Popular commentator and analyst Aakash Chopra has picked his playing XI for Sunrisers Hyderabad. The David Warner led side will kick off their IPL 2021 campaign against Kolkata Knight Riders on Sunday in Chennai. SRH has always had the reputation of punching above their weight in crunch situations in the IPL. Last year they lost to Delhi Capitals in a nerve-wracking Qualifier 2 and will be once again keen to reach the top 4.
Ahead of their opening encounter, Chopra has picked his starting XI for SRH and he began his team with the opening combination of skipper Warner and wicket-keeper Wriddhiman Saha. Chopra picked Saha ahead of Johnny Bairstow as it will then allow SRH to play another overseas all-rounder who can contribute with both bat and ball.
Aakash Chopra Picks His Sunrisers Hyderabad Playing XI
As far as the middle order is concerned he picked Kane Williamson, Manish Pandey, Kedar Jhadav and the youngster Adul Samad. Chopra reckons that SRH can also give a chance to Abhishek Sharma or Virat Singh at 6 which will give them another bowling option.
“It is a difficult task to pick their ideal XI. It is not the case always but this time it is difficult. Who will open with Warner? I will say to make Saha open because he batted brilliantly last year as well and he will have the fire burning in the belly that he needs to do something. And he is selfless, he is absolutely a team player”, said Aakash Chopra in the video posted on his YouTube channel.
“Kane Williamson at No.3, Manish Pandey at No.4, you have Kedar Jadhav at No.5. At six, you have got multiple choices. You can play either of Vijay Shankar, Abhishek Sharma or Abdul Samad. You can get one or two overs apart from the batting. They have Virat Singh as well, they have got plenty of options”, said Chopra.
Talking about the bowling attack which has always been their strength, Chopra started by picking the spin wizard from Afghanistan Rashid Khan and Mohammad Nabi who will be a handful on the Chennai pitch and can also contribute with the bat for SRH. Bhuvneshwar Kumar, T. Natarajan and Sandeep Sharma will be his three fast bowlers.
“At seven and eight, I will have Rashid and Nabi because you are playing your first few encounters in Chennai and then Delhi. So spin will be of use in both these places. So there might not be a place for Jason Holder. Rashid and Nabi are four-over banks and can hit the long ball,” said Chopra.
“Then you need to play three fast bowlers. So there you play Bhuvi, Natarajan and Sandeep Sharma. Sandeep Sharma will bowl in the powerplay overs, Natarajan will bowl in the death overs, Bhuvi will bowl in both these phases of the game. I mean this looks like a good side to me,” concluded Chopra.
Aakash Chopra’s playing XI of Sunrisers Hyderabad: David Warner, Wriddhiman Saha, Kane Williamson, Manish Pandey, Kedar Jadhav, Abdul Samad/ Abhishek Sharma, Mohammad Nabi, Rashid Khan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, T Natarajan, Sandeep Sharma