New Delhi, July 27: Former India opener Aakash Chopra has made a sensational claim that Team India failed to win the 2019 Cricket World Cup because Virat Kohli did not have a world cup-winning side in the first place.
Team India headed into the showpiece event last year as one of the favourites but the Men In Blue suffered a defeat in a low scoring semi-final game against New Zealand and their dreams came crashing. While it was a certainty that India will make it to the semis in the tournament the Men In Blue failed to win the first and most important knock-out game.
Speaking on his YouTube Channel, Chopra - who is now a commentator - even went on comparing MS Dhoni's WC-winning side in 2011 with the one Kohli had last year. Chopra explained Dhoni had better players in his team and it also had an exceptional balance. He compared every member of the WC-winning 2011 side with that of 2019 Indian side.
Chopra started by comparing the openers of both the teams. While Dhoni's team had names like Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag to open the innings, while Kohli's side had Rohit Sharma at one side and Shikhar Dhawan or KL Rahul on other days.
"If you have to choose between Tendulkar and Rohit, whom will you choose, very tough call. They may just cancel each other out because Rohit has struck 5 centuries in a World Cup edition, which no one has done. Between Rahul/Dhawan and Sehwag, my heart says to keep Sehwag ahead, but let me keep Dhawan ahead just for argument sake," said Chopra.
"Between Gambhir and Kohli, no doubt this Kohli of 2019 is definitely ahead of Gambhir of 2011. Although Kohli was there in the 2011 team as well, there is a lot of difference between that Kohli and this Kohli. Yuvraj Singh is winning this race hands down against Dinesh Karthik/Kedar Jadhav/Pant/Pandya as a batsman, as a bowler, as a full package match-winner.
"Virat Kohli of 2011, we can keep Pant/DK/Kedhar/MSD ahead of him. Raina is again a match-winner. Whom will you compare with, probably Hardik Pandya? Raina is ahead that time even if you compare him with Kedar," he added.
The former Delhi cricketer picked up Dhoni of 2011 over Dhoni of 2019 for the wicketkeeper-batsman from Ranchi was a proven match-finisher. In 2019, the 38-year-old Dhoni had slowed down.
"MS Dhoni of 2011 vs MS Dhoni of 2019, no doubt MSD of 2011. Harbhajan Singh is a match-winner, so is Jadeja, maybe 50-50. Jaddu will get more numbers for fielding, Harbhajan Singh for bowling, Jaddu slightly ahead in batting in international ODI stage. Let us cancel out Zaheer and Bumrah, they are at par as bowlers almost, both are match-winners. Shami slightly ahead of Munaf. You will have to keep Nehra ahead of Kuldeep or Chahal," Chopra said.
Chopra finally concluded that India did not have a World-Cup winning team in 2019 hence they failed to make it to the final, let alone clinch the trophy.
"So if you see the full comparison, MS Dhoni's team of 2011 has won. That is why, if there is a match Dhoni's team is stronger and a match-winning team," said Chopra.
"Should we get a slight perspective, if you have not won the World Cup in 2019, probably you didn't have a World Cup-winning team only. Because the middle-order was so brittle, you didn't have the team to win. You should have played Shami and you didn't play him. You didn't prepare the team and Shikhar Dhawan got injured as well. So if you consider everything, 2011 team was lot ahead of this team that played in 2019. Therefore the trophy is with the 2011 team and not the 2019 team," he concluded.