Cricketer turned expert Aakash Chopra has named his Punjab Kings’ (PBKS) predicted playing XI for their game against Rajasthan Royals (RR). The former Indian cricketer wants Chris Gayle to open alongside KL Rahul, with Mayank Agarwal coming at 3. The pair of Agarwal and Rahul has been brilliant for PBKS in the last couple of years but Chopra feels the destructive West Indian is at his best at the top. Chopra revealed his PBKS playing XI on his YouTube Channel.
“I want Gayle and Rahul to open, so Agarwal can bat at no.3.”
Punjab Kings have invested a lot in Nicolas Pooran but the southpaw failed to deliver in the first leg. However, despite his miserable outings in India, Chopra picked him in his predicted playing XI and slotted him at 4. Following Pooran are Deepak Hooda and Shahrukh Khan “Nicholas Pooran should bat at no.4. That way, you can have two strong overseas players in the top four. After that, they should have Deepak Hooda and Shahrukh Khan. That becomes PBKS’ top six and this line-up in looking good.”
PBKS will have the option to select one between Moises Henriques and Chris Jordan as a fast-bowling all-rounder and Chopra feels the former has a better chance of getting a game owing to his better skills with the bat. “At 7, you need some batting depth. I feel PBKS should play Moises Henriques. On this pitch, he could be your player. Punjab also have Chris Jordan but Henriques is a better batsman.”
Mohammed Shami, Nathan Ellis, Ravi Bishnoi and one between Arshdeep Singh and Harpreet Brar should be the bowling combination of PBKS, reckons Aakash Chopra. “Among the bowlers, leg-spinners Ravi Bishnoi must play. I would also like to see Nathan Ellis in the playing XI. Mohammed Shami will definitely play. For the last spot, they can pick between Arshdeep Singh and Harpreet Brar. Punjab need more pacers. They already have spin options in Bishnoi and Hooda. So Arshdeep looks like a better pick. I think this should be PBKS’ XI.”
Aakash Chopra’s PBKS XI for Match 32: Chris Gayle, KL Rahul (c & wk), Mayank Agarwal, Nicholas Pooran, Deepak Hooda, Shahrukh Khan, Moises Henriques, Nathan Ellis, Ravi Bishnoi, Mohammed Shami, Arshdeep Singh