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IPL 2021: Aakash Chopra picks Sunrisers Hyderabad's ideal playing XI

Wriddhiman Saha stood out for the Sunrisers Hyderabad in the last few matches of IPL 2020
Wriddhiman Saha stood out for the Sunrisers Hyderabad in the last few matches of IPL 2020
Kartik Iyer
ANALYST
Modified 08 Apr 2021
News

Aakash Chopra has put his thinking cap on and picked Sunrisers Hyderabad's ideal playing XI for IPL 2021. He carried out the exercise in a video shared on his YouTube channel.

Sunrisers Hyderabad have a "problem of plenty", especially in the overseas contingent, with each of the eight players a match-winner in their own right.

While admitting it was a tough ask to choose Sunrisers Hyderabad's opening combination, Aakash Chopra opted for Wriddhiman Saha to partner David Warner at the top of the order.

"It is a difficult task to pick their ideal XI. It is not the case always but this time it is difficult. Who will open with Warner? I will say to make Saha open because he batted brilliantly last year as well and he will have the fire burning in the belly that he needs to do something. And he is selfless, he is absolutely a team player," said Chopra.

While picking the experienced duo of Manish Pandey and Kedar Jadhav to beef up their middle-order, the former India cricketer pointed out that Sunrisers Hyderabad have plenty of options for the batting all-rounder's position.

"Kane Williamson at No.3, Manish Pandey at No.4, you have Kedar Jadhav at No.5. At six, you have got multiple choices. You can play either of Vijay Shankar, Abhishek Sharma or Abdul Samad. You can get one or two overs apart from the batting. They have Virat Singh as well, they have got plenty of options," added Chopra.

It might be a tough decision for Sunrisers Hyderabad to leave out an in-form Jonny Bairstow from their starting XI. However, they might have to go that route if they want to include Mohammad Nabi or Jason Holder to bolster their lower-order batting.

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Aakash Chopra's preferred bowlers for his ideal Sunrisers Hyderabad XI

Rashid Khan will be expected to lead the Sunrisers Hyderabad spin-bowling attack
Rashid Khan will be expected to lead the Sunrisers Hyderabad spin-bowling attack

Aakash Chopra chose Mohammad Nabi ahead of Jason Holder for the bowling all-rounder's role, considering the spin-friendly tracks on which Sunrisers Hyderabad will be playing their first nine IPL 2021 matches.

"At seven and eight, I will have Rashid and Nabi because you are playing your first few encounters in Chennai and then Delhi. So spin will be of use in both these places. So there might not be a place for Jason Holder. Rashid and Nabi are four-over banks and can hit the long ball," said Chopra.
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The former KKR player picked three Indian seamers with varying skills to round off his preferred bowling attack for Sunrisers Hyderabad.

"Then you need to play three fast bowlers. So there you play Bhuvi, Natarajan and Sandeep Sharma. Sandeep Sharma will bowl in the powerplay overs, Natarajan will bowl in the death overs, Bhuvi will bowl in both these phases of the game. I mean this looks like a good side to me," concluded Chopra.

Sunrisers Hyderabad have excellent seam-bowling backup options in the form of Khaleel Ahmed, Siddarth Kaul, and Basil Thampi should the need arise. They also have Shahbaz Nadeem, Jagadeesha Suchith, and Mujeeb Ur Rahman as covers in the spin-bowling department.


Published 08 Apr 2021, 10:30 IST
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