IPL 2020 is about to kick off soon, amidst all the preparations various personalities are picking their all-time XI. Former Indian opener Aakash Chopra had picked his hypothetical XI for which he chose Mahela Jayawardene as the captain of his all-time Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) XI. The prominent names that could find the top spot in his chosen XI included Mohammed Shami, Glenn Maxwell and Irfan Pathan.
Speaking on his YouTube channel, he picked his all-time KXIP XI keeping in mind the norm that the number of foreigner players can be four only. He picked Chris Gayle as his first choice.
The reputed commentator reasoned, “I will start with Chris Gayle. When his name had come in the auction, no one was picking him. When KXIP picked him at the end, everyone else was laughing. There was some sarcasm in that applause. But he did well and the universe boss showed that he likes the Mohali pitch and that he can score runs there. He had an unbelievable first season along with KL Rahul. Perhaps the most explosive opening combination.”
His second pick was KL Rahul who has marvellous performance as an opener. He also named the Karnataka player as his wicket-keeper.
“Now that we have kept Gayle, we have to pick KL Rahul. What an acquisition. I was surprised when RCB let him go. They could have retained him or used the RTM but they didn’t do anything.
From there when we went to KXIP and he got to play where he should, he did amazingly well. He established himself and showed the bowlers their place. And this year he is the captain and hopefully, he will change the fortunes. He will also have to don the gloves in this all-time XI.”
For the number 3 sport, Aakash Chopra opted for Shaun Marsh, who was the Orange Cap winner in the inaugural season of the IPL in 2008.
“Everyone will keep Shaun Marsh in their team. His name is absolutely mandatory. He made a lot of runs in the first season, more than 500 if I remember correctly. One of the most successful overseas players in the history of the IPL.”
Apart from being his choice for the captain position, Mahela Jayawardene made Aakash Chopra’s all-time KXIP as the No. 4 batsman as well.
“I will keep Mahela Jayawardene at No.4. Because he is a terrific batsman and is a very clever T20 player. People may not know but his performances for KXIP were good. And in my side I will make him the captain. Because if you take the history of international cricket or IPL, I would say he was one of the finest captains you will ever come across who knows the strengths of his players and knows how to get the best out of them.”
David Miller was the fourth and last foreign player in his team. For the number 6 spot, Yuvraj Singh beat Irfan Pathan. For the bowling department, Chopra picked Piyush Chawla and Axar Patel for his all-time KXIP XI. For his spin-heavy bowling attack, he picked Ravichandran Ashwin.
“At No. 9, I am keeping Ravichandran Ashwin because as a batsman in T20 cricket he has not set the stage on fire. He has not played much for them but has done well as a bowler. So, I have three spinners – a leg-spinner, a left-arm spinner and an off-spinner.”
Praveen Kumar and Sandeep Sharma were his last two picks.
Aakash Chopra’s all-time KXIP XI: Chris Gayle, KL Rahul (wk), Shaun Marsh, Mahela Jayawardene (c), David Miller, Yuvraj Singh, Piyush Chawla, Axar Patel, Ravichandran Ashwin, Praveen Kumar, Sandeep Sharma