IPL 2020: Aakash Chopra picks the ideal playing XI for Delhi Capitals

Kartik Iyer
·5-min read

The Delhi Capitals will be in search of their maiden IPL title
The Delhi Capitals will be in search of their maiden IPL title

Former Indian opener Aakash Chopra has picked his ideal playing XI for the Delhi Capitals (DC) in IPL 2020. He also named Shreyas Iyer as their likely standout performer in this year's IPL.

Aakash Chopra carried out this exercise of picking the strongest possible Delhi Capitals lineup for the upcoming IPL in a video shared on his Facebook page.

The reputed commentator's first pick in his Delhi Capitals playing XI was Shikhar Dhawan, with the former Sunrisers Hyderabad opener having performed well for his current franchise.

"At No.1, I have kept Shikhar Dhawan. He came from SRH and has done well after joining Delhi. He has a carefree mindset these days and he is striking the ball well."

Prithvi Shaw was Aakash Chopra's other choice as an opener. The latter added that the Delhi Capitals also have the option of using Ajinkya Rahane at the top of the order, but would probably prefer going with the more dynamic Shaw.

"At No.2, I have got Prithvi Shaw. Although they have Ajinkya Rahane as well and they might have a thought of playing him, but will they want to play him ahead of Shaw. I feel Shaw will be an ideal choice to start with."

The Delhi Capitals' captain Shreyas Iyer got Aakash Chopra's nod for the No. 3 position in the batting order. The former Indian opener pointed out that the franchise possesses a strong Indian batting contingent, which was the secret behind the Chennai Super Kings' success.

"At No.3, I have captain Shreyas Iyer. They have an unbelievable Indian batting depth, which makes Delhi Capitals special. This was the same formula behind Chennai Super Kings success."

Rishabh Pant made Aakash Chopra's ideal Delhi Capitals XI as the No. 4 batsman, due to the swashbuckling left-hander's ability to demolish any attack and the exceptional 2018 season he had for the franchise.

"At No.4, I have got Rishabh Pant. He can bat anywhere in the order, take the attack to the opposition and he scores a lot of runs. He is the second-highest run-scorer amongst Indians in one season behind Virat Kohli's 2016 season."

Aakash Chopra opted for Shimron Hetmyer as the No. 5 batsman, with the West Indian coming in decent striking form in the recently-concluded CPL.

"Shimron Hetmyer at No.5. He is coming in good form from the CPL and plays the big shots."

The 42-year-old picked Alex Carey as the last specialist batsman in his preferred Delhi Capitals XI, considering the Australian's proficiency against spin.

"I have Alex Carey at No.6. He also bats well and is very good against spin. I feel he is a very good acquisition from Delhi Capitals' point of view if they wanted to strengthen their lower middle-order. He keeps as well."

Aakash Chopra's selection of bowlers in his ideal Delhi Capitals XI

Aakash Chopra picked Ishant Sharma as one of the seamers in his ideal Delhi Capitals XI
Aakash Chopra picked Ishant Sharma as one of the seamers in his ideal Delhi Capitals XI

Aakash Chopra opted for Axar Patel ahead of Marcus Stoinis for an all-rounder's position in his ideal Delhi Capitals XI. He reasoned that the latter may not be able to bowl his full quota of 4 overs on a regular basis, with the franchise not having any other bowling option in the top six he has chosen.

"At No.7, I will play Axar Patel ahead of Stoinis because Stoinis may not be able to give 4 overs and no one bowls amongst the top 6."

The former Kings XI Punjab captain Ravichandran Ashwin made Aakash Chopra's preferred Delhi Capitals XI as the off-spinner who could also bat a bit.

"At No.8, we will have Ravichandran Ashwin. He used to be the captain for KXIP and I feel he will do a good job for Delhi Capitals."

The former KKR player chose Amit Mishra ahead of Sandeep Lamichhane as the leg-spinner in his ideal Delhi Capitals XI, despite the Nepal cricketer's decent form in the CPL.

"Amit Mishra will be the choice at No.9. I will definitely play him although we can have Sandeep Lamichhane here as well who is coming in good form from the CPL."

Aakash Chopra picked Ishant Sharma as the only Indian seamer in his strongest possible Delhi Capitals XI, considering the lanky pacer's growth as a bowler in the last couple of years.

"At No.10, we have Ishant Sharma. His profile has grown in the last 12-24 months across formats. So you can expect him to do well."

Kagiso Rabada was Aakash Chopra's final pick in his ideal Delhi Capitals XI, and he added that Daniel Sams and Anrich Nortje could be the alternate options.

"At No.11, I have kept Kagiso Rabada. But they have so many choices that they can keep Daniel Sams or Nortje as well."

Aakash Chopra signed off by opining that the Delhi Capitals would be one of the favourites to bag the title in IPL 2020. He also named their captain Shreyas Iyer as their likely standout performer in this season of the IPL.

"Delhi Capitals will be in the top four and are actually my title contenders. This could be their year if they play to their potential. Shreyas Iyer will their outstanding player in IPL 2020, he will score runs, do captaincy and make his team win."

Aakash Chopra's ideal Delhi Capitals playing XI: Shikhar Dhawan, Prithvi Shaw, Shreyas Iyer (c), Rishabh Pant (wk), Shimron Hetmyer, Alex Carey, Axar Patel, Ravichandran Ashwin, Amit Mishra, Ishant Sharma, Kagiso Rabada