Former India batsman, Aakash Chopra has named the 5 players who he believes will have a defining role in the upcoming 4-match Test series between India and England which will commence on Friday in Chennai.
For the first pick, Aakash Chopra opines that India’s premier spinner, Ravichandran Ashwin will have another impactful series if he continues the form shown in Australia – the off-spinner picked 12 wickets in 3 matches including dismissing Steve Smith thrice.
Chopra points out that since Ravindra Jadeja is ruled out of the first couple of Test, Kuldeep Yadav hasn’t played a Test match in 2 years, Washington Sundar and Axar Patel are inexperienced, which makes Ashwin’s performances imperative if India are to win the series.
In his Facebook video, Aakash Chopra said, “At the first spot comes Ravichandran Ashwin. Jadeja is not available at the start, so if Ashwin continues to bowl with the form he showed in Australia, he is the lead bowler in these conditions. Kuldeep has not played cricket for a long time and whoever plays between Washington Sundar and Axar, will have very little experience. So, Ravichandran Ashwin in my opinion holds all the aces.”
The 43-year-old then names the batting duo of Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli to be the key for the hosts. Rohit was impressive in Australia opening for the first time in overseas Test matches, while Virat Kohli returns to the side after missing the last three Tests in Australia. Chopra expects Rohit to pile up big runs against England.
“The second player from the Indian point of view is Rohit Sharma. This is because when he fires, he destroys the opposition. If he plays the spinners after playing the three fast bowlers, then Dom Bess and Jack Leach will not be able to do anything. I have my eyes focussed on Rohit Sharma and he should score at least one double-century in the four matches in this series.
“I was thinking about Cheteshwar Pujara but since Virat Kohli is back now, the focus will be now on how he plays. He will have to pick up from where Rohit leaves. If Virat does well, his confidence as a batsman and captain will talk,” he added.
Joe Root is batting unbelievably well: Aakash Chopra
The former India opener reckons the England captain, Joe Root is the most important player in the side. The right-hander is coming off a spectacular series in Sri Lanka where he plundered a double hundred and a hundred putting on a spin-playing masterclass.
Aakash Chopra names pacer Stuart Broad, who is currently second on the ICC Test bowling rankings, as the big threat to the Indian team. Broad was at his peak last year as he averaged an excellent 14.76 with the ball in 2020.
“From England, Joe Root. He is batting unbelievably well. He will have to play the captain’s knock, which he can regularly do. He is playing the sweep shots very well. He could be the danger man, he will be the glue that will keep the England team together if he keeps doing well,” the former opener added.
“I think it will be Stuart Broad, not Jofra or Anderson. I feel he will be more than a handful even on these pitches and if he does well, England will continue to remain in the contest,” Aakash Chopra further said.