Aakash Chopra has picked the Delhi Capitals’ ideal playing XI for IPL 2021. He carried out the exercise in a video shared on his YouTube channel.
The Delhi Capitals have an excellent all-around unit with most of the bases covered. They will be led by Rishabh Pant as Shreyas Iyer has been ruled out of IPL 2021 due to a shoulder injury.
Aakash Chopra Wants DC To Bat Ajinkya Rahane At No. 3 To Accomodsate Shimron Hetmyer And Marcus Stoinis In The Lower Middle Order
Aakash Chopra wants the Delhi Capitals to bat Ajinkya Rahane at No.3 so that they can have two big-hitters in Shimron Hetmyer and Marcus Stoinis in the lower middle-order.
Shikhar Dhawan was at his sensational best in the 2020 edition, when he finished only second to KL Rahul in the run for the Orange Cap. Owing to the dismal form of his opening partner Prithvi Shaw, he, at times, had the added burden of carrying his side along alone, although, performance-wise, it turned out to be his best season, and he ended up scoring 618 runs at 44.14 with 2 centuries.
“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 Aakash Chopra.
With keeper and skipper Rishabh Pant likely to bat at No.4, the Delhi Capitals possess one of the most explosive middle-orders in IPL 2021.
While Marcus Stoinis can play in the middle-order too, but as seen from the 2020 IPL and BBL edition, he is more dangerous at the top, so he may bat as an opener with Shikhar Dhawan which means Steve Smith may come in to make DC batting stronger. Delhi can also try Sam Billings at No.6 instead of Shimron Hetmyer if things don’t work out well with him.
Aakash Chopra: Axar Patel’s Absence In First Few Matches Could Hamper Delhi Capitals Balance
Aakash Chopra pointed out that Axar Patel’s likely absence(for being Covid-19 positive) for the first few matches of IPL 2021 could hamper the Delhi Capitals’ balance. The all-rounder recently tested positive for COVID-19. Aakash Chopra reckons Amit Mishra can partner Ravichandran Ashwin in the spin department until Axar Patel is available.
“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, 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,” added Aakash Chopra.
The successful pairing of pacers Anrich Nortje and Kagiso Rabada along with an experienced Indian pacer in the form of Ishant Sharma and Umesh Yadav completes Aakash Chopra’s preferred Delhi Capitals XI.
“Then you have got Anrich Nortje, Kagiso Rabada and play one out of Ishant and Umesh and your team is complete,” signed off Chopra.
Anrich Nortje and Kagiso Rabada might not be available for the first encounter as they will be serving their mandatory quarantine period. The Delhi Capitals could field Chris Woakes and Tom Curran against the Chennai Super Kings in such a scenario.
Delhi Capitals Playing XI (likely)
Steve Smith/ Ajinkya Rahane
Rishabh Pant (c & wk)
Axar Patel/ Amit Mishra
Chris Woakes/ Kagiso Rabada/ Anrich Nortje