Former India cricketer Aakash Chopra has come up with his ideal playing XI for Rajasthan Royals (RR) ahead of the 2020 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL).
Steve Smith will be leading the side which starts their IPL journey with a clash against Chennai Super Kings (CSK), on Tuesday (September 22).
Chopra went ahead with the opening pair of Jos Buttler and the young gun Yashasvi Jaiswal. He further said that Yashasvi is a talented player who will earn a lot of recognition in future.
“At No.1, I have kept Jos Buttler. With him I have kept left-hander Yashasvi Jaiswal. I feel this player will earn a lot of name. Robin Uthappa could have also been here, but I want to play Yashasvi because he is a very good player and deserves a chance,” said Chopra in a video posted on his official Facebook handle.
The cricketer-turned commentator picked Sanju Samson and Smith for the No.3 and the No.4 position respectively. He further said that Smith’s expertise and technical proficiency against spinners would be a blessing for the team.
“At No.3, I have Sanju Samson in my team. He is a very talented player and if you have any doubt you can ask Gautam Gambhir as well.”
“At No.4, I have got the captain Steve Smith. He will do well in the UAE because he plays spin well. He may not be a runaway match-winner in T20 cricket but he is tactically brilliant and temperamentally outstanding,” he added.
At No.5, Chopra chose England all-rounder Ben Stokes, who is yet to confirm his presence for the upcoming edition of the cash-rich league.
The 42-year-old opted Robin Uthappa and Riyan Parag to play the role of a finisher at No. 6 and No.7 respectively.
“At No.6, I have picked Robin Uthappa. He can play as a finisher and this team does not have too many other options at No.6. You cannot play David Miller as you do not have a slot for an overseas player.”
“At No.7, Riyan Parag. He comes from Assam, bats and bowls well and has a good temperament,” Chopra reckoned.
Chopra picks the perfect bowling line-up for RR
On the bowling front, Chopra unhesitatingly opted for the premium leg-spinner Shreyas Gopal, who is quite handy with the bat as well.
Last year, during a match against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), Gopal removed Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers and Marcus Stoinis to claim the first-ever hat-trick of his IPL career.
“Shreyas Gopal is at No.8. Another player who has been doing well for the last two years, he even took 20 wickets in a season. He took a hat-trick against RCB where I think he dismissed both Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers.”
The duo of Jofra Archer and Jaydev Unadkat was preferred to lead the pace attack.
“At No.9, I have got Jaydev Unadkat and at No.10, I have got Jofra Archer, who will be the leader of the bowling pack,” he asserted.
While for the last spot, Chopra remarked that the franchise can play either Ankit Rajpoot or Kartik Tyagi.
Aakash Chopra ideal playing XI: Jos Buttler, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Sanju Samson, Steve Smith (c), Ben Stokes, Robin Uthappa, Riyan Parag, Shreyas Gopal, Jaydev Unadkat, Jofra Archer, Ankit Rajpoot/Kartik Tyagi.