Former Indian opening batsman Aakash Chopra has named six players whose recent performances would have spruced the respective IPL franchises. With the 14th edition of IPL just around the corner, players are gearing up to let the extravaganza on fire. To do the same, several players have already put up compelling performances in the international and domestic arena.
The first player Aakash Chopra talked about was Devdutt Padikkal, referring to him India’s future and RCB’s present. The 43-year old reminded that Padikkal hammered three consecutive centuries in the Vijay Hazare Trophy and 52 was his lowest score in the last five games. Aakash remains certain that the southpaw will open for RCB and the franchise, along with the Indian team would be keeping track of his performances.
“I will talk about Devdutt Padikkal first. He is the future of Indian cricket and RCB’s present. He is in absolutely red-hot form. He has scored three consecutive hundreds in the Vijay Hazare Trophy. His lowest score in the last five games is 52. He is definitely going to open for RCB. I am pretty sure RCB is looking at his form very closely and India is also looking at it very closely because he is a long-term prospect,” Aakash told in his Youtube channel.
Aakash Chopra’s second player on the radar was Delhi Capitals’ Prithvi Shaw, who has bounced back incredibly well after being dropped by the Indian team. The Agra-born cricketer stated that an innings of 227 from 152 deliveries as captain in a List A game bodes very well. Thus, Delhi Capitals would be glad and from their viewpoint, runs would be crucial.
“The second player I want to talk about is Prithvi Shaw. It seems like he is hurt because of not being considered for the Indian team. He scored a double-century in a List A game as a captain. He scored 227 not out off 152 balls, that’s a stellar performance. The Delhi Capitals will be happy and from his point of view, it is important that he scores runs,” the 43-year old stated.
Chopra’s third player did not come as a surprise as it was Suryakumar Yadav. The cricketer-born-commentator termed Suryakumar Yadav as an outstanding player, performing in the Vijay Hazare Trophy and Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. Aakash recognized that he is performing consistently well and trying to be part of the Indian team.
“My third player is Suryakumar Yadav. He is an outstanding player. He scored 133 in just 58 balls and scored another fifty as well. His Vijay Hazare numbers are not that bad. Even in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, he was pulling his weight in the side and now he is a part of the Indian cricket team. He is consistently performing and trying to break the door down,” Aakash Chopra said.
Aakash Chopra adds three overseas players to the list:
The former Indian cricketer has kept Marcus Stoinis at number four, who he believes is one of the most improved all-rounders in recent times. Aakash claimed that his whirlwind knock of 78 off 37 deliveries in the second T20I against New Zealand would have the Delhi Capitals very much excited.
“At No.4, I am keeping Marcus Stoinis. He is one of the most improved all-rounders in the recent times. He is pulling his weight in the side and how. He scored 78 off 37 balls, he demolished the opposition team. DC must be very excited because he is a very good acquisition,” he claimed.
The 43-year old kept the left-arm spinner. Mitchell Santner, at number five after taking four valuable wickets in a high-scoring game against Australia. Aakash Chopra highlighted that Chennai Super Kings would be glad to have his services since they have released a few spinners and Santner might find a place more often.
“Next in my list is Mitchell Santner who took 4 wickets. It was a high-scoring encounter but this player did his job. Chennai Super Kings must be excited because they have let go of a few spinners. He might just slip into their playing XI very often,” the former Kolkata Knight Riders batsman claimed.
Finally, Aakash Chopra named James Neesham, who is rapidly evolving as a powerful finisher in T20 cricket. The 43-year old stated that his 45 off 16 deliveries, consisting of four sixes are promising signs for the Mumbai Indians, who secured him for INR 50 lakhs. While Neesham might not play at the start, he could come in later because of the balance.
“Last but not the least, Jimmy Neesham. He smashed 45 not out off 16 balls including four consecutive sixes. Mumbai Indians have acquired him at base price. He will not play at the start but eventually there is a possibility he might play because of the balance,” he added further.