Former Indian opener Aakash Chopra has selected the ideal playing eleven for Delhi Capitals ahead of the 2020 edition. Aakash Chopra has made a plethora of projections ahead of the 13th edition of IPL that kickstarts from the 19th of September. The cash-rich league will take place in the UAE this time due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Aakash Chopra began with picking his opening combination of Shikhar Dhawan and Prithvi Shaw. Aakash underlined that Dhawan strikes the ball exceptionally well at the top of the order. The 42-year old understands that Delhi Capitals do have Ajinkya Rahane in their repertoire; however, the ideal choice would be Shaw.
“At No.1, I have kept Shikhar Dhawan. He came from SRH and has done well after joining Delhi. He has a carefree mindset these days and he is striking the ball well. At No.2, I have got Prithvi Shaw. Although they have Ajinkya Rahane as well and they might have a thought of playing him, but will they want to play him ahead of Shaw. I feel Shaw will be an ideal choice to start with,” Aakash Chopra told in his Youtube channel.
The cricketer-turned-commentator proceeded to pick skipper Shreyas Iyer at number three and keeper-batsman Rishabh Pant at number four. He highlighted Pant’s ability to bat anywhere at the batting line-up and score a lot of runs. Chopra reminded that the youngster ended up the second-highest run-getter amongst Indians in a season behind Virat Kohli’s 973 in 2016.
“At No.3, I have captain Shreyas Iyer. They have an unbelievable Indian batting depth, which makes Delhi Capitals special. This was the same formula behind Chennai Super Kings success. At No.4, I have got Rishabh Pant. He can bat anywhere in the order, take the attack to the opposition and he scores a lot of runs. He is the second-highest run-scorer amongst Indians in one season behind Virat Kohli’s 2016 season,” Chopra stated.
The former opening batsman went ahead with Shimron Hetmyer at number five, whose form has been imperious in the CPL and can strike the big shots. At number six, he has opted for Alex Carey, given the Australian gloveman’s proficiency against spin-bowling. Aakash Chopra backed Carey to strenghten the lower-order too.
“Shimron Hetmyer at No.5. He is coming in good form from the CPL and plays the big shots. I have Alex Carey at No.6. He also bats well and is very good against spin. I feel he is a very good acquisition from Delhi Capitals’ point of view if they wanted to strengthen their lower middle-order. He keeps as well,” the 42-year old mentioned.
Aakash Chopra selects the bowling line-up of Delhi Capitals:
At number seven, Aakash Chopra opted for off-spinner Axar Patel ahead of Marcus Stoinis since the latter might not be able to deliver four overs. Ravichandran Ashwin, who served as the captain of Kings XI Punjab made it to the side as well as he comes at number eight.
“At No.7, I will play Axar Patel ahead of Stoinis because Stoinis may not be able to give 4 overs and no one bowls amongst the top 6. At No.8, we will have Ravichandran Ashwin. He used to be the captain for KXIP and I feel he will do a good job for Delhi Capitals,” the former Indian cricketer asserted.
The 42-year old picked Amit Mishra at number nine, whose 157 wickets is the second-highest in IPL history. The likes of Ishant Sharma and Kagiso Radaba will head the fast-bowling department even though he understands they have choices like Daniel Sams and Anrich Nortje too.
“Amit Mishra will be the choice at No.9. I will definitely play him although we can have Sandeep Lamichhane here as well who is coming in good form from the CPL. At No.10, we have Ishant Sharma. His profile has grown in the last 12-24 months across formats. So you can expect him to do well. At No.11, I have kept Kagiso Rabada. But they have so many choices that they can keep Daniel Sams or Nortje as well,” Aakash asserted.
Aakash concluded by saying that Delhi Capitals are serious contenders to lift the IPL trophy and could do so if they play to their potential. He backed Shreyas Iyer to be the franchise’s most valuable player and do the run-scoring and captaincy effectively.
“Delhi Capitals will be in the top four and are actually my title contenders. This could be their year if they play to their potential. Shreyas Iyer will their outstanding player in IPL 2020, he will score runs, do captaincy and make his team win,” he concluded.