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Aakash Chopra Picks World XI to Take on New Zealand; Virat Kohli Excluded While Three Indians Make it to Team

Team India after the loss at the Rose Bowl in Southampton, England, Wednesday, June 23, 2021. (AP Photo/Ian Walton)

Team India after the loss at the Rose Bowl in Southampton, England, Wednesday, June 23, 2021. (AP Photo/Ian Walton)

Commentator Aakash Chopra came up with the World XI that could take on the strong New Zealand side in their own backyard.

Just last week Team New Zealand were crowned the first-ever World Test Champions, after they beat India by eight wickets in Southampton. In the last few years, the Blackcaps have emerged as a powerhouse in all formats, and apart from the WTC win, also made it to two back-to-back finals in the World Cup.

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Commentator Aakash Chopra came up with the World XI that could take on the strong New Zealand side in their own backyard. For opening role, Chopra went in with Rohit Sharma and Sri Lanka’s Dimuth Karunaratne. Australia Marnus Labuschagne was included at number three. He made a surprise pick for number four slot in England’s Joe Root, and did not pick India skipper Virat Kohli at all.

“At No.4, I have kept Joe Root. Yes, Kohli and Babar Azam, you are not there. He has scored 1660 runs, of course, they play more matches, which includes double centuries in India, Sri Lanka,” Chopra said on his YouTube channel. Chopra then went on to pick Steve Smith next in the batting order, while the all-rounders spot was occupied by Ben Stokes. “At No.6, I have got Ben Stokes. No Jason Holder or Ravindra Jadeja. You will need Ben Stokes’ bowling for sure. He has scored 1334 runs, almost the same as Steve Smith, at an average of 46 and he has taken wickets as well,” asserted Chopra.

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It was a no-brainer as far as the wicket-keeper is concerned. That slot was bagged by India’s Rishabh Pant. While the only spinner in the side was R Ashwin. Pat Cummins, Stuart Broad and Josh Hazlewood made the XI as well. He also selected Joe Root as the captain.

Aakash Chopra World XI: Rohit Sharma, Dimuth Karunaratne, Marnus Labuschagne, Joe Root (c), Steve Smith, Ben Stokes, Rishabh Pant, Ravichandran Ashwin, Pat Cummins, Stuart Broad, Josh Hazlewood

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first published:June 29, 2021, 15:28 IST