The 2022 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) came to an end on Sunday (May 29), with Gujarat Titans (GT) defeating Rajasthan Royals (RR) by seven wickets in the final to clinch the title.
The tournament saw 70 league matches being played among 10 franchises before the four playoff fixtures. As a result, fans and cricket pundits witnessed a number of brilliant performers throughout the campaign in different departments of the game.
On the basis of the players’ performances, former cricketer-turned-commentator Aakash Chopra picked India’s T20 World Cup 2022 squad, which didn’t feature big names like Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Rishabh Pant and Ravindra Jadeja.
Chopra named Hardik Pandya as the captain of his India T20 World Cup side. Pandya led GT to the IPL title in their maiden season.
The former India opener picked KL Rahul and Ishan Kishan to open the innings, followed by uncapped SRH batter Rahul Tripathi and Suryakumar Yadav.
“The first name I am keeping is KL Rahul. He can play till 15-17 overs, he is a T20 gun batter and scored more than 600 runs this year. I have kept Ishan Kishan along with him. If you see his numbers, you will say it was not that bad a season for Ishan Kishan,” Chopra said on his YouTube channel.
“At No. 3, I have kept Rahul Tripathi. He played very well this, strike rate has been very high and given match-winning performances. At No. 4, I have kept SKY. He has not played all the games but he has played at a different level in the matches he played,” he added.
Calling Hardik, the ‘player of the tournament,’ Chopra said he can play the role of a finisher. RCB’s Dinesh Karthik and Rajasthan Royals captain Sanju Samson were the other two keeping options in Chopra’s team apart from Kishan.
“After that, my Player of the Tournament… I have made Hardik Pandya the captain of the team. He can play in the middle and be a finisher as well. After that, I have given a spot to Dinesh Karthik and he is my wicketkeeper as well. He has run at a strike rate of 180-190 and finished a lot of matches,” he added.
Hailing Hardik as the ‘player of the tournament,’ Chopra said he can play the role of a finisher. RCB’s Dinesh Karthik and Rajasthan Royals skipper Sanju Samson were the other two keeping options in Chopra’s squad.
“After that, my Player of the Tournament… I have made Hardik Pandya the captain of the team. He can play in the middle and be a finisher as well. After that, I have given a spot to Dinesh Karthik and he is my wicketkeeper as well. He has run at a strike rate of 180-190 and finished a lot of matches,” he stated.
Aakash Chopra opted to go with LSG’s Krunal Pandya as his spin-bowling all-rounder in the side.
“At No. 7, I have kept Krunal Pandya because he has had a very good season. He has been very economical as a bowler and scored crucial runs as a batter. He can bat up and down the order. You require a left-hander in the middle,” Chopra added.
Coming to the bowling department, Aakash Chopra selected Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav as premier spinners while Mohammad Shami, Arshdeep Singh, Jasprit Bumrah, Harshal Patel, and Avesh Khan featured in the pace attack.
“After that, Yuzi Chahal has to be in my side. Then I have three fast bowlers and the fourth fast bowler is Hardik Pandya – Mohammad Shami, Avesh Khan, Arshdeep Singh. I am seeing this as the XI.”
Aakash Chopra’s India T20 World Cup Squad:
KL Rahul, Ishan Kishan, Rahul Tripathi, Suryakumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya (c), Dinesh Karthik, Krunal Pandya, Yuzvendra Chahal, Mohammad Shami, Avesh Khan, Arshdeep Singh, Sanju Samson, Deepak Hooda, Kuldeep Yadav, Harshal Patel, Jasprit Bumrah