Former India opener Aakash Chopra has rolled out his T20I XI of the decade, leaving out many prolific names like Chris Gayle, MS Dhoni and AB de Villiers. The cricketer-turned-commentator justified his decision of leaving out Gayle by saying that the West Indies opener hasn’t even played 50 matches for the national side in the last ten years.
For the two opening slots, Chopra picked Rohit Sharma, who’s been outstanding for India, scoring over 2000 runs at a strike-rate of above 170. He further slotted Aaron Finch as the second opener ahead of David Warner and Gayle, followed by Virat Kohli at the No.3 position.
“Let’s start with Rohit Sharma as the opener. He has scored 2438 runs with an average of 32 and an outstanding strike rate of 140. It is generally said that anyone who has a combination of average and strike rate above 170 is a good T20 player. Rohit Sharma is not good, he is an outstanding T20 player and is a runaway match-winner.
“Along with him, I have picked another right-handed batsman in Aaron Finch. He is known for his Finch-hitting. Then Virat the run-machine. He is placed at the top of the list of highest run-scorers in T20Is in the last 10 years,” said Chopra in a video shared on his Facebook.
At the No.4 spot, Chopra chose Shakib Al Hasan due to his all-round abilities, followed by Jos Buttler at No.5. Chopra picked Buttler over MS Dhoni and labelled the former as a ‘game-changer’ in the shortest format of the game.
“At No.5, I have got Jos Buttler. I was really split down the middle between him and Dhoni. He has scored 1551 runs at a strike rate of 140. He is a game-changer, let’s be honest,” he said.
Chopra went with Glenn Maxwell and Kieron Pollard as his two all-rounders and selected Rashid Khan as the sole spinner of his side. Though Maxwell has been inconsistent while playing in T20 leagues across the globe, he has been a ‘big show’ for Australia, according to Chopra. The former Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) player also hailed Rashid as a sensational T20 champion.
Talking about the seaming options, Chopra went with Jasprit Bumrah as his first pick, followed by Lasith Malinga and Mitchell Starc. While Bumrah and Malinga are known for the economical spells and toe-crushing yorkers, Starc, a left-armer, provides variety with his pace and accuracy.
“Last but not least, I have gone with Mitchell Starc. To be fair, he has played only 35 matches but I couldn’t get another bowler like him. 47 wickets at 19.38 with an economy of 6.95. I made an exception for him as he is the only player I have picked who has played less than 40 matches,” concluded Chopra.
Aakash Chopra’s T20I team of the decade: Rohit Sharma, Aaron Finch, Virat Kohli, Shakib Al Hasan, Jos Buttler (wk), Glenn Maxwell, Kieron Pollard, Rashid Khan, Jasprit Bumrah, Lasith Malinga, Mitchell Starc