WTC final: Aakash Chopra ranks the top six knocks played by Indian batsmen in the tournament

Shubman Gill
Shubman Gill's 91 at the Gabba was one of the top six knocks chosen by Aakash Chopra
Kartik Iyer

Aakash Chopra has ranked the top six knocks played by Indian batsmen in the entire World Test Championship (WTC) cycle. He shared these picks on his YouTube channel.

Team India will face New Zealand in the WTC final in Southampton from June 18. There have been a plethora of match-defining knocks played by Indian batsmen that have enabled the team to qualify for the title decider.

Aakash Chopra picked Mayank Agarwal's 215-run effort which helped India register a 203-run win against South Africa at Visakhapatnam as the sixth-best knock.

"At No.6, I have got Mayank Agarwal. It was a 215-run knock against South Africa in Vizag. This was his first match at home. He played in a dominating fashion and having got the good conditions, he wanted to make it count," Chopra said.

Virat Kohli's unbeaten 254 on a seamer-friendly Pune surface in the second Test of the same series got the No.5 spot in the former Indian cricketer's list.

"At No.5, I have got Virat Kohli. He struck 254* vs South Africa at Pune. It was actually a green pitch and was a useful one for the South African bowlers. Vernon Philander, Kagiso Rabada, I think Nortje also played that game and Kohli had to play carefully at the start as if the match was in Durban," the former India opener said.

Aakash Chopra chose Shubman Gill's enterprising 91 in the last Test of the Border-Gavaskar series as the fourth-best knock.

"At No.4, I have picked Shubman Gill's 91-run knock in his third Test against Australia at Gabba. It is difficult to play against Australia at Gabba. He played very well and was unfortunate to miss out on a century. It set up the game and allowed India to win," Chopra further added.

Shubman Gill laid the foundation for India's 328-run chase after the early dismissal of Rohit Sharma. He dominated the 114-run partnership for the second wicket with Cheteshwar Pujara and gave India the early impetus.

Aakash Chopra's picks of the top 3 knocks played by Indian batsmen in the World Test Championship

Rishabh Pant
Rishabh Pant's unbeaten 89 at the Gabba features in the top three knocks chosen by Aakash Chopra

Aakash Chopra picked Rishabh Pant's series-clinching unbeaten 89 in the same Gabba Test at the No.3 spot.

"At No.3, I am picking Rishabh Pant. It was an unbeaten 89-run knock vs Australia, once again at Gabba. Last innings of the Test match and you are chasing 328 runs and he doesn't think about a draw. You not only won the match but created history," he said.

Ajinkya Rahane's 112 in Melbourne, which helped India bounce back from the annihilation in the pink-ball Test, was Aakash Chopra's pick as the second-best knock played by an Indian batsman.

He said:

"At No.2, I have got Ajinkya Rahane. His 112-run captain's knock is close to my heart. You reached Melbourne after being all out for 36 and lost Kohli and Shami as well. The captain has to lead from the front, do as you say. It is one of the best knocks Rahane has played in his career."

Aakash Chopra picked Rohit Sharma's dominating 161 on a square-turner at Chepauk as the best knock played by an Indian batsman in the WTC cycle.

"At No.1, Rohit Sharma. The innings I have picked is 161 vs England at Chennai. You had lost the first Test match and the surface was crumbling on the first day itself. That was a pure master class on how to neutralize and dominate spin bowling," Aakash Chopra concluded.

Rohit Sharma's 161 came off just 231 deliveries and was studded with 18 fours and a couple of sixes. That knock, along with Ravichandran Ashwin's all-round performance, helped India bounce back in the series.

Edited by Sankalp Srivastava
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