Former Indian opening batsman and reputed commentator Aakash Chopra has picked his best eleven from the second week of the ongoing edition of IPL. The second week of the marquee edition of the T20 league saw Royal Challengers Bangalore and Mumbai Indians register two wins, while Kolkata Knight Riders and SunRisers Hyderabad remained winless. Aakash Chopra opted for two overseas players from the Royal Challengers Bangalore.
Aakash Chopra started by picking Shikhar Dhawan, the current Orange Cap holder, KL Rahul, and Sanju Samson in his top three. The 43-year old highlighted that one could not leave Shikhar Dhawan out of the side, given the way he is batting. Having scored a whirlwind hundred, Aakash kept Rajasthan Royals captain Sanju Samson at three and appointed him as the wicketkeeper as well.
“Shikhar Dhawan is in my side and he’ll perhaps stay there always. He was the man of the match in the last game and is batting beautifully. The way he is batting it will be very difficult to keep him out of the team. I have given KL Rahul a place in the side. I thought of Mayank Agarwal as well but there haven’t been many great opening performances so I will go with KL Rahul. Sanju Samson scored a century this week so he’ll be my No.3. He will also be my wicketkeeper ahead of KL Rahul,” Aakash Chopra told in his Youtube channel.
Aakash Chopra conceded that given Glenn Maxwell’s form, he has to be in the side and felt consistency has become synonymous with the all-rounder. While Aakash also considered David Miller, he said it was hard to argue against Maxwell’s inclusion. The cricketer-turned-commentator has commended AB de Villiers’ batting at depth and his sensational form has enabled the team to cross 200.
“All is well with Glenn Maxwell. I thought of David Miller as well but how could I have picked him ahead of Maxwell. I never thought I will say this but consistency’s second name is Glenn Maxwell. He has played three innings and all three have been good. Then AB de Villiers, the way he has batted is sensational. He has single-handedly pushed 170-175 totals to over 200,” Chopra mentioned.
The Agra-born former cricketer named Deepak Hooda and Andre Russell as all-rounders, stating that the former’s knock of 60 against Rajasthan Royals made every bowler looked pale. Chopra considered Kieron Pollard; however, he went ahead with Russell, who took five wickets against the Mumbai Indians and tried his level best against the Royal Challengers to win the match.
“Deepak Hooda played one innings and what a solid knock that was. He made every bowler looked pale in that knock of 60-odd runs. I thought of Pollard as well but adding him will destabilize by overseas balance. I have also kept Andre Russell. Five wickets in 10 balls, fantastic. While batting as well, he couldn’t win the game against RCB but tried his level best,” the 43-year old conceded.
Aakash Chopra’s bowling unit from the second week of IPL 2021:
Aakash Chopra hailed Deepak Chahar’s four wickets in four overs against Punjab Kings and picked Rahul Chahar, who delivered two match-winning bowling spells that turned the matches on its head.
“I have picked Deepak Chahar and you should too because taking 4 wickets in 4 overs is sensational for any bowler. I have also picked his brother Rahul Chahar. He had two notable outings, a 4-wicket haul and a 3-wicket one. And these are match-changing performances,” the cricketer-turned-commentator stated further.
The 43-year old went on to opt for Harshal Patel over Chetan Sakriya, Avesh Khan and Priasidh Kirshna as Patel bowls well in the death and is economical. Aakash reminded that his five-wicket haul in the season opener against the Mumbai Indians has made him worthy of sealing a spot and completed his eleven by picking Trent Boult, who he believes has bowled well at the innings’ backend proved himself as a wicket-taker.
“I have picked Harshal Patel. I also thought about Chetan Sakriya, Avesh Khan and Priasidh Kirshna those two are also goof but Patel has been better. He bowls in the death and is very economical. His 5-wicket haul came last week but his performances have been worthy of staying in the team this week as well. Then I have picked Trent Boult. He has bowled well whether it was against KKR or SRH. Death overs bowling is difficult and he has been a wicket-taker,” he concluded.