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IPL 2021: Aakash Chopra picks the Chennai Super Kings' ideal playing XI

The Chennai Super Kings have won the IPL title on three occasions
The Chennai Super Kings have won the IPL title on three occasions
Kartik Iyer
Modified 01 Apr 2021

Aakash Chopra has picked the Chennai Super Kings' ideal playing XI for IPL 2021. He carried out this exercise in a video shared on his YouTube channel.

The Chennai Super Kings are the second-most successful team in IPL history, with three titles to their credit. They would like to arrive at their best possible playing XI early in the tournament to put the demons from their disappointing run in last season's IPL to rest.

Aakash Chopra reckons the Chennai Super Kings should open with Ruturaj Gaikwad and Faf du Plessis, with four Indians completing the top six.

"With Ruturaj Gaikwad, will be Faf du Plessis, I will have him at the top. Then Ambati Rayudu at No.3, Raina at No.4 and Dhoni at No.5. That's ideal actually, if you keep him at No.5, then you can keep Jaddu at No.6. I think this top six is perfect," said Chopra.

The former KKR player believes the presence of Chennai Super Kings' IPL 2020 star performer Sam Curran at No. 7 will give the required depth to their batting.

"After that you can keep Sam Curran at No.7. Now you have got seeds of flexibility as you have batting till No.7," added Chopra.

While the MS Dhoni-led side is likely to start with the aforementioned top seven, the players could be moved in the batting order based on the situation and their form. They also have the option of an in-form Robin Uthappa should the need arise.


Aakash Chopra's picks of bowlers in his ideal Chennai Super Kings XI

Shardul Thakur
Shardul Thakur's recent form will make him a certainty in the Chennai Super Kings playing XI

Karn Sharma was Aakash Chopra's preferred specialist spinner in his ideal Chennai Super Kings playing XI.

"Then you play four proper bowlers in which you play one spinner for sure. So, Karn Sharma could be that spinner if you play a wrist-spinner," said Chopra.

Shardul Thakur, Deepak Chahar, and Josh Hazlewood were the reputed commentator's picks of seamers alongside Sam Curran.

"Shardul and Deepak will be No.9 and No.10. You should definitely play Josh Hazlewood, he is imperative, he has to be a part of this side. This could be the makeup of this team although you might be seeing more Indians and less overseas. So, they can actually play around a little bit," observed Chopra.

The 43-year-old signed off by stating that the Chennai Super Kings' new signings Moeen Ali and Krishnappa Gowtham might not get to play a lot of matches, especially on the batsmen-friendly Wankhede track.

"Moeen Ali and Krishnappa Gowthan might not be seen playing all the matches in the initial few grounds. This is a possibility as I don't see a place in the top six because if you include Moeen Ali in the top six, whom will you push down the order. I don't like the idea of Moeen at No.6 and Jaddu at No.7," concluded Chopra.

With Josh Hazlewood opting out of IPL 2021, the Chennai Super Kings might look towards Lungi Ngidi to provide the pace dimension to their attack.

The franchise might also look to play Imran Tahir or Moeen Ali, in case they want to strengthen their batting further, instead of Karn Sharma as the fourth overseas player in their starting XI.

Published 01 Apr 2021, 12:45 IST
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