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Chopra includes four Pakistan players in fantasy XI for Manchester Test

The former cricketer is backing the experience of Azhar Ali and Babar Azam in English conditions to come good

PHOTO: Twitter

Former Indian cricketer Aakash Chopra has included four Pakistan cricketers in his fantasy XI for the first Test against England, starting from August 5 at Old Trafford, Manchester.

The former cricketer is backing the experience of Azhar Ali and Babar Azam in English conditions to come good.

“Pakistan will be expecting runs from Babar as he scored runs in the World Cup. Plus, they will be depending on Azhar Ali, who has been a prolific run-getter for them,” said Chopra on his YouTube channel.

“However, the bottom-five [in the batting-order] for England and Pakistan will decide the outcome of the series. Whichever team’s lower-order scores more runs, will not only win the match, but also the series,” he added.

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Chopra selected in-form England all-rounder Ben Stokes as his skipper, while leaving out England captain Joe Root from his playing XI.

“Shaheen Afridi and Naseem Shah can get Joe Root cheaply if they pitch the ball up. So I am not backing Joe Root to score big,” he said.

The 42-year-old also picked left-arm pacer Shaheen Shah Afridi and Yasir Shah, as he believes the leg-spinner can be the difference between the two sides.

“In bowling, I am looking at Shaheen Afridi and Yasir Shah should play a vital role as well. England batsmen will have trouble against a bowler who can take the ball away from them. They can be found wanting against a quality spinner. Yasir hasn’t been in great form recently, but I am backing him to perform,” he said.

Finally, Chopra advised Azhar to not repeat the mistakes of Windies, and opt to bat first if he wins the toss.

Aakash Chopra’s fantasy XI:

Dom Sibley, Azhar Ali, Babar Azam, Ollie Pope, Ben Stokes (c), Jos Buttler (wk), Yasir Shah, Stuart Broad, Jofra Archer, Shaheen Afridi, James Anderson