IPL 2021: Aakash Chopra chooses his Punjab Kings XI, no place for Riley Meredith, Dawid Malan; Watch video

IPL 2021: Aakash Chopra picks ideal Punjab Kings XI, no place for Rs 8 crore buy Riley Meredith and Dawid Malan (World No.1 T20) batsman
IPL 2021: Aakash Chopra picks ideal Punjab Kings XI, no place for Rs 8 crore buy Riley Meredith and Dawid Malan (World No.1 T20) batsman

IPL 2021: Aakash Chopra chooses his Punjab Kings XI, leave out Riley Meredith, Dawid Malan- Cricketer turned commentator Aakash Chopra has picked the playing XI for Punjab Kings in IPL 2021. He has left out one of the costliest buys from Australia Meredith and ICC’s World No.1 T20 batsman Malan.

Riley Meredith and Dawid Malan

Surprisingly, Riley Meredith who was sold for Rs 8 crore to Punjab King’s name did not appear in Aakash Chopra’s ideal XI. He was one of the expensive picks in IPL 2021 auctions. Australian all-rounder Riley Meredith was picked up by Punjab Kings for Rs 8 crore in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) mini players auction.

The 24-year-old had listed his base price as Rs 40 lakh heading into the auction. Delhi Capitals and Punjab Kings had a bidding war for Meredith, but in the end, the pacer was picked up by Preity Zinta’s franchise. He has scalped 47 wickets in 37 T20 matches.

Meanwhile, Aakash Chopra also left out ICC World No.1 Rank batsman Dawid Malan owing to his batting position. The England opening batsman was bought for Rs 1 crore in IPL 2021 auction.

Aakash Chopra’s Punjab Kings playing XI

He feels that Chris Gayle should open the innings with KL Rahul while Mayank Agarwal should bat No.3. The latter two opened the innings and performed remarkably well unless an injury forced Punjab Kings to open with Gayle. He also grabbed the opportunity with both hands.

Chopra chose to go ahead with West Indies wicket-keeper batsman Nicholas Pooran at No. 4 and Deepak Hooda at No.5. It was followed by Aussie all-rounder Moises Henriques at No.6.

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“I will be going with KL Rahul and Gayle as the openers, Mayank Agarwal at No.3, Pooran at No.4, Hooda at No.5, and Moises Henriques at No.6. You should please play Henriques as he will add that balance to your side,” Chopra said on his YouTube channel.

He believes that new recruit ShahRukh Khan, Mandeep Singh or Sarfaraz Khan can play at No.7 as the trio won’t make any difference to team balance.

“At No.7, you can have anyone. You can play Shahrukh, Mandeep, or Sarfaraz – whoever you play it won’t make any difference. But if you have this kind of batting, you can play with a lot of freedom, something that they should do this season,” Chopra added.

He chose Murugan Ashwin, Ravi Bishnoi, Mohammad Shami and Jhye Richardson as his four bowling options for Punjab Kings.

Also Read: IPL 2021: MI’s Rohit Sharma, Ishan Kishan, de Kock will be the most destructive opening pair, predicts Aakash Chopra

Punjab Kings are set to open their IPL 2021 campaign against Rajasthan Royals (RR) on April 12.

Punjab Kings IPL 2021 squad

KL Rahul (c&wk), Mayank Agarwal, Chris Gayle, Mandeep Singh, Prabsimran Singh, Nicholas Pooran (wk), Sarfaraz Khan, Deepak Hooda, Murugan Ashwin, Ravi Bishnoi, Harpreet Brar, Mohammed Shami, Arshdeep Singh, Ishan Porel, Darshan Nalkande, Chris Jordan, Dawid Malan, Jhye Richardson, Shahrukh Khan, Riley Meredith, Moises Henriques, Jalaj Saxena, Utkarsh Singh, Fabian Allen, Saurabh Kumar

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