Aakash Chopra’s World XI without Virat Kohli: New Zealand registered a sensational 8-wicket victory over India to win the inaugural ICC World Test Championship (WTC) Final. This was New Zealand’s first win in an ICC event since the 2000 Champions Trophy victory. Former cricketer turned commentator Aakash Chopra has decided to pick a World Test XI that can challenge New Zealand in their home Test conditions.
Aakash Chopra picked the duo of Rohit Sharma and Dimuth Karunaratne as the two openers in his ideal World XI that will take on New Zealand in home Tests. The former Indian opener has selected Australia’s Marnus Labuschagne to bat at number three. However, surprisingly, Chopra hasn’t included India captain Virat Kohli in his side and instead picked both Joe Root and Steve Smith in the middle-order.
“At No.4, I have kept Joe Root. Yes, Kohli and Babar Azam, you are not there. He has scored 1660 runs, of course, they play more matches, which includes double centuries in India, Sri Lanka,” Aakash Chopra said on his YouTube channel.
Ben Stokes has been slotted at the No. 6 position as the seam-bowling all-rounder and the likes of Ravindra Jadeja and Jason Holder have been omitted. Chopra has named Rishabh Pant as the wicket-keeper batsman and Ravichandran Ashwin as the only frontline spinner in his World XI side. The trio of Pat Cummins, Stuart Broad and Josh Hazlewood are the three fast bowlers in the Test team. In a very interesting choice, Aakash Chopra has picked England’s Joe Root as the captain of this World XI team that can challenge the maiden World Test Champions New Zealand at home.
“At No.6, I have got Ben Stokes. No Jason Holder or Ravindra Jadeja. You will need Ben Stokes’ bowling for sure. He has scored 1334 runs, almost the same as Steve Smith, at an average of 46 and he has taken wickets as well,” he added.
Rohit Sharma, Dimuth Karunaratne, Marnus Labuschagne, Joe Root (c), Steve Smith, Ben Stokes, Rishabh Pant, Ravichandran Ashwin, Pat Cummins, Stuart Broad, Josh Hazlewood.
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