There is no doubt that the current New Zealand team is one of the best sides in the world, especially in the longest format of the game. Recently, they have proven their excellence by defeating the mighty India in the World Test Championship (WTC) final at Rose Bowl in Southampton.
New Zealand is the leading Test team and can take opposition at any time, regardless of the conditions.
Considering the Black Caps’ dominance in the red-ball format, the former India opening batsman Aakash Chopra has chosen a World Test XI that can take on the current champions of WTC. Chopra paid attention to the top performers of the WTC cycle 2019-21 and selected a group of players who did an excellent job for their respective countries.
Starting with the openers, Chopra went with India Rohit Sharma and Dimuth Karunaratne of Sri Lanka. Rohit was only the sixth individual to score the 1000 runs in the WTC cycle. He scored 1094 runs in 12 games. Karunaratne, on the other hand, shot just one run short of the WTC’s standard mark. He made 999 runs in ten games.
As for the middle order, the cricketer commentator preferred Marnus Labuschagne, Joe Root, en Steve Smith. All three players were the top three frontrunners in WTC Phase I. While Labuschagne scored 1675 runs in 13 games, Root scored 1660 in 20 games. Similarly, Smith hit 1341 runs in 13 games.
It is interesting that Chopra did not choose Indian captain Virat Kohli and Root was named captain of his team. On top of that, the former Delhi cricketer left out such people Kane Williamson and Babar Azam from his XI. Kohli scored 934 runs in 15 games, and Babar made 932 in 10 games. Williamson follows the duo by scoring 918 fin 10 games.
“At number 4, I kept Joe Root. Yes, Kohli and Babar Azam, you are not there. He scored 1660 runs; of course they play more matches, including double centuries in India, Sri Lanka, ” says Chopra on his Youtube channel.
Chopra gives wicketkeeper to Indian boy Rishabh Pant, and for the versatile position, he went with the English star Ben Stokes.
Chopra also explained why he chose Stokes Ravindra Jadeja and Jason Holder. He said: ‘At No. 6 I have Ben Stokes. No Jason Holder or Ravindra Jadeja. You will surely need Ben Stokes’ bowling. He scored 1334 runs, almost the same as Steve Smith, on an average of 46, and he also took wickets. ‘
Among the bowlers, the 43-year-old mentions Ravichandran Ashwin, Pat Cummins, Stuart Broad and Josh Hazlewood.
Ashwin was the leading wicketkeeper in the WTC cycle, picks up 71 scalps in 14 games. On the other hand, Cummins and Broad scored 70 and 69 wickets respectively. Similarly, Hazlewood has taken 48 headaches in the two years.
Aakash Chopra’s World Test XI:
Joe Root (c), Rohit Sharma, Dimuth Karunaratne, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Ben Stokes, Rishabh Pant, Ravichandran Ashwin, Pat Cummins, Stuart Broad, Josh Hazlewood.