Aakash Chopra has picked his best XI from IPL 2021, where he has preferred KL Rahul over Prithvi Shaw and Rohit Sharma as the opener of his side. He also picked Faf du Plessis, AB de Villiers, Glenn Maxwell and Chris Morris as his four foreign picks in the playing XI from the 2021 tournament.
Following a scintillating start to the tournament, the Indian Premier League came to a halt last week, when several COVID-19 cases in the various camps forced the BCCI to make the decision. Several cricketers, from Prithvi Shaw to Avesh Khan, showcased their skills in the tournament and earned praise from several quarters, with even many naming the duo in their team of the tournament.
Former Indian opener Aakash Chopra too picked his team of the tournament but it had many notable omissions, from Virat Kohli to Jasprit Bumrah. However, the former opener picked KL Rahul and Shikhar Dhawan as his openers in the team of the tournament.
"I have kept KL Rahul first. He played three big knocks, which includes two nineties and a 60-odd. All three of them came in a winning cause, so whenever he scored runs his team won. He played at a good strike rate as well. Along with him is Shikhar Dhawan and he has the Orange Cap on his head. The maturity with which he has started playing, this is the upgraded version of Shikhar Dhawan which we have seen from the last IPL," Chopra said, reported Hindustan Times.
"I have kept Faf at No.3. He opened for his team but I have kept him at No.3. He has been consistent and played in a destructive fashion. CSK's revival wouldn't have happened without him," he added.
"At No.4, I have kept Glenn Maxwell. He scored the difficult runs. His performance in the first five matches was outstanding. I have kept AB de Villiers at No.5. His innings in Ahmedabad was fantastic and the knock against KKR in Chennai was one of the finest you would see in the IPL," he further said.
While Rishabh Pant was named as the wicket-keeper in the side, at No.6, the former opener picked Ravindra Jadeja as his No.7, with his all-round ability. At No.8, he picked the South African all-rounder Chris Morris, who impressed with the ball for Rajasthan Royals this season.
"At No.7, you can keep Jaddu. His bowling was very good and he batted amazingly well. He played in a bold fashion and run-outs while fielding, four catches in an innings. He knows everything, he has been absolutely brilliant.
In the bowling attack, the right-handed opener made a notable omission in the form of Jasprit Bumrah and Deepak Chahar, picking Rahul Chahar, Avesh Khan and Harshal Patel as the three bowling options.
"At No.9, 10, and 11, I have got all three Indians. One is Rahul Chahar, then Avesh Khan, and finally Harshal Patel," Chopra signed off.
Aakash Chopra IPL 2021 Team XI: KL Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan, Faf du Plessis, Glenn Maxwell, AB de Villiers, Rishabh Pant, Ravindra Jadeja, Chris Morris, Rahul Chahar, Avesh Khan, Harshal Patel