Former Indian opening batsman Aakash Chopra has questioned the Indian team, who is likely to make a host of changes ahead of the Boxing Day Test against Australia. The second Test in Melbourne remains as good as a must-win game for India after losing the first Test in Adelaide by eight wickets. Aakash Chopra has mainly questioned the possibility of swapping of Rishabh Pant with Wriddhiman Saha.
Ahead of the second Test in Melbourne, India will likely carry out five changes to their playing eleven – one of those could be dropping Wriddhiman Saha to bring in Rishabh Pant as their gloveman. With Saha notching up single-figure scores in the first Test and Virat Kohli’s absence, the visitors need an extra capable batsman. Pant’s burgeoning record in Australia’s last Test tour and his form in the warm-up match makes him an irrefutable prospect to replace the veteran.
Aakash Chopra said that the news says India could bring in Ravindra Jadeja and play five bowlers. However, the former Indian cricketer feels that it is needless since batting is the problem here and not the bowling. Aakash observed that India could do with four bowlers and while Mohammed Shami is not present, Australia are also wholesomely reliable on a couple of batsmen.
“The news coming in is that Ravindra Jadeja will get the chance and India will go in with five bowlers. I don’t understand it personally because your problem is not the bowling. You lost because of the batting and the bowling is going very well. You are able to do with four bowlers. I agree Shami is not there but you should see the opposition batting also. They are dependent a lot on Marnus Labuschagne and Steve Smith,” Aakash said in a video shared on his official Facebook page.
Furthermore, the 43-year old calls for the tourists to play six proper batsmen and Hanuma Vihari should be playing as he did well in New Zealand as well as in the practice match. Hence, his form is not so poor.
“No one knows what Hanuma Vihari has done wrong. He has been doing okay in the last little while. He had scored a fifty in New Zealand and a century in the warm-up game. So, it is not that his form is very bad,” the cricketer-turned commentator added.
Aakash Chopra understands that India needs to bolster their batting line-up for the Melbourne Test, especially after their batting debacle in the second innings of the first Test and keeping in mind Virat Kohli’s absence. Aakash also pointed out that bearing in mind the tourists could likely leave out Hanuma Vihari too, the keeper coming in needs to be a capable batsman.
“Wriddhiman Saha will probably be shown the way out and Rishabh Pant will be brought in. It could be because you need a little more cushion in the batting because Kohli has left and you are also looking at leaving out Vihari and play with five batsmen, so the sixth batsmen who is a keeper, should be a better batsman,” Chopra mentioned.
But what will you say to Wriddhiman Saha?: Aakash Chopra
But the 43-year old has observed that India might have a hard time justifying Saha’s axe by bringing in Rishabh Pant for him. Moreover, Aakash feels that triggering so many changes after one loss could mean pressing the panic button.
“So you will play Rishabh Pant there. But what will you say to Wriddhiman Saha? If you make so many changes after one match, it just shows one thing that you they have pressed the panic button,” he added.