Former India batsman Aakash Chopra picked his best XI of the inaugural edition of ICC World Test Championship (ICC). However, the cricketer-turned-commentator did not mention current India greats like Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane in the playing XI.
The 43-year old named India’s Rohit Sharma and Sri Lanka skipper Dimuth Karunaratne as the two openers. The duo has smashed 1030 and 999 runs in the tournament at brilliant averages of 64 and 55 respectively.
“At the top, I have kept Rohit Sharma. He has scored 1030 at an average of 64. Of course, he has played fewer matches outside India but he has played amazingly well at home. I have gone with Dimuth Karunaratne as his partner. He has scored 999 runs at an average of 55.”
At number three and four, Chopra picked the Australian pair of Steve Smith and Marnus Labuschagne. Smith amassed 1341 in this tournament cycle while Labuschagne emerged as the leading run-getter with 1675 runs.
“At No.3, I have got unstoppable Smith. He has scored 1341 runs at an average of 63, he owned the Ashes. After that, I have picked Marnus Labuschagne. He is the highest run-scorer, with 1675 runs at an average of 72.”
The former cricketer placed Kiwi skipper Kane Williamson and English all-rounder Ben Stokes at the following two spots. Both the players have done exceptionally well in the WTC while winning several matches for their respective sides.
“At No.5, I have got Kane Williamson, who is the captain of my side. He has scored 817 runs at an average of 58. At No.6, there is no confusion here, because only 2-3 names come to your mind when you talk about all-rounders, I have picked Ben Stokes. 1334 runs at an average of 46 and he took 34 wickets as well.”
Rishabh Pant to keep wickets in Chopra’s XI
The right-hander named Rishabh Pant as the wicket-keeper of the side ahead of Quinton de Kock and Jos Buttler.
“At No.7, I have gone with Pant. 662 runs at an average of 42, along with 35 victims. Quinton de Kock and Jos Buttler were the other options but towards the latter stages of the World Test Championship Rishabh Pant played some unbelievable knocks.”
“At No.8, I have got Cummins. There is no doubt about that, he is the best Test bowler in the world. He has taken 70 wickets at an average of 21. At No.9, I have got Ravichandran Ashwin, he has taken 67 wickets at an average of 20.”
“I have picked Stuart Broad, 69 wickets at an average of 20. Along with him, I have picked Tim Southee, who has taken 51 wickets at an average of 20.”
Aakash Chopra’s team of the World Test Championship:
- Rohit Sharma
- Dimuth Karunaratne
- Steve Smith
- Marnus Labuschagne
- Kane Williamson (C)
- Ben Stokes
- Rishabh Pant (WK)
- Pat Cummins
- Ravichandran Ashwin
- Stuart Broad
- Tim Southee