Aakash Chopra, Rashid Khan and Mohammed Shami
Aakash Chopra, Rashid Khan and Mohammed Shami

Last Update on: March 30th, 2023 at 12:08 pm

Cricketer-turned-commentator Aakash Chopra has made a surprising pick for Gujarat Titans‘ (GT) highest wicket-taker in the upcoming IPL 2023 by not going with their superstar leg-spinner Rashid Khan, instead picking Indian pacer Mohammed Shami.

While this might surprise many, this pick can be considered logical if the stats are brought up. Both Rashid and Shami played all 16 games for GT in the team’s inaugural title-winning season in 2022. While the Afghanistan spinner bowled with a better economy and had a lower average, he picked 19 wickets compared to Shami’s 20, many of which came at the end of innings.

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Like the two’s performance last season, Rashid Khan and Mohammed Shami’s wicket-taking frequency is remarkably close. While the Indian pacer has taken 93 wickets in as many games, his Afghan teammate has taken 92 wickets in 92 games.

Also read: GT vs CSK: “So Really Excited To Be Playing Under Hardik And Great Energy”- Kane Williamson On Hardik Pandya’s Captaincy

With that said, Aakash Chopra opines that Shami will outperform Khan in the wickets department this season, despite the pitch on Ahmedabad’s Narendra Modi Stadium historically suiting spinners. He also predicted that any one of Shubman Gill or Kane Williamson will be the franchise’s highest run scorer

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“Highest run-scorer – Shubman Gill/Kane Williamson. You have to stay at the top – Shubman Gill to be the highest run-scorer for the Gujarat franchise. Highest wicket-taker – your mind might be saying Rashid Khan but I am not going towards Rashid Khan because he gets less wickets. Mohammad Shami could be their highest wicket-taker.”

Gujarat Titans will start their title defense in IPL 2023 on the opening day, March 31, against Chennai Super Kings (CSK).

Also read: GT vs CSK: “I Don’t See Them Lifting The Trophy Again” – Aakash Chopra Makes A Bold Prediction On The Gujarat Titans

Rashid Khan is again the No. 1 T20I bowler in the world

After Afghanistan defeated Pakistan in a bilateral series for the first time by 2-1, Rashid Khan has reclaimed the spot of the No. 1 T20I bowler in the world. He took the spot from Sri Lanka’s Wanindu Hasaranga.

Rashid, despite only taking 3 wickets in 3 matches, bowled with an economy of under 6 rpo, going as low as 4 in the 2nd match.

Khan’s Afghan teammate Fazalhaq Farooqi, who took 7 wickets across the series, moved to the No.3 spot in the rankings.

Following the series win in the UAE, Rashid Khan traveled to India, to join up with his Gujarat Titans teammates in the side’s practice camp ahead of IPL 2023.

Also read: GT vs CSK: “Shubman Gill Is The X-Factor For The Team” – Says Aaron Finch About Gujarat Titans’ Chances In IPL 2023

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