Former India opener Aakash Chopra has opined that India probably did not have a worthy enough team to win the 2019 World Cup. He compared the 2019 Indian team with the 2011 World Cup-winning Indian XI to drive home his point.
Aakash Chopra did a hypothetical man-to-man comparison between the Indian World Cup teams of 2011 and 2019 on his YouTube channel. He did this exercise to check if Virat Kohli's team could have defeated the last Indian team to have won the World Cup.
"If you have to choose between Tendulkar and Rohit, whom will you choose, very tough call. They may just cancel each other out because Rohit has struck 5 centuries in a World Cup edition, which no one has done."
"Between Rahul/Dhawan and Sehwag, my heart says to keep Sehwag ahead, put let me keep Dhawan ahead just for argument sake."
The Virat Kohli of 2019 undoubtedly won the comparison against Gautam Gambhir.
"Between Gambhir and Kohli, no doubt this Kohli of 2019 is definitely ahead of Gambhir of 2011. Although Kohli was there in the 2011 team as well, but there is a lot of difference between that Kohli and this Kohli."
Aakash Chopra opined that Yuvraj Singh was miles ahead of any of the middle order batsmen in India's 2019 World Cup team while keeping Virat Kohli of 2011 slightly behind in the comparison.
"Yuvraj Singh is winning this race hands down against Dinesh Karthik/Kedar Jadhav/Pant/Pandya as a batsman, as a bowler, as a full package match-winner."
"Virat Kohli of 2011, we can keep Pant/DK/Kedhar/MSD ahead of him."
For the final two middle-order spots, Aakash Chopra rated Suresh Raina much higher than Hardik Pandya or Kedar Jadhav while naturally favouring the MS Dhoni of 2011 over the one in the 2019 edition.
"Raina is again a match-winner. Whom will you compare with, probably Hardik Pandya. Raina is ahead that time even if you compare him with Kedar."
"MSD of 2011 vs MSD of 2019, no doubt MSD of 2011."
Aakash Chopra's comparison of bowlers between the 2011 and 2019 World Cup teams
Moving on to the bowlers, Aakash Chopra rated Harbhajan Singh and Ravindra Jadeja at par while also keeping Zaheer Khan and Jasprit Bumrah neck to neck.
"Harbhajan Singh is a match-winner, so is Jadeja, may be 50-50. Jaddu will get more numbers for fielding, Harbhajan Singh for bowling, Jaddu slightly ahead in batting in international ODI stage."
"Let us cancel out Zaheer and Bumrah, they are at par as bowlers almost, both are match-winners."
For the final two spots, he positioned Mohammed Shami slightly ahead of Munaf Patel while giving Ashish Nehra the edge over Kuldeep Yadav or Yuzvendra Chahal.
"Shami slightly ahead of Munaf. You will have to keep Nehra ahead of Kuldeep or Chahal"
Based on the comparison, Aakash Chopra concluded that MS Dhoni's team of 2011 would have triumphed over Virat Kohli's XI of 2019.
"So if you see the full comparison, MSD's team of 2011 has won. That is why, if there is a match Dhoni's team is stronger and a match-winning team."
The reputed commentator opined that the Indian team of 2019 was probably not worthy enough to win the World Cup, especially considering the brittle middle-order.
"Should we get a slight perspective, if you have not won the World Cup in 2019, probably you didn't have a World Cup-winning team only. Because the middle-order was so brittle, you didn't have the team to win."
Aakash Chopra even questioned the non-inclusion of Mohammed Shami in the playing XI and the efforts put to build a strong team.
"You should have played Shami and you didn't play him. You didn't prepare the team and Shikhar Dhawan got injured as well."
Aakash Chopra signed off by stating that it was obvious why the 2011 World Cup team emerged as the champions while the 2019 XI failed in their bid.
"So if you consider everything, 2011 team was lot ahead of this team that played in 2019. Therefore the trophy is with the 2011 team and not the 2019 team."
India had bowed out of the 2019 World Cup in the semi-final stage following a loss to New Zealand. The inconsistent team selection and the inability to find a reliable No.4 batsman have been considered as the main reasons for India falling short at the tournament.