Axar Patel and Jasprit Bumrah do not figure in Aakash Chopra’s top five Test bowlers of 2021
Aakash Chopra has picked his top five Test bowlers of 2021. Jasprit Bumrah and Axar Patel are a couple of star Indian performers who failed to make the list.
Team India’s star off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, with 52 scalps to his name, is the highest wicket-taker in Tests in 2021 to date. Meanwhile, Axar Patel has the best average (11.86) among bowlers who have picked up at least 15 wickets.
Aakash Chopra did pick Ashwin as one of the five best Test bowlers of 2021. He said the following about the wily spinner in a video shared on his YouTube channel:
“Ravichandran Ashwin – he is there. He has picked up 52 wickets in eight matches, he didn’t get to play a single Test against England in England. He was good in the Sydney Test against Australia and the WTC final was also not that bad. He was absolutely sensational in India.”
Veteran James Anderson also earned the former India cricketer’s vote. Aakash Chopra observed:
“Jimmy Anderson’s name is there in this list. 32 wickets in 19 matches, he has played in Sri Lanka, India and at home. He was exceptional in the first Test against India at Chennai, took a five-wicket haul in Sri Lanka as well.”
Ollie Robinson was another English bowler picked by Aakash Chopra. He reasoned:
“Ollie Robinson – he has taken 28 wickets in five matches. His stature is growing. Some of the old issues came to the fore but he just fought through it and he has done very well.”
Robinson picked up seven wickets in his debut Test against New Zealand at Lord’s. He was dropped after some of his old racist tweets hogged the headlines. However, he bounced back brilliantly against India when he was picked again in the England side.
Aakash Chopra’s other two picks of the best Test bowlers of 2021
Aakash Chopra highlighted that Mohammed Siraj has bowled some excellent spells
Aakash Chopra picked Mohammed Siraj as the second Indian on his list of five best Test bowlers of 2021. He explained:
“I have put Mohammed Siraj’s name in this list. 28 wickets in nine matches, he gave a fantastic performance at Lord’s, good performances in Sydney and Brisbane. He has been continuously doing well. I like his attitude, he makes the ball talk off the surface.”
The reputed commentator concluded by naming Shaheen Shah Afridi as the standout Test bowler of 2021. Aakash Chopra elaborated:
“I am picking Shaheen Shah Afridi as the No.1 Test bowler for 2021. 47 wickets in nine matches at an average of 17. He has been sensational, there was a time where he was taking a five-wicket haul in every match.”
Afridi’s 47 Test wickets this year to date are second only to Ashwin’s 52. The lanky left-arm pacer has taken three five-wicket hauls, with a best of 6/51 against the West Indies.