to adapt to Indian wickets like TikTok videos.
Warner has scored in excess of 500 runs in six consecutive seasons and Chopra has tipped him to continue with the streak this time around.
“He (David Warner) is a very strong player. Although let’s be honest, his first nine matches will be on grounds which might not suit him that much, but he won’t be affected by that. He’s got this unique ability that despite being an Australian, he adapts to Indian conditions as if he’s making his Tik Tok videos. You’ll once again find him scoring 400-500 runs. We saw last year that he can change his gears and play carefully which is what’s required early on this season,” said Chopra on his YouTube channel.
The second player that Aakash Chopra has picked is Warner’s SRH teammate Rashid Khan.
Khan has been outstanding ever since he made his debut in the IPL and with SRH set to play 9 of their 14 league matches on spin-friendly tracks of Chennai and Delhi, the former opener has tipped him to win the purple cap in IPL 2021.
“I feel he (Rashid Khan) is going to do something special. He is a sensational player. Five matches are in Chennai, and four matches are in Delhi, and he”ll find a lot of turn on both the pitches. He has also played a lot more cricket recently than his counterparts, so he’ll be ready. My prediction is he’ll be the purple cap holder this season as well”. said Chopra.
Any overseas top-performers list can’t get complete without the inclusion of Mr 360 AB de Villiers.
Chopra has requested the RCB think-tank to not read much into the match-ups by not sending him against leg-spinners.
“He (AB de Villiers) is a man from a different planet. We all feel he’s taking a risk, but he does the impossible very easily. I have a request for RCB – don’t go into matchups, like not sending him against leg spinners.” Chopra added.
Marcus Stoinis finally brought his A-game to the IPL last year as he came up with match-winning performances with both bat and ball.
With Shreyas Iyer not there this time around, Aakash Chopra believes that the Australian all-rounder will have a huge role to play this time around for the 2020 IPL runners-up.
“The best of Marcus Stoinis came in the last season, and I think he’s going to continue in the same fashion. He’ll have more responsibility this season because Shreyas Iyer isn’t there,” said Aakash Chopra.
Aakash concluded the list with exciting West Indies and Punjab Kings southpaw Nicholas Pooran.
Pooran showed glimpses of his precocious talent last time around but Chopra believes that if PBKS have to well this time around then Pooran will have to play a bigger role than IPL 2020.
“Nicholas Pooran is one of the most fascinating talents to watch. When he’s batting, you actually stop, watch and admire. I expect Punjab Kings to do a lot better this season, and for that to happen, Nicholas Pooran will be imperative,” Chopra concluded.
The 14th season of the IPL will commence on April 09 when Mumbai Indians square off against the Royal Challengers Bangalore in Chennai.