With the Indian Premier League 2021 suspended after 29 games due to the Covid crisis in the country, yet, with limited cricket played, there were performances and players that stood out and left a mark. Former India cricketer-turned-commentator Aakash Chopra picked his best XI of the tournament and the big surprise was the absence of Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma.

Chopra backed KL Rahul and Shikhar Dhawan as openers because of their good show in IPL.

“I have kept KL Rahul first. He played three big knocks, which includes two nineties and a 60-odd. All three of them came in a winning cause, so whenever he scored runs his team won. He played at a good strike rate as well. Along with him is Shikhar Dhawan and he has the Orange Cap on his head. The maturity with which he has started playing, this is the upgraded version of Shikhar Dhawan which we have seen from the last IPL,” Chopra told on his YouTube channel.

He then picked Faf du Plessis at No 3 and kept Glenn Maxwell at 4. At numbers 5 and 6, he has AB de Villiers and Rishabh Pant.

“I have kept Faf at No.3. He opened for his team but I have kept him at No.3. He has been consistent and played in a destructive fashion. CSK’s revival wouldn’t have happened without him. At No.4, I have kept Glenn Maxwell. He scored the difficult runs. His performance in the first five matches was outstanding. I have kept AB de Villiers at No.5. His innings in Ahmedabad was fantastic and the knock against KKR in Chennai was one of the finest you would see in the IPL. At No.6, I have kept Pant. I know it is too low down the order but you can promote him if a left-hander is required to be sent. I will get him to keep and not AB,” added Chopra.

Chris Morris and Ravindra Jadeja were the two all-rounders he picked, while he backed Rahul Chahar as the specialist spinner on his side. Chopra went in with two pacers and they were Avesh Khan and Harshal Patel.

Aakash Chopra’s IPL 2021 XI: KL Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan, Faf du Plessis, Glenn Maxwell, AB de Villiers, Rishabh Pant, Ravindra Jadeja, Chris Morris, Rahul Chahar, Avesh Khan, Harshal Patel