Aakash Chopra has picked his top six knocks from the 29 matches that have been played in IPL 2021 thus far.
IPL 2021 was suspended when players from some of the teams reported positive Covid-19 test results. The BCCI intends to stage the remaining matches at a later date based on the available window and the prevailing situation at that time.
In a video shared on his YouTube channel, Aakash Chopra picked Kieron Pollard's unbeaten 87 off just 34 deliveries against the Chennai Super Kings as the best knock of IPL 2021.
"My innings of the tournament is Kieron Pollard's knock against CSK in Delhi. I agree the ground is small, he has a thick bat and powerful forearms but it is not easy to chase. When you are chasing 15 runs per over, you have no option but to hit but while hitting your heart is beating that there is no scope of a mistake," said Chopra.
The cricketer-turned-commentator chose AB de Villiers' unbeaten 76 off 34 deliveries against the Kolkata Knight Riders on a spin-friendly Chepauk surface as the second-best knock of IPL 2021.
"At No.2, I have kept AB de Villiers vs KKR at Chennai. Batting was tough in Chennai as teams were winning after scoring 130-odd runs. The batting was very difficult in the death overs there and in such a case AB de Villiers's knock was an amazing one. He took the team beyond 200 and showed that he is from a different planet," observed Chopra.
Aakash Chopra picked Devdutt Padikkal's maiden IPL century against the Rajasthan Royals as another of his favorite knocks of IPL 2021.
"Devdutt Padikkal had Covid earlier and missed the first match because of that. After that, he didn't score runs in the matches in Chennai. There was pressure developing on him and he scored a century against Rajasthan Royals. It was his first century and could be the turning point of his career," stated Chopra.
Devdutt Padikkal smashed an unbeaten 101 off just 52 balls and stitched together an unbroken 181-run opening wicket partnership with Virat Kohli to help RCB register a 10-wicket win in their IPL 2021 encounter against RR.
Aakash Chopra's picks of the other three top knocks of IPL 2021
Sanju Samson's 119-run knock in a losing cause against the Punjab Kings got the fourth spot in Aakash Chopra's picks of his top six innings of IPL 2021.
"At No.4, I have kept Sanju Samson's century. When someone scores a century in the second innings, that's incredible, especially when it comes in a 220-run chase. The bowling was not ordinary as there was Shami, Jhye Richardson, Riley Meredith, Arshdeep and Murugan Ashwin," said Chopra.
Jos Buttler's blazing 124 off 64 deliveries against the Sunrisers Hyderabad got the former KKR player's vote as the fifth-best innings of IPL 2021.
"At No.5, I have kept Buttler's century. 124 runs in a 20-over game is huge. There was Rashid Khan in the opposition team and his bat was not striking the ball till the 11th over. He demolised the opposition after his first 30-odd deliveries, Jos played as a boss," added Chopra.
Aakash Chopra concluded by picking Mayank Agarwal's unbeaten 99 off 58 deliveries in the 29th match of IPL 2021 as another of his favorite knocks.
"Last but not the least, the last innings is Mayank Agarwal's unbeaten 99. KL Rahul was not there and he was playing his first match as captain, Gayle and the rest of the batsmen had fallen at the other end. He was facing the good bowling attack of Delhi but some of his shots were delicious and sumptuous," concluded Chopra.
Mayank Agarwal's whirlwind knock took the Punjab Kings to a score of 166/6. But the Delhi Capitals chased down the target with seven wickets in hand and 14 deliveries to spare in the last match played in IPL 2021.