Aakash Chopra picks India XI for World Cup curtain-raiser against Australia

Cricket commentator and analyst Aakash Chopra has revealed his preferred playing XI for India’s first World Cup game against Australia on October 8. The former India batter has picked Suryakumar Yadav for a middle-order role and opted for just 2 specialist seamers.

When did Aakash Chopra pick his playing XI?

The Star Sports commentator was one of the latest sports broadcasters to join the playing XI selecting bandwagon when he selected his India XI for the World Cup curtain raiser against Australia while speaking on Jio Cinema during the third OD between the two teams.

Aakash Chopra picks his Team India playing XI for World Cup curtain raiser against Australia
Photo by Icon sport

Who makes the cut?

Chopra, known for his bold and against-the-tide sort of opinions, didn’t go for many controversial picks this time around as almost all the players who are expected to be starters made their way into his side.

However, there were two particular calls that stood out, one is dropping Shreyas Iyer who many believe will be a crucial man in India’s World Cup quest. The other is even more debatable, as the 46-year-old only went with two seamers, despite India’s recent success in this department. 

No Surprises in the Top Order

Team India has a settled and stable top order with young gun Shubhman Gill joining two of the modern-day greats Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma to form a nice mix of youth and experience as Gill and King Kohli in particular have been in terrific form.

If the Indian top order can fire, no score would be unattainable, even against a formidable Australian bowling line-up boasting the likes of Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood.

Rahul, SKY solidifies the middle order 

Shreyas Iyer is many people’s pick as a sure starter in the engine room. However, with KL Rahul keeping wickets and batting at no.4, Chopra has gone with the more dynamic Suryakumar Yadav at no.6, picking allrounder Hardik Pandya to bat at no.5.

Suryakumar Yadav finds backing from Rahul Dravid

There was no place for Ishan Kishan, despite the MI batter’s red-hot form. This would mean Ravindra Jadeja will be the only left-hander in the top 7. Jadeja and Pandya will have to contribute heavily with the ball as well.

Bumrah and Kuldeep lead the bowling charge

Chopra went with two seamers and two spinners, perhaps looking to exploit Australian batters’ historic weakness against spin. 

Bumrah and Siraj lead the pace attack, while Kuldeep spearheads the spin department and the fourth spot is a toss-up between Axar Patel and Washington Sundar.

Aakash Chopra’s India XI vs Australia in World Cup 2023

Rohit Sharma (c), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, KL Rahul (wk), Hardik Pandya, Suryakumar Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja, Washington Sundar/Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj