Former Indian batsman Aakash Chopra has picked his playing XI for Rajasthan Royals (RR) ahead of their clash against Punjab Kings (PBKS) in Dubai on Tuesday. Chopra wants Evin Lewis and Yashasvi Jaiswal to open, with the in-form Liam Livingstone coming in at no.4.
RR have been most affected by player pullouts in the Indian Premier League (IPL 2021). Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes are unavailable for various reasons while Andrew Tye too had to be replaced.
According to Chopra, though, RR still have decent players in their mix and need to be smart with their choices. Speaking about his playing XI for RR, the 44-year-old picked two left-handers as openers. Chopra said on his YouTube channel:
“I think RR are looking like a decent outfit. Yes, (Jos) Buttler is not there but they do have Evin Lewis. So RR should play Lewis and Yashasvi Jaiswal should open with him. They have Manan Vohra as well but I would go with Jaiswal, even if it means having two left-handers at the top of the batting order.”
The cricket expert also urged RR to take full advantage of Livingstone’s batting form by having him in the top four. Chopra stated:
“RR skipper Sanju Samson obviously comes in at No. 3 and Liam Livingstone should bat at No. 4. I would play David Miller at 5.” He explained, “Having three strong overseas players will make the batting line-up heavy. At numbers 6 and 7, I would have Riyan Parag and Rahul Tewatia. This makes the batting solid as there is a lot of depth.”
Livingstone was in scintillating form in The Hundred. Before that, the England international clobbered 103 off 43 balls against Pakistan in a T20I in Nottingham.
Aakash Chopra picks RR's bowling combination for clash against PBKS
Shifting focus to the bowlers, Chopra picked Shreyas Gopal as the leg-spinner, adding that two out of Jaydev Unadkat, Chetan Sakariya and Kartik Tyagi could be the pacers in the playing XI. The 44-year-old opined:
“Shreyas Gopal can play as the leg-spinner and Chris Morris will have to come in as the all-rounder. For the two pacer bowlers, RR can pick from Jaydev Unadkat, Chetan Sakariya and Kartik Tyagi. So the core looks strong.” He added, “Alternately, if they want to strengthen the bowling, left-arm pacer Mustafizur Rahman can come in for Miller. In that case, Parag and the all-rounders can move up one position in the batting order.”
Aakash Chopra’s RR XI for Match 32: Evin Lewis, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Sanju Samson (c &wk), Liam Livingstone, David Miller, Riyan Parag, Rahul Tewatia, Chris Morris, Shreyas Gopal, Jaydev Unadkat, Chetan Sakariya/Kartik Tyagi