'He batted brilliantly last year': Aakash Chopra names his SRH XI, picks Saha over Bairstow, Roy to open with Warner
Heading into Indian Premier League 2021, Sunrisers Hyderabad found themselves facing a huge conundrum when deciding who should open the innings for them in the T20 tournament. On the one hand, David Warner and Jonny Bairstow have proven to be a tried-and-tested combination, and have successfully stitched record-setting partnerships.
But in IPL 2020, when Bairstow struggled, SRH tried Wriddhiman Saha as an opener alongside Warner, and the India wicketkeeper-batsman showed his talents in the shortest format.
Also read: 'I am as young as ever': At 37, AB de Villiers still 'excited' for another stint with RCB in IPL 2021
Moreover, with Mitchell Marsh pulling out of the tournament, Sunrisers have roped in Jason Roy for the season. Roy and Bairstow are regarded as the best-opening pair in limited-overs cricket at the moment, and they were superb in the recently-concluded limited-overs series against India when they opened together.
Former India cricketer Aakash Chopra feels SRH should go ahead with Saha as Warner's opening partner.
"It is a difficult task to pick their ideal XI. It is not the case always but this time it is difficult. Who will open with Warner? I will say to make Saha open because he batted brilliantly last year as well and he will have the fire burning in the belly that he needs to do something. And he is selfless, he is absolutely a team player," Chopra said in a video uploaded on his Youtube channel.
"Kane Williamson at No.3, Manish Pandey at No.4, you have Kedar Jadhav at No.5. At six, you have got multiple choices. You can play either of Vijay Shankar, Abhishek Sharma or Abdul Samad. You can get one or two overs apart from the batting. They have Virat Singh as well, they have got plenty of options," he added.
"At seven and eight, I will have Rashid and Nabi because you are playing your first few encounters in Chennai and then Delhi. So spin will be of use in both these places. So there might not be a place for Jason Holder. Rashid and Nabi are four-over banks and can hit the long ball," Chopra further said.
"Then you need to play three fast bowlers. So there you play Bhuvi, Natarajan and Sandeep Sharma. Sandeep Sharma will bowl in the powerplay overs, Natarajan will bowl in the death overs, Bhuvi will bowl in both these phases of the game. I mean this looks like a good side to me," Chopra signed off.
Sunrisers will open their campaign against Kolkata Knight Riders on April 11th.