Aakash Chopra, the former Indian opener-turned commentator, recently picked his all-time Indian Premier League XI and there were quite a few notable exclusions in the celebrated commentators all-time IPL XI.
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‘Universe Boss’ Chris Gayle will walk into any T20 XI but the swashbuckling opener fid not find a place in Chopra’s XI, who opted for the ever-so consistent Sunrisers Hyderabad captain David Warner.
Opening the batting alongside David Warner will be Mumbai Indians captain Rohit Sharma. Rohit juggles with his batting position but Aakash reckoned that he will open the innings in his all-time IPL XI.
“My first pick is David Warner, the first overseas player as an opener. You will also think of Chris Gayle, but he is not more consistent than David Warner. He [Gayle] has been explosive but Warner is not behind anyone. So, Warner as one of the overseas players. He has been one of the most consistent batsmen ever,” Aakash Chopra said on his YouTube channel.
“There is no debate that Rohit Sharma would be opening alongside Warner. He started as a middle-order batsman for Deccan Chargers, then he went to Mumbai Indians where he is still there. He is the most successful captain as well but doesn’t open always when he is the skipper. But if I make an all-time IPL XI, I will make him open 100 percent.” he added.
MS Dhoni to lead Aakash Chopra’s all-time IPL XI
The middle-order positions in Aakash Chopra’s all-time IPL XI are no-brainers with Virat Kohli and Suresh Raina taking up the 3rd and 4th positions followed by the dynamic AB de Villiers and wicketkeeper-batsman MS Dhoni at the 5th and 6th spot respectively.
With Rohit Sharma and MS Dhoni winning seven IPL titles between them, it is always going to be a difficult decision as far as picking the captain of the team is concerned but Chopra went in with Dhoni, considering the team that he has led in the past few years.
“Although it would always be 50-50 between Rohit and Dhoni on whom you should make the captain, but when you look at the team Dhoni has got especially in the last few seasons, you will have to opt for Dhoni ahead of Rohit and he also has the experience of 11 years of captaincy and Rohit was not the captain initially. He was groomed as a captain by the Mumbai Indians,” Chopra said.
Sunil Narine and Harbhajan Singh found a place in Aakash Chopra’s IPL XI as two specialist spinners while there was on spot for swashbuckling all-rounder Andre Russell.
The fast bowling stocks are led by Bhuvneshwar Kumar and the Mumbai Indians duo of Lasith Malinga and Jasprit Bumrah.
Aakash Chopra’s all-time IPL XI:
David Warner, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, AB de Villiers, MS Dhoni [C & WK], Sunil Narine, Harbhajan Singh, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Lasith Malinga, Jasprit Bumrah