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Aakash Chopra picks his ODI XI of the decade; Virat Kohli among 4 Indians in the team

Virat Kohli undoubtedly made it to Aakash Chopra
Virat Kohli undoubtedly made it to Aakash Chopra's ODI team of the decade
Kartik Iyer
Modified 11 Dec 2020

Former Indian opener Aakash Chopra has picked his ODI team of the decade in a video shared on his Facebook page. The highest representation in this hypothetical XI comes from Team India, with four players making the grade.

Aakash Chopra's first pick was Rohit Sharma, and he pointed out that the Indian opener has smashed a whopping three double centuries in this period.

"The first name I am going to keep is Rohit Sharma. He will be the opener, he is an amazing player and his performances have been brilliant. He has struck three double centuries."

The renowned commentator opted for Hashim Amla as Rohit Sharma's opening partner, and claimed that he also considered David Warner's name for the spot.

"I was thinking if the other opener could be David Warner. He has also scored a lot of runs but I am going with Hashim Amla. He is a huge favourite of mine, he is a little under-rated but his numbers for the decade have been phenomenal."

Virat Kohli is expectedly the No. 3 batsman in Aakash Chopra's ODI team of the decade.

"At No.3, you can close your keys and think and you will only get the one name, i.e. Virat Kohli. He will be in everyone's team and even if you make an all-time XI."

Aakash Chopra picked AB de Villiers as the No. 4 batsman, considering the Proteas great's game-changing abilities.

"At No.4, I have got AB de Villiers. He has the ability to change the game single-handedly. If you jog your memory throughout the decade, you will find that he delivered every single time."

MS Dhoni made it to Aakash Chopra's ideal ODI team of the decade as both the captain and the wicket-keeper.

"I have kept Dhoni at No.5. He is my captain and will be the third Indian in this team. You will also be having him, after all that is logical. So he is my captain and wicket-keeper, there is no doubt about it."

Shakib Al Hasan pipped Ben Stokes to be named as the first all-rounder in Aakash Chopra's team of the decade.

"At No.6, I have got Shakib Al Hasan. Although I should have kept him up the order but there is no place. I also thought about Ben Stokes but I feel when you talk about the entire decade he is a little behind."

The 43-year-old picked Mohammad Hafeez as the other spin-bowling all-rounder in this team, highlighting that the right-handed Pakistani provides depth to the batting along with Shakib Al Hasan.

"I have Professor Hafeez at No.7. Now, I have got depth. He is again not a lower order batsman but if he you see his stats, he makes runs at a fast pace and has taken wickets as well. So, I have two proper all-rounders and have all bases covered."

Aakash Chopra's picks of specialist bowlers in his ODI team of the decade

Imran Tahir is the only specialist spinner in Aakash Chopra
Imran Tahir is the only specialist spinner in Aakash Chopra's ODI team of the decade

Sri Lankan Lasith Malinga was the first specialist pacer picked by Aakash Chopra.

"My final four are proper bowlers which includes three fast bowlers. Lasith Malinga will be there in everyone's team because he is such a good player."

Mitchell Starc's outstanding performances in the last two World Cups helped him make Aakash Chopra's ODI team of the decade as the left-arm pacer.

"Mitchell Starc is in my team. He was the highest wicket-taker in both the 2015 and 2019 World Cups and he has to be there. His stature grows at the time of the World Cups."

The former KKR player rounded off his fast-bowling department with Indian quick Jasprit Bumrah.

"After that I will pick Bumrah, the fourth Indian in this team of the decade which is phenomenal."

Imran Tahir edged out Saeed Ajmal as the specialist spinner in Aakash Chopra's ODI XI of the decade. Shakib Al Hasan and Mohammad Hafeez would lend the left-arm and off-spin variety in this team.

"For the last spin option, I was thinking about Saeed Ajmal but I went for Imran Tahir. He is an expert in taking wickets and is a leg-spinner as well. He has got phenomenal numbers in the last 10 years."

Aakash Chopra's ODI team of the decade: Rohit Sharma, Hashim Amla, Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, MS Dhoni (c & wk), Shakib Al Hasan, Mohammad Hafeez, Lasith Malinga, Mitchell Starc, Jasprit Bumrah, Imran Tahir

Published 11 Dec 2020, 21:04 IST
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