Aakash Chopra has chosen the best current World XI, which includes players who have competed in the Under-19 World Cup before. Only one Indian cricketer is included in the squad, with wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant and all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja both missing out.
Many players have risen to prominence as a result of the Under-19 World Cups, and have gone on to excel at the senior level. Aside from Pant and Jadeja, current Indian players such as Virat Kohli, Shikhar Dhawan, Cheteshwar Pujara, Shubman Gill, Prithvi Shaw, and Ishan Kishan have all lit up the Under-19 stage.
Aakash Chopra Picks Best Current World XI Who Have played Under-19 World Cups
Aakash Chopra’s first choice for his XI was Babar Azam, the current captain of Pakistan’s senior team.
“Babar Azam, you saw him playing drives in the under-19 World Cup, he was looking good. He comes from a cricketing family and it was the first time we got to see his potential.”, Aakash Chopra said.
Chopra chose former Indian captain Virat Kohli after Azam, claiming that he had seen Kohli play in the Ranji Trophy when he was younger. Chopra also admitted that he did not expect Kohli, now 33, to perform so well in the international arena when he first saw him.
“When he [Virat Kohli] was selected for India under-19, he was already a part of the Ranji Trophy team and I have seen him closely. The qualities were there, it seemed the boy will do well but I will be honest, I didn’t feel he will do this well.”, Chopra said.
Aakash Chopra then chose Steve Smith and Kane Williamson, two modern-day greats. Smith has become unstoppable, according to Chopra, and Williamson has been extremely consistent.
“Steve Smith, if you see his photo as a kid, you will say a leg-spinner had come who could bat a little but he will become Steve unstoppable Smith. Kane consistent Williamson – it was the same World Cup where Virat Kohli was there against him. In fact, Kohli dismissed Williamson,” said Chopra.
Mehidy Hasan was chosen by Aakash Chopra and praised the Bangladesh all-rounder for his incredible journey to senior cricket. Chris Woakes, England’s swing bowler, was also named to Aakash’s World XI.
“Mehidy Hasan Miraz – one of my favorite players, his performance has been very good. Then Chris Woakes, he also made the journey from the under-19 World Cup to the England side.”, Chopra added.
Finally, Aakash Chopra chose two speedsters: Pakistan’s Shaheen Shah Afridi and South Africa’s Kagiso Rabada.
“Then Shaheen Afridi and Kagiso Rabada. These are two other big names whom you see and say – Well done yaar, these boys have done very well.”, Aakash Chopra concluded.
Aakash Chopra’s XI: Babar Azam, Virat Kohli, Steve Smith, Kane Williamson, Dinesh Chandimal, Eoin Morgan, Shimron Hetmyer, Mehidy Hasan, Chris Woakes, Shaheen Afridi, Kagiso Rabada