Former Indian opener Aakash Chopra has picked an ideal playing XI for Kings XI Punjab. Surprisingly there is no place for legendary T20 batsman, Chris Gayle. Chopra wants KXIP captain KL Rahul to open the innings with his good friend Mayank Agarwal. Rahul has impressed everyone with his performances in the T20 format.
The stylish batsman has amassed 1977 runs in 67 IPL matches at an average of 42.06 and strike rate of 138.16. Mayank Agarwal has scored 1270 runs in 77 IPL matches. Aakash Chopra wants either Mandeep Singh or Karun Nair to bat at number three.
Mandeep has scored 1529 runs in 97 IPL matches whereas Karun Nair, who is only the second India to score a triple Test century, has scored 1464 runs in 69 IPL matches.
West Indies’ explosive batsman Nicholas Pooran bats at number four for Aakash Chopra. Pooran has scored 168 runs in seven IPL matches. Australia’s all-rounder Glenn Maxwell bats at number five as the right-hander can take the game away from the opposition. Maxwell has accumulated 1397 runs in 69 IPL matches.
Sarfaraz Khan bats at number six in Aakash Chopra’s ideal playing XI for KXIP. The youngster has thus far scored 408 runs in 33 IPL matches.
Chopra wants Krishnappa Gowtham to bat at number seven for Punjab. Gowtham has scalped 12 wickets in 22 IPL matches and he can also hit the ground running with the bat.
Aakash Chopra has backed Chris Jordan and Mohammed Shami as the two main fast bowlers. Jordan has the skills to hit the blockhole consistently and he has taken 12 wickets in 11 IPL matches. Shami has taken 40 wickets in 49 IPL matches.
Chopra has backed Afghanistan’s mystery spinner Mujeeb Rehman and India’s Under-19 spinner Ravi Bishnoi to be part of Punjab’s spin attack. Rahman has snared 17 wickets in 16 IPL matches whereas Bishnoi is yet to make his IPL debut.
Aakash Chopra’s ideal Kings XI Punjab playing XI: KL Rahul (c), Mayank Agarwal, Karun Nair/Mandeep Singh, Nicholas Pooran, Glenn Maxwell, Sarfaraz Khan, Krishnappa Gowtham, Chris Jordan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Ravi Bishnoi, Mohammed Shami