Aakash Chopra believes that Yashasvi Jaiswal is running slightly ahead of Ruturaj Gaikwad in the race for an opener’s berth in India’s T20 World Cup squad. With the likes of skipper Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill being rested for the recently concluded T20I series against Australia, Yashasvi Jaiswal and Ruturaj Gaikwad opened in all five matches. The two youngsters have also found themselves in the T20I squad for the upcoming South Africa tour commencing on December 10.
In a video shared on his YouTube channel, Chopra was asked about his first choice opener between Yashasvi Jaiswal and Ruturaj Gaikwad for India’s T20 World Cup squad, to which he responded, “I am thinking about a left-right combination. I feel it has more importance in T20s because you have only six (powerplay) overs and you have to maximize them. There is no doubt you can have two right-handers, Shubman (Gill) and Rohit (Sharma) have been playing together. Rohit and Ruturaj can also play together.”
The former India opener added, “There is no problem with that but there is an advantage with left-right. In ODIs, you have time, you can play one or two overs cautiously. You need to start in T20s like Vande Bharat Express or the Shatabdi. Then you have brighter chances to post a huge total. So Yashasvi looks slightly ahead to me.”
Aakash Chopra Backs Yashasvi Jaiswal Ahead Of Ruturaj Gaikwad
Ruturaj Gaikwad amassed 223 runs at an excellent strike rate of 159.28 and was the highest run-getter in the T20I series between India and Australia. He scored a brilliant 123 in the third T20I which is the second highest individual score by an Indian in T20Is. Yashasvi Jaiswal was slightly more explosive with the bat, scoring 138 runs at a strike rate of 168.29.
Aakash Chopra acknowledged the fact that the IPL 2024 will be a deciding factor. However, he cast his vote for Jaiswal saying, “However, it (the T20 World Cup) is still six months away. You need an extremely good IPL. If that is not good, all the talk will be worthless. I feel Yashasvi Jaiswal.”
The reputed commentator made his observations about Ruturaj Gaikwad stating that the opener is an all-format player. However, he reiterated that Yashasvi Jaiswal has a slight edge over Gaikwad in the shortest format. He stated, “Ruturaj Gaikwad – outstanding cricketer. He is part of all three formats for the South Africa tour but if I see only the T20 format, I feel Yashasvi is slightly ahead because of the way he plays.”
Yashasvi Jaiswal smashed 625 runs at a brilliant strike rate of 163.61 in 14 innings in IPL 2023. Ruturaj Gaikwad was also at his prolific best, scoring 590 runs in 15 innings, with a slightly low strike rate of 147.50. Jaiswal scored the fastest half-century in the history of the IPL (13 balls) in the 2023 edition of the IPL against Kolkata Knight Riders. Indeed his T20 performances are better than Ruturaj Gaikwad as of now, especially in the IPL but Gaikwad can turn the tides if he remains consistent.