Aakash Chopra and Shubman Gill
Aakash Chopra and Shubman Gill (Image Credits: Twitter)

Former Indian cricketer Aakash Chopra expressed the challenge of choosing between Yashasvi Jaiswal and Ruturaj Gaikwad as Shubman Gill’s opening partner in the upcoming T20I series against South Africa, which is set to commence on December 10 in Durban.

Shubman Gill, Ruturaj Gaikwad, and Yashasvi Jaiswal are designated as specialist openers in the squad for the T20I series, with Ishan Kishan providing an additional option. In the recent series against Australia, Jaiswal and Gaikwad opened the innings, while Gill was rested.

Shubman Gill Is Back – Aakash Chopra

In a video shared on his YouTube channel, Aakash Chopra acknowledged Shubman Gill as the preferred opener for India. Chopra admitted to not having a definitive answer to the question of who should be the opening partner for Gill.

“Shubman Gill is back, so I am assuming he will play. He should play the first match itself. If he plays, who will open with him? Both Ruturaj and Yashasvi are standing together and saying that they did well in the last series,” Chopra said.

“Ruturaj scored a century as well, was the highest run-scorer, so he will say he should be played. However, Yashasvi is a left-hander, very attractive and aggressive, he will say he should be played. So that’s the first fight that who should be played. Difficult question, I don’t have an answer,” he added.

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Ishan Kishan Won’t Play – Aakash Chopra

The cricketer-turned-commentator believes that Ishan Kishan is unlikely to secure a spot in the playing XI due to strong competition in the middle order. Chopra also questioned the rationale behind picking a large squad for the three-match series.

“Then when I go slightly down the order, it seems like there is no chance at all of Ishan Kishan playing because Suryakumar Yadav, Shreyas Iyer, Rinku Singh and Jitesh Sharma will play here. So Ishan Kishan has gone but he won’t play,” Aakash Chopra stated.

“I will keep a close eye on India’s selection because whoever you play in the first game, this is your duty that you play them all the matches because it is a three-match series only. So the selection of 17 players may just backfire but that’s the way it is,” he concluded.

India’s T20I squad: Yashasvi Jaiswal, Shubman Gill, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Tilak Varma, Suryakumar Yadav (C), Rinku Singh, Shreyas Iyer, Ishan Kishan (wk), Jitesh Sharma (wk), Ravindra Jadeja (VC), Washington Sundar, Ravi Bishnoi, Kuldeep Yadav, Arshdeep Singh, Mohammed Siraj, Mukesh Kumar, Deepak Chahar.

Also read: “Who Will Bowl At The Death” – Aakash Chopra Highlights India’s Concerns Ahead Of T20 World Cup 2024

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Saikrishna Vaitla is an author at Cricketaddictor has been working since September 2022.