Former India opener Aakash Chopra has picked his playing XI of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021. The fourteenth season of the cash-rich league was completed on Friday (October 15), when Chennai Super Kings (CSK) defeated Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in the final to win their fourth IPL title.
Chopra took to his official Twitter handle and revealed the names of 11 players he picked in his team. Starting with the opening pair, the cricketer-turned-commentator went with CSK stars Faf du Plessis and Ruturaj Gaikwad.
Both Du Plessis and Gaikwad finished iPL 2021 as the two leading run-scorers. While Gaikwad bagged the Orange Cap with 635 runs to his name, the former Proteas captain was second with 633 runs to his credit.
For the middle-order, Chopra picked Punjab Kings (PBKS) skipper KL Rahul, Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) star Glenn Maxwell, Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) batter Rahul Tripathi, and Delhi Capitals (DC) power-striker Shimron Hetmyer.
With 626 runs, Rahul was the third-highest run-getter in the tournament, while Maxwell finished IPL 2021 as the fifth-highest run-getter (513). Similarly, Tripathi scored 397 runs in the competition. On the other hand, Hetmyer had the best batting strike rate in IPL 2021. The Caribbean hitter scored 242 runs at a breathtaking strike rate of 168.05.
Interestingly, Chopra didn’t go with two of the most iconic players, Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni. While Kohli was the second-highest run-getter for RCB this year, Dhoni, on the other hand, led CSK to their fourth IPL title.
Among the bowlers, Chopra named Varun Chakravarthy, Yuzvendra Chahal and Ravindra Jadeja as spinners, while for the pacers, he went with Harshal Patel and Jasprit Bumrah.
RCB star Harshal won the Purple Cap after finishing IPL 2021 with as many as 32 wickets to his name in 15 matches. Similarly, Bumrah was the third-highest wicket-taker with 21 scalps. Varun and Yuzvendra bagged 18 wickets each, whereas Jadeja earned 13 scalps in the tournament.
Aakash Chopra’s playing XI for IPL 2021:
Ruturaj Gaikwad, Faf du Plessis, KL Rahul (wk), Glenn Maxwell, Rahul Tripathi, Shimron Hetmyer, Ravindra Jadeja, Harshal Patel, Varun Chakravarthy, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah.
My IPL-XI for #IPL2O21
2. Faf ✈️
3. KL Rahul (wk)
4. Maxwell ✈️
6. Hetmeyer ✈️
9. Varun C
How’s your team looking?
— Aakash Chopra (@cricketaakash) October 17, 2021