Former India cricketer Aakash Chopra named the best playing XI out of players who were born in South Africa but went on to represent other countries.
In a recent video uploaded on his Youtube channel, the cricketer-turned-commentator practised this fun exercise. However, Chopra included the cricketers who played in the 21st century only as the legendary cricketer Andy Flower was excluded from the side.
Aakash Chopra picked the English pair of Jason Roy and Andrew Strauss as the opening pair of this hypothetical playing XI.
“Jason Roy, who is a member of a World Cup-winning team, bats in a destructive fashion. Along with him, Andrew Strauss, one of the most successful English captains, left-handed opening batsman,” said Chopra.
At number three, Chopra picked the man of the moment, New Zealand’s Devon Conway. The youngster has recently smashed a double century on his Test debut against England.
“Devon Conway, who is playing for New Zealand now. He has played more than 100 first-class matches, has an ODI average of 75 and has scored a lot of runs in T20s as well. He has started his Test career also in a brilliant fashion,” observed Aakash Chopra.
One of the most stylish cricketers of all time, Kevin Pietersen featured at number four in Chopra’s XI.
“Kevin Pietersen, the biggest name. South Africa’s loss, England and world cricket’s gain. The way he has won the Ashes for England and the sort of knocks he has played, he is a phenomenal player,” added Chopra.
The 43-year old named Australia’s latest batting sensation, Marnus Labuschagne at the fifth position. Chopra mentioned that he had also considered Colin Munro’s name but couldn’t find him a place in the top order.
“Marnus Labuschagne, so Australia has also benefited. He was born in South Africa although he went to Australia early. He has been placed high in the ICC Test rankings for a while now,” stated Aakash Chopra.
Aakash Chopra names the remaining players
He further added the likes of Glenn Phillips, Jonathan Trott and BJ Watling to complete the batting line-up of this fantasy XI. Chopra also named Watling as the wicket-keeper of the side.
“I have given a place to Glenn Phillips. I have kept Jonathan Trott and BJ Watling, the New Zealand wicket-keeper who will be playing his career’s last match as the WTC final,” said Chopra.
Speedsters Jade Dernbach, Tom Curran and Neil Wagner rounded Chopra’s fantasy XI constituting the South African-born cricketers who have played elsewhere.
“Jade Dernbach, who used to bowl back of the hand slower ones for England, the T20 specialist. Tom Curran and Neil Warner – Sam Curran was born in England but Tom was born in South Africa,” said Chopra.
Aakash Chopra’s best XI consisting of South Africa-born players who represented other nations:
- Jason Roy
- Andrew Strauss
- Devon Conway
- Kevin Pietersen
- Marnus Labuschagne
- Johnathan Trott
- BJ Watling (WK)
- Glenn Phillips
- Jade Dernbach
- Tom Curran
- Neil Wagner