Former Indian cricketer Aakash Chopra has picked his all-time Kings XI Punjab XI (KXIP) with Sri Lankan legend Mahela Jayawardene as captain.
While there were some obvious inclusions, notable players like Irfan Pathan and Glenn Maxwell couldn’t find a place in the squad.
The cricketer-turned commentator picked Chris Gayle as the opening batsman of his team and paired him up with KL Rahul. While revealing the KXIP all-time XI, Chopra said that when none of the franchise was showing interest in Gayle, KXIP took a bold approach and signed the ‘Universe Boss’.
“I will start with Chris Gayle. When his name had come in the auction, no one was picking him. When KXIP picked him at the end, everyone else was laughing. There was some sarcasm in that applause. But he did well and the universe boss showed that he likes the Mohali pitch and that he can score runs there,” Chopra remarked on his YouTube channel.
“Now that we have kept Gayle, we have to pick KL Rahul. What an acquisition. I was surprised when RCB let him go. They could have retained him or used the RTM but they didn’t do anything,” he added.
For the No. 3 position, Chopra went ahead with Australia’s Shaun Marsh, who was the leading scorer in the inaugural edition of the tournament.
“Everyone will keep Shaun Marsh in their team. His name is absolutely mandatory. He made a lot of runs in the first season, more than 500 if I remember correctly. One of the most successful overseas players in the history of the IPL.” Chopra asserted.
Captain Jayawardene comes next in the pecking order.
South African star David Miller was the fourth and the last overseas player in Aakash Chopra’s all-time KXIP eleven while Yuvraj Singh was picked ahead of his compatriot Irfan Pathan.
On the bowling front, Chopra preferred the spin trio of Ravichandran Ashwin, Piyush Chawla and Axar Patel. Sandeep Sharma and Praveen Kumar lead the fast-bowling attack in Chopra’s team.
Aakash Chopra’s all-time Kings XI Punjab XI:
Chris Gayle, KL Rahul (wk), Shaun Marsh, Mahela Jayawardene (c), David Miller, Yuvraj Singh, Axar Patel, Ravichandran Ashwin, Piyush Chawla, Praveen Kumar, Sandeep Sharma