Joe Root certainly made it to Aakash Chopra’s list of top batters
Aakash Chopra has picked his top five Test batters of 2021. Two Indian players made it to this list.
Several batters have dished out exemplary performances with the willow this year. While Joe Root is the highest run-getter, Dimuth Karunaratne has the best average among players who have scored at least 500 runs.
Pakistan middle-order batter Fawad Alam was the first batter picked by Aakash Chopra in a video shared on his YouTube channel. The latter said:
“Fawad Alam is there in the five names I have picked. 7 matches, 513 runs at an average of 57.1 including three centuries. He had faded into oblivion but once he has made a comeback, he has not stopped. He is grabbing every opportunity with both hands.”
The cricketer-turned-commentator included Lahiru Thirimanne for his excellent performances in alien conditions. Aakash Chopra explained:
“Another name who is there in my mind is Lahiru Thirimanne. He played 7 matches, made 659 runs at an average of 50.6, with a top score of 140. He has played against South Africa in South Africa, against England in England, against West Indies in West Indies and against Bangladesh at home.”
Aakash Chopra picked Rishabh Pant as one of the two Indian batters in his top five. He reasoned:
“The third name in the list is Rishabh Pant. He has played 11 matches, made 706 runs at an average of 41.5, one hundred and has done very well in keeping also. It is unbelievable that he is the fastest visiting wicketkeeper to reach 500 runs in Australia in Tests.”
Pant played some match-defining knocks in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy and against England at home. However, he had a lean run in the away Tests against England and will hope to be at the top of his game in the upcoming series against South Africa.
Aakash Chopra’s picks of his top two batters of 2021
Aakash Chopra highlighted that 2021 has been the defining year for Rohit Sharma in Test cricket
Rohit Sharma‘s consistent performances earned him Aakash Chopra’s vote as one of the top batters of 2021. The latter elaborated:
“The fourth name in my list is Rohit Sharma. He has been absolutely sensational. 11 matches, 906 runs at an average of 47.6, two hundreds with a highest of 161. This is Rohit Sharma’s watershed year as a Test cricketer. He has started loving leaving and defending balls.”
The 44-year-old concluded by naming Joe Root as the best Test batter of 2021. Aakash Chopra pointed out:
“The fifth name is Joe Root. 12 matches, 1455 runs, 6 hundreds with a best of 228. The double century at Chennai in the first Test and a double century in Sri Lanka, back-to-back centuries against India in England. He has been a player par excellence. In my opinion, Joe Root has to be the best Test batter of 2021.”
While Aakash Chopra has considered stats before the start of the Ashes, Root has now become the first Englishman to score more than 1500 Test runs in a calendar year. The current England skipper has surpassed the 1481 runs Michael Vaughan amassed in 2002.