|Full name||Aakash Chopra|
19 September 1977 |
Agra, Uttar Pradesh
|Test debut (cap 246)||8–12 October 2003 v New Zealand|
|Last Test||26–29 October 2004 v Australia|
|Domestic team information|
|2000/2001||Delhi cricket team|
|2008||Kolkata Knight Riders|
Source: Cricinfo, 23 October 2015
Aakash Chopra pronunciation (help·info) (born 19 September 1977, in Agra, Uttar Pradesh) is a former Indian cricketer, who played for the Indian cricket team from late 2003 until late 2004 as a defensive opening batsman and close catcher in Test matches. An article by Aakash Chopra was featured in the 2012 book Rahul Dravid: Timeless Steel. An article by Aakash Chopra has also appeared in the book "Sachin Tendulkar : The man cricket loved back." (2014). He can be seen commentating in various international matches telecasted on Star Sports, plying his trade mainly in Hindi commentatory.
An opening batsman, Chopra started his cricket journey with Sonnet Cricket Club in Delhi. He represented India School Boys trip to the West Indies in 1995. He represented Delhi at Under-16 and Under-19 levels and was picked to play North Zone in both age-group categories, and toured Sri Lanka with the India Under-19 team.
Chopra made his Test debut in Ahmedabad against New Zealand in late 2003 as India sought to find an opening partner for his Delhi teammate Virender Sehwag. Chopra's international career started well, scoring two half-centuries against New Zealand during 2003/04 in the second Test in Mohali. On the 2003–04 tour to Australia, he featured in many solid partnerships with Virender Sehwag, including two century opening partnerships in Melbourne and Sydney. Chopra's work in seeing off the new ball saw him credited with the large scores that India accumulated in that series when middle-order batsmen Rahul Dravid, V. V. S. Laxman and Sachin Tendulkar regularly compiled large centuries.
On the subsequent tour to Pakistan, he compiled another century stand with Virender Sehwag as India posted more than 600 runs in the first innings to set up a heavy innings defeat of arch-rivals Pakistan in the first Test in Multan. However, in the second Test, the Indian batsmen failed in a losing effort, apart from a century from Yuvraj Singh, who played in place of the injured captain Sourav Ganguly. When Ganguly returned for the final Test, it was Chopra who was axed and Yuvraj retained.
Chopra was reintroduced as Sehwag's partner in the 2004 Border-Gavaskar Trophy after Tendulkar was injured for the First Test in Bangalore. However, a heavy loss saw Chopra axed for the following match in Chennai upon Tendulkar's return, with Yuvraj elevated to opening the innings. Yuvraj also struggled, and Chopra was recalled for the Third Test in Nagpur. However, a double failure by Chopra, as Australia won a series in India for the first time in 35 years, saw him dropped for the last time, after his career average gradually decreased, however, from 46.25 to only 23. Chopra was replaced by Delhi teammate Gautam Gambhir, and has since been overtaken by Gambhir and Wasim Jaffer in the race to partner Sehwag in the Test side. Due to his low scoring rate, he has not been considered for One Day Internationals.
After representing Delhi for a long time, Chopra joined Rajasthan as a guest player in Ranji Plate division. He helped Rajasthan to become the first Plate division team to win the Ranji Trophy followed by another Ranji trophy win in 2010–2011 season. He has won three Ranji titles in total---one with Delhi and two with Rajasthan. He's one of the few Indian cricketers who have scored over 10, 000 First-Class runs.
His columns regularly appear in Mid-Day and on Cricinfo. He is currently with Star Sports, Sony and Sony Espn as a cricket commentator and analyst.
In 2009 Chopra released Beyond the Blues: A First-Class Season Like No Other, a diary of Chopra's 2007–08 domestic season. It was published by Harper Collins. It was critically acclaimed and Suresh Menon of Cricinfo wrote that it was "the best book written by an Indian Test cricketer". In November 2011, his second book was published by Harper Collins titled Out of the Blue, about Rajasthan's victory in the Ranji Trophy. He went on to write two more books--The Insider with Espn Cricinfo in 2015 and Numbers Do Lie with Impact Index in 2017. Harper Collins has published all his work thus far.
- "Aakash Chopra". Cricinfo. Archived from the original on 15 February 2007. Retrieved 2007-02-06.
- Vasu, Anand (8 April 2004). "Yuvraj or Chopra? India's selectorial dilemma". Cricinfo. Retrieved 2007-02-07.
- Aakash Chopra to represent Rajasthan Archived 4 November 2010 at the Wayback Machine.
- Cricinfo review of Beyond the Blues