Aakash Chopra picks his combined best XI of World Test Championship 2019-21
Kane Williamson to lead Aakash Chopra's XI.
Updated - Jun 10, 2021 12:01 pm
Cricketer-turned commentator Aakash Chopra has picked his team for the entire World Test Championship (WTC) cycle. The ICC WTC final will be played on June 18 in Southampton between India and New Zealand. Both teams deserve to be in the finale due to their consistent show in the two-year cycle.
While many former cricketers, experts, and fans have picked their teams, favorite batters, and bowlers whom they feel will have an impact, Chopra rather picked his hypothetical team who he believed were good during the WTC cycle. Many players like Steve Smith, Dean Elgar, Joe Root and Jason Holder had made significant contributions for their respective teams and helped win games singlehandedly.
Chopra picked his XI players based on their performances on his YouTube channel. The 43-year-old went with Rohit Sharma and Dimuth Karunaratne at the top, stating the duo’s consistency in scoring runs at the top was important for India and Sri Lanka respectively.
“At the top, I have kept Rohit Sharma. He has scored 1030 at an average of 64. Of course, he has played fewer matches outside India but he has played amazingly well at home. I have gone with Dimuth Karunaratne as his partner. He has scored 999 runs at an average of 55.”
At number three and four, he picked the Australian pair of Steve Smith and Marnus Labuschagne due to their phenomenal ability to bat for longer periods of time and score runs in any conditions.
Aakash Chopra picks Ben Stokes as his all-rounder
New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson and mercurial England all-rounder Ben Stokes slots in at five and six respectively. While the former plundered runs at home, the latter single-handedly helped his team win games against rivals Australia in the Ashes 2019.
“At No.5, I have got Kane Williamson, who is the captain of my side. He has scored 817 runs at an average of 58. At No.6, there is no confusion here, because only 2-3 names come to your mind when you talk about all-rounders, I have picked Ben Stokes. 1334 runs at an average of 46 and he took 34 wickets as well.”
Rishabh Pant is the designated wicketkeeper-batter due to his stunning counter-attacking abilities. As for bowlers he has gone with Ravi Ashwin and Pat Cummins at number eight and nine due to their ability to also be handy batters.
“At No.8, I have got Cummins. There is no doubt about that, he is the best Test bowler in the world. He has taken 70 wickets at an average of 21. At No.9, I have got Ravichandran Ashwin, he has taken 67 wickets at an average of 20.”
He rounded off the list by including Stuart Borod and Tim Southee as his seam bowlers in WTC XI.
Aakash Chopra’s combined best XI of WTC 2019-21: Rohit Sharma, Dimuth Karunaratne, Steve Smith, Marnus Labuschagne, Kane Williamson (c), Ben Stokes, Rishabh Pant, Pat Cummins, Ravichandran Ashwin, Stuart Broad, Tim Southee