T20 World Cup 2021: Aakash Chopra picks his best XI of the tournament, no Indian makes the cut
Babar Azam will lead this side.
Updated - Nov 16, 2021 11:37 am
Former Indian cricketer Aakash Chopra has picked his best playing XI of the 2021 edition of the T20 World Cup. Chopra picked England wicketkeeper Jos Buttler as the opener cum keeper in the side and opined that Buttler’s century against Sri Lanka was the knock of the tournament according to him.
Chopra then picked David Warner to open alongside Jos Buttler and then picked Pakistan batting superstar Babar Azam at No.3. Azam will also lead this side.
“I have picked Buttler and he is also my wicket-keeper. He made 269 runs at an average of nearly 90 and a strike rate of 151. The century against Sri Lanka, I thought that was the innings of the tournament. The neighbors might be thinking that Babar or Rizwan might come along with him. But neither of them is there. I have picked David Warner, 289 runs at an average of 48.2 and a strike rate of 146. And that is where I think the two Pakistan openers are missing out on because their strike rates are very low.
The third player I have picked is Babar Azam, to bat at No.3. Sorry Rizwan, I do feel for you but I think you will not be able to manage at No.3. Babar is a bit more class and he is also my captain. 303 runs at an average of 60 and a strike rate of 126,” said Aakash Chopra in a video released on his YouTube channel.
Chopra then picked Sri Lankan Charith Asalanka at No.4 and even labelled the left-hander as the future of Sri Lankan cricket. At No.5, Aiden Markram finds a place in Chopra’s XI.
“At No.4, I have picked Charith Asalanka. He is a left-handed batter from Sri Lanka and I liked him a lot. He scored 231 runs at an average of 46 and a strike rate of 147. He is Sri Lanka’s future. At No.5, I have picked Aiden Markram, a slightly unlikely choice. I couldn’t fit Mitchell Marsh here. Markram – 162 runs at an average of 54 and a strike rate of nearly 146. He also gives me two or three overs,” said Chopra.
Aakash Chopra picks his all-rounders and bowlers
Aakash Chopra picked Moeen Ali and David Wiese as the two all-rounders in his playing XI. Chopra labelled Ali’s contribution to England as amazing and added that David Weise did well against the big teams of the tournament and brings with him a lot of experience.
“After him, I have kept Moeen Ali. He made 92 runs at an average of 46 and a strike rate of 131. He picked up seven wickets and the economy was 5.5. His contribution has been amazing. After that, I have picked David Wiese. 227 runs at an average of 45 and a strike rate of 127. More importantly, he has picked six wickets at an economy of 7.4. The thing I like about him is the experience, it is not easy for a small-team player to do well against the big sides,” said Chopra.
The four bowlers who found a place in Chopra’s XI are Adam Zampa, Trent Boult, Josh Hazlewood, and Anrich Nortje. Chopra stated that Zampa was the best leg spinner in the tournament, while Trent Boult has improved his bowling skills.
“Zampa is there in my team. He is my lone leg-spinner. 13 wickets at an economy of 5.8 and an average of 12. Just think about it that the T20 World Cup is happening in 2021 and the best leg-spinner in the tournament is actually an Aussie. Trent Boult is my next player. 13 wickets at an economy of 6.3 and an average of 13. His game has improved a lot. He bowls with the new ball, middle overs, and the death. He has been economical everywhere,” said Chopra.
Chopra further said that Josh Hazlewood won his heart by emerging successful by bowling a Test match line, and concluded by labelling Anrich Nortje as a rockstar.
“Hazlewood – once again it was unlikely for him to be a T20 rockstar. He showed that you can manage with Test cricket-type bowling. Just to stick to the plan, that is where he won my heart. My last pick is Nortje – nine wickets at an economy of 5.4 and an average of 11.6. He is a rockstar, he bowls from close to the stumps, at a pace of nearly 150 kph, and the ball finishes within the stumps,” concluded Chopra.
Aakash Chopra’s best T20 World Cup playing XI: Jos Buttler (wk), David Warner, Babar Azam (c), Charith Asalanka, Aiden Markram, Moeen Ali, David Wiese, Adam Zampa, Trent Boult, Josh Hazlewood, Anrich Nortje