Former Indian opener Aakash Chopra has picked his ideal playing XI for the Mumbai Indians in IPL 2020. He also named Hardik Pandya as the player who is likely to shine the most in this year's IPL for the franchise.
Aakash Chopra put his thinking cap on to come up with the strongest possible Mumbai Indians lineup for the upcoming IPL in a video shared on his Facebook page.
The reputed commentator's first pick in his Mumbai Indians XI was Quinton de Kock, with the South African limited-overs captain also likely to perform the wicket-keeping duties for the franchise.
"At No.1, I have kept Quinton de Kock. He does wicket-keeping as well and is an international calibre batsman who can be troubled a little by spin. But the pitches will not turn that much in the first half of the IPL and he gives the left-handed option as well."
Rohit Sharma was Aakash Chopra's other pick as an opener while hoping that the Mumbai Indians' captain performs that role instead of batting down the order.
"Along with him, will be Rohit Sharma. I am hoping the captain Rohit to open and not go down the order. He is the kind of player who once he gets set, makes a lot of runs."
Aakash Chopra opted for Suryakumar Yadav, who used to bat lower down the order for KKR but has excelled in the top order for Mumbai Indians, as the No. 3 batsman.
"At No.3, I have got Suryakumar Yadav. He can bat down the order as well but he has blossomed up the order. He used to bat well down the order for KKR but in this team I feel he should be kept at No.3."
Ishan Kishan made Aakash Chopra's ideal Mumbai Indians XI as the No. 4 batsman, since the Jharkhand man provides another wicket-keeping option apart from being a left-hander.
"At No.4, I have got Ishan Kishan. He is a very good player and gives another left-handed option to maintain the left-right option. He can keep wickets as well."
Hardik Pandya took the first all-rounder's spot in the reputed commentator's preferred Mumbai Indians playing XI, with him being a 'runaway match-winner'.
"At No.5, I have kept Hardik Pandya. He is a runaway match-winner. He has not played for a long time which might go against him slightly but then, none of the players have played for 6 months."
The No. 6 slot in Aakash Chopra's ideal Mumbai Indians XI was taken by Kieron Pollard, who is in devastating form in the ongoing CPL.
"Kieron Pollard is at No.6. He is the lord of T20 cricket and he will be coming after setting CPL alight and we will hope that he continues playing like that."
Krunal Pandya was Aakash Chopra's final pick as an all-rounder, with the left-hander also providing the much-required spin-bowling option.
"At No.7, I have got Krunal Pandya. He is another left-hander, excellent fielder and bowls decently as well. He can give 3-4 overs regularly."
Aakash Chopra's selection of bowlers in his ideal Mumbai Indians XI
Nathan Coulter-Nile was the first bowler picked by Aakash Chopra in his ideal Mumbai Indians playing XI, with the Australian also likely to provide some depth to the batting.
"At No.8, I am picking Nathan Coulter-Nile. He is an Australian bowler who was picked in the auction. He is a good player who can bat as well."
Aakash Chopra unsurprisingly picked Jasprit Bumrah as one of the pace bowlers in his preferred Mumbai Indians XI.
"Jasprit Bumrah is at No.9 in my side. He has to be there in any case."
Rahul Chahar was the former KKR player's pick as the specialist spinner, with the Mumbai-based franchise also having the option of using Anukul Roy and Jayant Yadav if the need arises.
"Rahul Chahar is the other spinner apart from Krunal Pandya. If required Anukul Roy and Jayant Yadav can also play."
Trent Boult was Aakash Chopra's final pick in his ideal Mumbai Indians playing XI. He added that Mitchell McClenaghan could act as a standby for his fellow Kiwi or Nathan Coulter-Nile.
"At No.11, I have kept Trent Boult. So we have a left-arm fast bowler. You could also opt for Mitchell McClenaghan instead of him or Nathan Coulter-Nile."
Aakash Chopra signed off by picking Hardik Pandya as the Mumbai Indians player who is likely to excel the most in IPL 2020.
"I feel among all the players in Mumbai Indians, Hardik Pandya is likely to perform the best."
Aakash Chopra's ideal Mumbai Indians playing XI: Quinton de Kock (wk), Rohit Sharma (c), Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, Hardik Pandya, Kieron Pollard, Krunal Pandya, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Jasprit Bumrah, Rahul Chahar, Trent Boult
Published 07 Sep 2020, 10:54 IST