Following the conclusion of the inaugural World Test Championship (WTC) final, cricketer-turned-commentator Aakash Chopra has put together a World XI that can take on champions New Zealand in their own backyard.
In the rain-marred World Test Championship (WTC) final in Southampton, Kane Williamson-led New Zealand defeated India by eight wickets to clinch the mace and become the first-ever World Test Champions.
Former India opener Chopra picked Joe Root ahead of Virat Kohli at the No.4 spot and also assigned the leadership role to the English skipper. Rohit Sharma and Dimuth Karunaratne were part of Chopra's opening combination while Marnus Labuschagne was included at the No.3 position. Ex-Australia skipper Steve Smith was also slotted in the team at the No.5 spot.
“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.
"Rohit Sharma has scored his runs at an average over 60. He has four centuries to his name, which also includes double hundreds. Dimuth Karunaratne will be there along with him. He has scored 999 runs at an average of 55.5," he said.
"Marnus Labuschagne, of course. He has amassed 1675 runs, he has an average of 72, no one can remove him. He has five centuries, runs in the Ashes and against us as well.
"After that, I have picked Steve Smith. He has 1341 runs at an average of 63. He has struck four centuries and won a Test match single-handedly. That was the Ashes Test match and eventually scored runs against India as well," Chopra said.
Chopra preferred England's Ben Stokes over Ravindra Jadeja and Jason Holder for the all-rounder spot of his World XI. Rishabh Pant was assigned wicketkeeping duties while Ravichandran Ashwin featured as the lone spinner in Chopra's set-up.
"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."
Aakash Chopra’s World Test XI: Rohit Sharma, Dimuth Karunaratne, Marnus Labuschagne, Joe Root (c), Steve Smith, Ben Stokes, Rishabh Pant, Ravichandran Ashwin, Pat Cummins, Stuart Broad, Josh Hazlewood.