After Punjab Kings and Kolkata Knight Riders, former Team India cricketer Aakash Chopra has come up with his ideal playing XI of Delhi Capitals for IPL 2021. Incidentally, the Capitals will miss the service of their regular skipper Shreyas Iyer, who is out of the entire tournament with a dislocated shoulder and will be led by the young wicket-keeper batsman Rishabh Pant.
Speaking about the opening pair, Chopra bestowed his trust on Shikhar Dhawan and the 21-year-old Prithvi Shaw, who is from the back of a run-scoring spree in the Vijay Hazare Trophy. Aakash Chopra also opined that Ajinkya Rahane should occupy the No.3 slot which gives the management the liberty to play the destructive batting duo of Shimron Hetmyer and Marcus Stoinis.
According to Chopra, skipper Rishabh Pant should walk in at No.4, followed by the explosive Shimron Hetmyer and Australian all-rounder Marcus Stoinis.
“Shikhar Dhawan and Prithvi Shaw to open. At three, I want to play Ajinkya Rahane because if Rahane is at three then you can play both Shimron Hetmyer and Marcus Stoinis. So Rahane at three, Pant at four, and Hetmyer and Stoinis at No.5 and No.6. This looks like a very decent top-six to me,” said Chopra on his YouTube channel.
Adding that the Delhi outfit might face a few problems early on, Aakash Chopra said that Delhi would have wanted Axar Patel to bat at No.7. The former Indian opener said that if Ravichandran Ashwin bats at No.7, the batting might be a little short. In the pace bowling department, Chopra wanted South Africa’s pace duo of Anrich Nortje and Kagiso Rabada to start for the Capitals. Chopra concluded by stating that one out of Ishant Sharma or Umesh Yadav can be picked.
“There could be a few problems in the initial matches because you would have wanted Axar at No.7. If you put Ashwin at No.7, you will feel the batting is a little short. So, in the first couple of games, they might be struggling to find the right balance. But after that you play Ashwin and Axar, you can play Mishra also along with Ashwin. Then you have got Anrich Nortje, Kagiso Rabada, and play one out of Ishant and Umesh and your team is complete,” concluded Aakash Chopra.
Delhi Capitals will begin their IPL 2021 campaign against Chennai Super Kings on April 10 at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.
Aakash Chopra’s predicted playing XI of Delhi Capitals
Shikhar Dhawan, Prithvi Shaw, Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant, Shimron Hetmyer, Marcus Stoinis, Axar Patel/Amit Mishra, Ravichandran Ashwin, Anrich Nortje, Kagiso Rabada, Ishant Sharma/Umesh Yadav.