Former Indian opener Aakash Chopra has picked his ODI team of the decade. The former cricketer-turned-commentator revealed the star-studded side in a video shared on his Facebook page. Team India have the biggest representation in the team as Aakash Chopra named four Indians in his team.
He started by picking Rohit Sharma who is the reigning ICC ODI player of the Year. Rohit Sharma holds the record for the highest score in the ODI format which came in 2014 when he smashed 264. He is also the only player with three 50-over double centuries to his name
“The first name I am going to keep is Rohit Sharma. He will be the opener, he is an amazing player and his performances have been brilliant. He has struck three double centuries,” said Aakash Chopra.
The ex-India opener then picked South Africa’s Hashim Amla as Rohit Sharma’s opening partner. He also considered David Warner for the role but eventually went with the former South Africa batsman. As expected, he picked India skipper Virat Kohli at the number 3 before picking AB de Villiers for the next spot.
“I was thinking if the other opener could be David Warner. He has also scored a lot of runs but I am going with Hashim Amla. He is a huge favourite of mine, he is a little under-rated but his numbers for the decade have been phenomenal,” said Aakash Chopra.
“At No.3, you can close your keys and think and you will only get the one name, i.e. Virat Kohli. He will be in everyone’s team and even if you make an all-time XI.
“At No.4, I have got AB de Villiers. He has the ability to change the game single-handedly. If you jog your memory throughout the decade, you will find that he delivered every single time,” he added.
Proceeding further, Aakash Chopra picked MS Dhoni as the captain and the wicket-keeper of the star-studded team. Shakib Al Hasan pipped Ben Stokes to be named as the first allrounder in the team. Surprisingly, he picked Mohammad Hafeez at number seven.
“I have kept Dhoni at No.5. He is my captain and will be the third Indian in this team. You will also be having him, after all that is logical. So he is my captain and wicket-keeper, there is no doubt about it,” said Chopra.
“At No.6, I have got Shakib Al Hasan. Although I should have kept him up the order but there is no place. I also thought about Ben Stokes but I feel when you talk about the entire decade he is a little behind.
“I have Professor Hafeez at No.7. Now, I have got depth. He is again not a lower order batsman but if he you see his stats, he makes runs at a fast pace and has taken wickets as well. So, I have two proper all-rounders and have all bases covered,” added Chopra.
In the bowling department, he picked three pacers – Lasith Malinga, Mitchell Starc and Jasprit Bumrah – and one specialist spinner in the form of Imran Tahir.
Aakash Chopra’s ODI team of the decade:
Rohit Sharma, Hashim Amla, Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, MS Dhoni (c & wk), Shakib Al Hasan, Mohammad Hafeez, Lasith Malinga, Mitchell Starc, Jasprit Bumrah, Imran Tahir
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