Former Indian opener Aakash Chopra has picked his ideal playing XI for the Rajasthan Royals (RR) for IPL 2020. He also mentioned that the franchise does not look like a title-winning side, but stated that they are likely to do well.
Aakash Chopra carried out this exercise of picking the strongest possible Rajasthan Royals lineup for the upcoming IPL in a video shared on his Facebook page.
The reputed commentator picked Jos Buttler and Yashasvi Jaiswal as the opening combination in his ideal Rajasthan Royals playing XI, with the pair also providing the much-required left-right option.
"At No.1, I have kept Jos Buttler. With him I have kept left-hander Yashasvi Jaiswal. I feel this player will earn a lot of name. Robin Uthappa could have also been here, but I want to play Yashasvi because he is a very good player and deserves a chance."
Aakash Chopra chose Sanju Samson as the No. 3 batsman for Rajasthan Royals, and highlighted the praise the Keralite has got from Gautam Gambhir.
"At No.3, I have Sanju Samson in my team. He is a very talented player and if you have any doubt you can ask Gautam Gambhir as well."
Rajasthan Royals captain Steve Smith would walk into bat at the No. 4 position in Aakash Chopra's team, with the latter opining that the Australian is likely to do well in the UAE because of his proficiency against spin bowling.
"At No.4, I have got the captain Steve Smith. He will do well in the UAE because he plays spin well. He may not be a runaway match-winner in T20 cricket but he is tactically brilliant and temperamentally outstanding."
The 42-year-old picked Ben Stokes at the No. 5 batting position in his preferred Rajasthan Royals playing XI while observing that the charismatic all-rounder has done little of note for the franchise to date.
"At No.5, I have Ben Stokes. He has had a brilliant last 18 months. People call him Superman who can do everything but he has done nothing like that for Rajasthan Royals. So the hope is that he will be able to justify his name this year."
Aakash Chopra opted for Robin Uthappa at the No. 6 batting position while pointing out that he could not go for David Miller due to the overseas player restrictions.
"At No.6, I have picked Robin Uthappa. He can play as a finisher and this team does not have too many other options at No.6. You cannot play David Miller as you do not have a slot for an overseas player."
The talented Riyan Parag got Aakash Chopra's nod for the No. 7 slot, considering his all-round skills.
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"At No.7, Riyan Parag. He comes from Assam, bats and bowls well and has a good temperament."
Aakash Chopra's selection of bowlers in his ideal Rajasthan Royals XI
Aakash Chopra picked Shreyas Gopal as the specialist leg-spinner in his ideal Rajasthan Royals playing XI, considering his excellent performances in the last couple of seasons of the IPL.
"Shreyas Gopal is at No.8. Another player who has been doing well for the last two years, he even took 20 wickets in a season. He took a hattrick against RCB where I think he dismissed both Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers."
Jaydev Unadkat and Jofra Archer were picked as the primary seam bowlers in the Rajasthan Royals' best probable XI, with the latter also expected to lead the attack.
"At No.9, I have got Jaydev Unadkat and at No.10, I have got Jofra Archer, who will be the leader of the bowling pack."
The former KKR player observed that Rajasthan Royals could opt for either Ankit Rajpoot or Kartik Tyagi for the final bowler's spot in their playing XI.
"Last but not the least, at No.11 you can play Ankit Rajpoot or Kartik Tyagi."
Aakash Chopra signed off by stating that Rajasthan Royals don't seem to be a championship-winning outfit, although they are likely to perform well.
"I feel this is not a title-winning team although they will do well."
Aakash Chopra's ideal Rajasthan Royals playing XI: Jos Buttler, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Sanju Samson, Steve Smith (c), Ben Stokes, Robin Uthappa, Riyan Parag, Shreyas Gopal, Jaydev Unadkat, Jofra Archer, Ankit Rajpoot/Kartik Tyagi
Published 16 Sep 2020, 11:47 IST