Cricketer-turned-commentator Aakash Chopra named his India playing XI for the T20 World Cup on the basis of IPL 2022 performances.
Title-winning captain Hardik Pandya, who scored 487 runs with the bat and snapped eight wickets in the tournament, was named Chopra’s captain.
Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Jasprit Bumrah, Rishabh Pant find no place in Aakash Chopra’s T20 WC XI
KL Rahul, who scored 616 runs in 15 innings at 51.33, was paired with Ishan Kishan to open the innings.
Veteran player Dinesh Karthik, who made a stellar comeback with 330 runs in 16 innings at an average of 55 and strike rate over 183, was Chopra’s keeper.
Chopra snubbed the likes of Indian skipper Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja in his team for the mega event in Australia later this year.
“The first name I am keeping is KL Rahul. He can play till 15-17 overs, he is a T20 gun batter and scored more than 600 runs this year. I have kept Ishan Kishan with him. If you see his numbers, you will say it was not that bad a season for Ishan Kishan,” Chopra said on his YouTube channel.
“At No. 3, I have kept Rahul Tripathi. He played very well, strike rate was very high and gave match-winning performances. At No. 4, I have kept SKY. He has not played all the games but he has played at a different level in the matches he played.”
“After that, my Player of the Tournament. I have made Hardik Pandya the captain of the team. He can play in the middle and be a finisher as well. After that, I have given a spot to Dinesh Karthik and he is my wicketkeeper as well. He has run at a strike rate of 180-190 and finished a lot of matches,” he added.
Yuzvendra Chahal has to be in my side: Aakash Chopra
Chopra picked IPL 2022 purple cap winner Yuzvendra Chahal – 27 wickets in 17 games – as the second spinner in the team.
Mohammed Shami, Avesh Khan and Arshdeep Singh were mentioned as three frontline pace bowlers while Jasprit Bumrah and Umran Malik were excluded.
“At No. 7, I have kept Krunal Pandya because he has had a very good season. He has been very economical as a bowler and scored crucial runs as a batter. He can bat up and down the order. You require a left-hander in the middle,” Chopra mentioned.
“After that, Yuzi Chahal has to be in my side. Then I have three fast bowlers and the fourth fast bowler is Hardik Pandya – Mohammed Shami, Avesh Khan, Arshdeep Singh. I am seeing this as the XI,” he concluded.
Rahul is set to lead India in the five-match home T20I series against South Africa, which begins on June 9. Rohit, Kohli, Bumrah and Shami have been rested for the T20I series in order to prepare them for England tour.