‘Indian cricket can see a rising star’: Aakash Chopra identifies the bowler who took everyone by ‘surprise’ in IPL 2021
Former Indian cricketer Aakash Chopra has lauded Rajasthan Royals’ young pacer Chetan Sakariya for his exceptional performance in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021. RR’s new recruit took everyone by surprise as he managed to pick the wickets of several big-ticket players, including KL Rahul and MS Dhoni. The left-arm quick pocketed seven wickets from as many games before the tournament was suspended due to rising cases of Covid-19 in its bio-bubble.
Chopra was immensely impressed with Sakariya and called him a ‘real deal’. In the latest video on his YouTube channel, the former cricketer picked him as one of the top six uncapped Indian players who have impressed him the most in IPL 2021.
“He [Sakariya] took all of us by surprise. He is the real deal. How impressive he has been, he can make the ball go out and come in. He has both the back of the hand and a normal slower one. Even if he gets hit, he has the talent of quickly bouncing back and with the same level of confidence. If you talk about temperament and technique, there is a lot to like about him. I think Indian cricket can see a rising star in Chetan Sakariya,” said Aakash Chopra.
Besides Sakariya, the likes of Avesh Khan, Harshal Patel, Devdutt Padikkal, Harpreet Brar, and Ravi Bishnoi are the other youngsters on the list of Aakash Chopra. The cricketer-turned-commentator spoke about Avesh Khan and highlighted his consistency in IPL 2021.
“The first name I have written is Avesh Khan. He has impressed a lot this year because Nortje was not there and even Rabada was not there in the beginning. He bowled consistently well right from the first match where he struck Faf on the pads and MS Dhoni's stumps,” said Chopra.
RCB opener Padikkal is the only batter on Chopra’s list. Speaking about the Karnataka batsman, Chopra said, “He played just the one destructive huge knock but it was fantastic. You can see a different quality in this player. How many uncapped Indian players can say that they have scored a century? It is very very difficult but he has done that.”