IPL 2021: Aakash Chopra picks Chennai Super Kings’ starting playing XI
Aakash Chopra left behind CSK’s new spin buys including the likes of Moeen Ali and Krishnappa Gowtham.
Updated - Apr 1, 2021 4:32 pm
IPL 2020 didn’t end on a good note for the three-time champions Chennai Super Kings (CSK) as they finished at the seventh position on the points table after winning 6 out of the 14 league games. Thus, the Super Kings, under the leadership of MS Dhoni, will be looking forward to scripting a memorable comeback in the 14th edition of the T20 Extravaganza.
With IPL 2021 round the corner, former Indian cricketer and renowned cricket analyst Aakash Chopra picked Playing XI of the team that will help in putting the demons of the past to rest. Starting with the opening pair, Chopra chose Rururaj Gaikwad and South Africa’s great Faf du Plessis. Gaikwad had presented a stunning show in IPL 2020 towards the end.
For Number three, Aakash picked Amabati Rayudu while the number four batting slot was allotted to Suresh Raina, who will be making a comeback after missing IPL 2020 for personal reasons. The former KKR player believes that MS Dhoni should bat at his regular position of five while Ravindra Jadeja should be handed the responsibility of applying the finishing touches by coming to bat at six.
Sam Curran was a revelation for Chennai in the 2020 edition as the all-rounder contributed positively both with the bat and the ball. Thus the commentator believes that Curran should be given the number seven slot as it will provide the required flexibility and depth to the batting line-up.
Aakash Chopra leaves out Moeen Ali and Krishnappa Gowtham
Apart from Jadeja, another spinner who found a place in Aakash Chopra’s Playing XI is Karn Sharma. Chopra believes that the team should play at least four proper bowlers and Sharma can be a good option being a wrist spinner. However, the 43-year-old left behind CSK’s new spin buys including the likes of Moeen Ali and Krishnappa Gowtham.
Explaining the reason behind evening the two players, Aakash stated in a video uploaded on his YouTube channel, “Moeen Ali and Krishnappa Gowtham might not be seen playing all the matches in the initial few grounds. This is a possibility as I don’t see a place in the top six because if you include Moeen Ali in the top six, whom will you push down the order. I don’t like the idea of Moeen at No.6 and Jaddu at No.7.”
The three pacers who managed to find a place in Chopra’s line-up include Shardul Thakur, Deepak Chahar, and Josh Hazlewood. However, Josh pulled out of the season. “Shardul and Deepak will be No.9 and No.10. You should definitely play Josh Hazlewood, he is imperative, he has to be a part of this side. This could be the makeup of this team although you might be seeing more Indians and less overseas. So, they can actually play around a little bit,” observed Chopra.
However, CSK will have to make amends in their plans as Josh has opted out of the tournament.
Aakash Chopra’s CSK XI: Ruturaj Gaikwad, Faf du Plessis, Ambati Rayudu, Suresh Raina, MS Dhoni, Ravindra Jadeja, Sam Curran, Karn Sharma, Shardul Thakur, Deepak Chahar, Josh Hazlewood (pulled out)