Former Indian opener Aakash Chopra has spoken about his preferred playing XI for the Indian cricket team ahead of the first ODI. India and Australia face each other in a three-match ODI series starting with the first ODI in Mumbai on March 17.
The BCCI has named a 17-member Indian squad with Hardik Pandya leading the Men in Blue in the first ODI. He will lead the side in the absence of Rohit Sharma who is unavailable for selection due to personal reasons.
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In a video shared on his YouTube channel, Chopra questioned Sanju Samson’s non-inclusion in the Indian squad as he picked up his preferred India playing XI for the first ODI.
“Rohit Sharma is not playing the first match. Shreyas Iyer is not playing the entire series. So should Sanju Samson’s name not have been a part of this team? I am not even thinking from a keeping perspective – Ishan Kishan and KL Rahul are there” Chopra said.
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Sanju Samson Should Have Been A Part Of This Team In Place Of Shreyas Iyer: Aakash Chopra
Chopra further said that he has done well in the limited opportunities he has been given in ODIs and should have been considered as Shreyas Iyer‘s replacement in the side.
“Whenever he has played, if you see the last little while, his performances in ODIs have been good. So when a spot has opened up, he could have definitely come. He could have become a part of this team in place of Shreyas Iyer for sure” Chopra further added.
The former Indian cricketer then went on to reveal his preferred playing XI starting with six batters at the top. He picked Shubman Gill and Ishan Kishan as his openers followed by Virat Kohli at three, KL Rahul at four, Hardik Pandya at five and Suryakumar Yadav at six.
“Let’s talk about the batting order first – Ishan Kishan with Shubman Gill in Rohit Sharma’s absence and Virat Kohli at No. 3. I don’t see Suryakumar Yadav playing at No. 4. I feel KL Rahul will play at No. 4, Hardik at No. 5 and Surya at No. 6 or vice versa” Chopra.
He then picked the lower order with Ravindra Jadeja at seven as the spin-bowling all-rounder. He then picked Mohammed Shami and Mohammed Siraj as his two pacers and felt that Shardul Thakur might be selected ahead of Umran Malik because of his all-round potential in the lineup.
“I am keeping Ravindra Jadeja at No. 7. You will want to play Mohammad Shami, Mohammed Siraj and Umran Malik, because Umran Malik brings such a fantastic dimension to India’s ODI play in the middle overs, that you feel elated” the cricket-turned-commentator further added.
He chose Yuzvendra Chahal as the specialist XI as he concluded his predicted playing XI for the first ODI against Australia.
“However, there will be a slight tug of war because if we keep those three and then say Yuzvendra Chahal, that will not happen. The Indian team’s viewpoint has been that they want a batter at No. 8. So Shardul Thakur has the brightest chances of playing at No. 8” Chopra concluded saying.
Aakash Chopra’s India Playing XI For First ODI vs Australia.
Ishan Kishan, Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, KL Rahul, Hardik Pandya, Suryakumar Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Mohammad Shami, Mohammed Siraj, Yuzvendra Chahal
Also Read: IND vs AUS: Australia Plans To Induct 8 Batters In Playing XI To Bat A Little Deeper- Coach Andrew McDonald
Virat Kohli | Rohit Sharma | Rishabh Pant | KL Rahul | Suryakumar Yadav | Sanju Samson | Shreyas Iyer | Yuzvendra Chahal | Jasprit Bumrah