Harsha Bhogle clarifies why he picked KL Rahul over Babar Azam in the best T20 XI of the year

Harsha Bhogle clarifies why he picked KL Rahul over Babar Azam in the best T20 XI of the year

Harsha Bhogle picked David Warner and KL Rahul as his first choice openers in his team.

Harsha Bhogle, Babar Azam and KL Rahul
Harsha Bhogle, Babar Azam and KL Rahul. (Photo Source: Getty Images)

With the year 2019 heading towards its end, there are many former cricketers, who came up with their best playing XI in different formats. And, Harsha Bhogle, the famous Indian commentator, also did the same as he recently picked his team for the year in the shortest format. However, his best XI hogged the spotlight as he didn’t include number one T20I batsman Babar Azam and now has come up with a statistical clarification for not picking him.

Babar Azam made his T20I debut for Pakistan in 2016. Since then he has emerged as one of the prolific batsmen not only in his country but across the globe. So, far he has donned the national jersey in as many as 36 games in which he has mustered 1406 runs at a decent strike rate of 127.6 with 12 half-centuries.

Moreover, he is going to end 2019 as the number one batsman as far as latest ICC T20I rankings are concerned. In the year 2019, he muscled 374 runs in 10 games at a strike rate of 137.

Harsha Bhogle feels KL Rahul was the perfect solution for his dilemma 

Harsha Bhogle feels that it was expected that fans will raise their voices for not picking Pakistan T20I skipper in his team. The Indian commentator clarified the reason for not picking Babar Azam in his side. As per Bhogel, if Babar was picked as the second opener then he had to leave Kieron Pollard or Andre Russell out which would’ve made his bowling line-up weak.

On the other hand, he had to pick a wicket-keeper as well because AB de Villiers had not kept since 2016, so it was not appropriate to pick him as the main glovemen in the side. KL Rahul was the perfect solution for the dilemma because he had a great year in the shortest format. Also, he is a good wicketkeeper. He has been keeping for KXIP in the IPL from the last couple of seasons and has done a brilliant job. Moreover, his average, as well as strike rate, is better than Babar Azam.

He gave a statistical review over the comparison of Babar Azam and KL Rahul in his latest Twitter post that read, “Babar: 39 innings, 1607 runs @45.91 & SR 139.61. KL Rahul 31 innings, 1262 runs, @50.48 and SR 141.95 + keeper. (Kept for Kings XI in 7 games in the IPL) Pollard 36/149. Russell 38/182. AB last kept 3 yrs ago except as stand-in when de Kock was injured in a test match.”

Bhogle picked a strong team that consists of three players from India, two each from South Africa and West Indies and one each from Australia, England, Afghanistan and Sri Lanka. However, he picked KL Rahul and David Warner as first choice openers in his playing XI for the year in the T20 format.

Harsha Bhogle’s T20 XI of the year 2019: David Warner, KL Rahul, Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, Kieron Pollard, Andre Russell, Mohammad Nabi, Chris Jordan, Deepak Chahar, Lasith Malinga, Imran Tahir.

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