The Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 couldn’t reach the desired end, albeit it had some exhilarating matches. The T20 tournament saw several match-winners who turned the game for their sides when required.
Cricketer-turned-commentator Aakash Chopra picked his best eleven from the overseas players who featured in the tournament on Saturday.
For the opening spots, Chopra picked up Faf du Plessis and Jos Buttler. While du Plessis was at the third spot in the Orange Cap contenders list, Buttler smashed his maiden IPL ton against Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH).
“I have picked Faf du Plessis first. He has batted amazingly well, scored runs consistently, and at a good pace. I think with him will be Jos Buttler. His real form was seen in the 124-run knock against SRH,” Chopra stated in a podcast.
For number three, the former Indian cricketer decided to go with Moeen Ali, who proved his worth when promoted up the order by Chennai Super Kings (CSK) skipper MS Dhoni.
Similarly, Glenn Maxwell was assigned a new role in the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) camp, and the former did not disappoint.
“He was a little hot and cold before that but it was not that he was getting out for five runs. I have kept Moeen Ali at No.3. He made good contributions when he was sent to bat at No.3. At No.4, I have got Glenn Maxwell. RCB started to play him at No.4. We thought he will get stuck on the Chennai pitch but he batted well,” Chopra asserted.
For the number five position, Chopra went with AB de Villiers, who can change his pace when required making him equally suitable for aggressive stroke play and partnership building.
The 43-year-old chose Kieron Pollard for No. 6 slot since he had turned the tables against CSK, helping his side chase a domineering score.
“At No.5, I have kept AB de Villiers. He is not your No.5 but when RCB kept him there, we all were surprised. At No.6, the start was slow, there was a knock of 40-odd but then the 87 against CSK, Kieron Pollard became the lord of the Kotla,” Chopra observed.
The Agra-born cricketer named Andre Russell for the seventh spot. The Windies star created history as he took a fifer in only two overs.
“At No.7, I have got Andre Russell. One day when they were 31/5, he demolished the attack. He took wickets as well and even took five wickets in an innings against Mumbai,” Chopra expounded.
Chris Morris and Sam Curran occupied the next slots in his list. Both have been contributed as all-rounders for their respective franchises.
“After that, I have kept Chris Morris. Whichever encounters Rajasthan won, his performance has been good, somewhere wickets and runs at other times. Next, I am going with Sam Curran for the simple reason that he is value for money. He does better than his abilities,” Chopra opined.
Chopra then picked Rashid Khan and Trent Boult for the 10th and 11th place. While Rashid is a specialist in bowling wrong-un’s and googlies, Boult has time and again shown how destructive he can be with the ball.
“At No.10, I have got Rashid. I thought about Narine and didn’t find any other good spinner in the overseas contingent. In the end, I have kept Trent Boult,” Chopra concluded.
Aakash Chopra’s overseas XI of IPL 2021:
Faf du Plessis, Jos Buttler, Moeen Ali, Glenn Maxwell, AB de Villiers, Kieron Pollard, Andre Russell, Chris Morris, Sam Curran, Rashid Khan, Trent Boult.