Cricket Commentator Aakash Chopra has omitted India captain Virat Kohli from his World XI squad, which he thinks can take on the recently crowned Test champion New Zealand in their own backyard. Chopra, while trying to predict a World XI side that can challenge the WTC victors at home, snubbed Virat Kohli to give his English counterpart Joe Root a chance at number 4. Chopra stated that Joe Root's two double centuries in Asia compelled him to select the English captain over Kohli and Babar Azam for the number 4 spot in the potential ICC World XI.
The former India cricketer picked Indian opener Rohit Sharma and Sri Lanka's Dimuth Karunaratne for the top two positions, citing their incredible performances during the course of the World Test Championship cycle. Chopra named Marnus Labuschagne as his pick for the number three spot. The Australian batsman registered the best average amongst all players who took part in the WTC 2019-21 edition as he scored a whopping 1,675 runs in just 13 matches, including five centuries. Former Australia skipper Steve Smith secured the fifth position in Chopra's list because of his average of 63.85 in 13 matches.
England all-rounder Ben Stokes took the sixth spot on the list due to his outstanding batting performance, in which he nearly scored as many runs as Steven Smith in 17 matches at an average of 47. Chopra picked Rishabh Pant as his wicket-keeper, particularly because of the Indian batsman's aggressive style of play. Ravichandran Ashwin is the only spinner to have found a place in Chopra's World XI to play against the champion New Zealand side in seamers-friendly conditions. Chopra chose Pat Cummins, Stuart Broad, and Josh Hazlewood as his three pacers.
Chopra's World XI: Rohit Sharma (IND), Dimuth Karunaratne (SL), Marnus Labuschagne (AUS), Joe Root (ENG, Captain), Steve Smith (AUS), Ben Stokes (ENG), Rishabh Pant (IND, wk), Pat Cummins (AUS), Ravichandran Ashwin (IND), Stuart Broad (ENG), Josh Hazlewood (AUS).
Meanwhile, Chopra decided to go with the same playing XI for New Zealand that the Kiwis had fielded against India in the World Test Championship final.