Aakash Chopra believes Yuzvendra Chahal’s exclusion from India’s Asia Cup squad means that the leg-spinner is unlikely to find a place in the World Cup squad as well. The selectors on Monday, 21 August picked a 17-member Indian squad for the upcoming continental event. Kuldeep Yadav is the only wrist spinner in the team while Ravindra Jadeja and Akshar Patel are the two-finger spinners.
Reflecting on the development in a video shared on his YouTube channel, Chopra was not very optimistic about Chahal’s inclusion in the World Cup squad. They said:
“You are going with just one wrist-spinner in this tournament. I feel you won’t be able to create a place for Yuzi (Yuzvendra) Chahal for the World Cup as well because if it wasn’t created here, it won’t be created there as well unless there is an injury.”
The former Indian opener pointed out that Chahal had to lose his place due to the need for all-rounders at No.7 and No.8. he explained:
“I feel we have a slight obsession that we need a batter at No. 8. We have Jaddu (Ravindra Jadeja), Axar (Patel) and Shardul Thakur, who can both bat and bowl. So you want all-rounders at No. 7 and No. 8 and because of that, you are unable to create a place for Yuzi Chahal.”
Yuzi Chahal has taken 121 wickets in 72 ODIs at a reasonable economy rate of 5.26. He was part of India’s team for the ODI series against West Indies but did not get a chance to play a single match.
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“You Will Definitely See Either Of Them Playing” – Aakash Chopra on Akshar Patel and Shardul Thakur
Aakash Chopra believes that either Akshar Patel or Shardul Thakur will definitely be a part of India’s playing XI, while Ravindra Jadeja is a sure shot at No.7. They said:
“It will be interesting to see the sort of XI they make because when you select the team, you will either see Axar or Shardul at No. 8. You will see either of the two definitely playing.”
The eminent commentator highlighted that the inclusion of the characters would compromise on attack variety. he explained:
“If Axar plays, for example, then 10 overs from Jaddu and 10 overs from Axar. That’s going to be an interesting 20 overs of left-arm spin, almost similar kind of bowling effort.”
Aakash Chopra feels that Shardul Thakur will be preferred if the opponents have an abundance of left-handed batsmen. He saw:
“It’s not that left-arm spin doesn’t work but you don’t bowl left-arm spinners much against left-handers. So your game plan will get slightly stuck there. If that happens, you might see Shardul at No. 8, if the opposition team has three or four left-handers.”
Aakash Chopra admitted that India needed a batsman at number eight but questioned whether they were paying a high price for it. He concluded by saying that it would have been nice if Yuzvendra Chahal had been picked, highlighting that he is perhaps the only real contender to miss out.