Former India opener, Aakash Chopra has announced his best overseas eleven of the paused IPL 2021. The tournament got suspended on Tuesday due to the Covid-19 cases outbreak in 4 franchises; 29 matches were completed before the season came to a halt.
Aakash Chopra, however, has picked his eleven comprising of overseas stars, who have impressed him so far.
For the openers’ slots, the 43-year-old went with Faf du Plessis and Jos Buttler. The Chennai Super Kings opener had stuck 4 half-centuries in a row, while Buttler, who was promoted to open after Ben Stokes was injured, stormed back to form with a century against Sunrisers Hyderabad.
In this eleven, the openers will be followed by Moeen Ali, who has played a significant role in CSK’s dominant position this season. Ali was promoted to number 3, instead of Suresh Raina, and he batted at a strike rate of 157.25 and also chipped in with some overs in the middle phase.
“I have picked Faf du Plessis first. He has batted amazingly well, scored runs consistently and at a good pace. I think with him will be Jos Buttler. His real form was seen in the 124-run knock against SRH. He was a little hot and cold before that but it was not that he was getting out for five runs. He scored a few forties and the century came after that,” Aakash Chopra said in his YouTube video.
“I have kept Moeen Ali at No.3. He made good contributions when he was sent to bat at No.3. He did not score the seventies, eighties or hundreds but the fifties he scored were scored at a fast pace,” he added.
For the middle-order, Aakash Chopra has picked the powerful trio of Glenn Maxwell, AB de Villiers (both Royal Challengers Bangalore), and Kieron Pollard (Mumbai Indians). Maxwell had a strike rate of 144.80, while de Villiers scored at 164.28 and Pollard bludgeoned at 171.42.
“At No.4, I have got Glenn Maxwell. RCB started to play him at No.4. We thought he will get stuck on the Chennai pitch but he batted well. His shot selection was better than before and he gave himself some time.
“At No.5, I have kept AB de Villiers. He is not your No.5 but when RCB kept him there, we all were surprised. AB said he will score runs wherever you bat him. He has played a couple of dangerous innings, one in Chennai and another in Ahmedabad,
“At No.6, the start was slow, there was a knock of 40-odd but then the 87 against CSK, Kieron Pollard became the lord of the Kotla,” Aakash Chopra stated.
Aakash Chopra picks Sam Curran over Pat Cummins
For the all-rounders, he little doubts to go with Andre Russell and Chris Morris, both of whom have shone in the season with ball and ball. Chopra observed Russell was more effective with the ball than with the bat this time, while Morris was living up to his big price tag.
“At No.7, I have got Andre Russell. His bat did not fire because he did not get that much batting. His number was coming too low down the order. One day when they were 31/5, he demolished the attack. He took wickets as well and even took five wickets in an innings against Mumbai.
“After that, I have kept Chris Morris. Whichever encounters Rajasthan won, his performance has been good, somewhere wickets and runs at other times. They were important runs. It might have been a short knock but a match-winning one,” added Chopra.
The former KKR batsman went with Sam Curran over Pat Cummins in his eleven – while both had the same number of wickets – 9 – but the CSK pacer had a better strike rate, economy, and average than the KKR seamer. Rashid Khan slots into Aakash Chopra’s eleven with no questions, and also Mumbai Indians’ Trent Boult is the last member of this line-up.
“I was confused between Pat Cummins and Sam Curran, I am going with Sam Curran for the simple reason that he is value for money. He does better than his abilities. At No.10, I have got Rashid. I thought about Narine and didn’t find any other good spinner in the overseas contingent. In the end, I have kept Trent Boult,” the former India batsman concluded.
Aakash Chopra’s overseas IPL 2021 XI: Faf du Plessis, Jos Buttler, Moeen Ali, Glenn Maxwell, AB de Villiers, Kieron Pollard, Andre Russell, Chris Morris, Sam Curran, Rashid Khan, Trent Boult.