Aakash Chopra has questioned the Indian Team management for not giving chances to the likes of Shivam Dube, Venkatesh Iyer, and Vijay Shankar to find Hardik Pandya’s backup. He highlighted the fact that the Indian Premier League (IPL) will not make it up for them now.
Hardik Pandya suffered an ankle injury in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 during India’s game against Bangladesh. While Shivam Dube was warming the bench in the recently concluded five-match T20I series against Australia despite being in the squad, none of the all-rounders mentioned above have got a place in any of the squads for the South Africa tour which will start on December 10.
In a video shared on his YouTube channel, Chopra was asked about India’s preparation of a backup for Hardik Pandya if they are not willing to give chances to Dube, Iyer, and Shankar in bilateral series, to which he replied, “What you are saying is absolutely correct. How will it work out if your only aim in a bilateral series is to win? It won’t work out as you are not trying anyone. In fact, it was my problem in this series (vs Australia), you didn’t have a single bowler in the top six and a batter at No. 8.”
The expert commentator added, “What is the logic behind this we are talking about a scenario when Rohit (Sharma), (Virat) Kohli, Shubman (Gill), and KL Rahul are not there. It is a problem in my opinion because IPL will not do this job now.”
Aakash Chopra Points Out The Impact Player Rule As The Reason Why IPL Won’t Be Able To Do The Job
Aakash Chopra pointed out that the Impact Player rule which was introduced in the IPL in the 2023 edition has somewhat snatched the opportunity to bowl from the likes of Shivam Dube, Venkatesh Iyer, and Vijay Shankar. He reasoned, “IPL could have done this job earlier. It’s not going to do it now. Let’s make peace with it that once the Impact Player rule has come, why will Shivam Dube, Venkatesh Iyer, and Vijay Shankar get to bowl when you can play six bowlers?”
The former India opener opined that the Indian Team missed a trick by not trying these reputed all-rounders against the Aussies. He said, “So that’s not going to happen, whether you like it or hate it. You should consistently keep doing it in bilateral series but you haven’t done that. It’s a trick missed. I am with you on this one.”
It is a necessity to look for backups for a crucial all-rounder like Hardik Pandya. However, it might not be the best option to give chances to players just because they can bowl a few overs as it could compromise the batting department. India will start their South Africa tour with a three-match T20I series where Suryakumar Yadav will be leading the Men In Blue. The series will also see the return of Shubman Gill and Mohammed Siraj to the T20 squad.