Former Indian opener Aakash Chopra has picked five players that he is looking forward to watching during the upcoming ODI and T20I series against Sri Lanka.
India will lock horns with Sri Lanka in three ODIs and as many T20Is later this month and the series will be an opportunity for a plethora of young players to showcase their mettle at the highest level.
While picking his top-5 players to watch out for, Aakash Chopra did not consider established cricketers like Shikhar Dhawan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Hardik Pandya, Yuzvendra Chahal.
The first player that Chopra picked is mystery spinner Varun Chakravarthy. Chopra highlighted the fact that India does not boast of a mystery spinner in their ranks and the inclusion of the Tamil Nadu cricketer will complete their bowling unit.
“The first name on my list is someone who has never played international cricket. His name is Varun Chakravarthy. If we see the Indian bowling department, a mystery spinner is not there. Once you have a mystery spinner, you feel your bowling is complete,” said Aakash Chopra in a video on his official Youtube channel.
The second player picked by Aakash Chopra is the swashbuckling opener, Prithvi Shaw.
Shaw has been in blazing form in white-ball cricket this year and when on song, Chopra reckoned that the diminutive opener can overshadow any Indian batsman.
“The second player I am thinking about is Prithvi Shaw. The form he is in, 2021 is his year. He can leave anyone behind when he is batting, you can put any Indian batsman at the other end. If he shines, that will be fantastic.”
‘He has been absolutely sensational’- Aakash Chopra on Suryakumar Yadav
The stylish and ever so versatile, Suryakumar Yadav, is the third player that Aakash Chopra has picked.
According to the former opener, SKY’s ability to bat at any position in the batting order is what makes him such a valuable asset for any side.
“At number three, I have kept Suryakumar Yadav. He has been absolutely sensational, there is no doubt about that. The ability to bat both up and down the order separates him from the rest. He has got the all-round game.” he added.
The former opener reckoned that the upcoming ODI and T20I rubbers will be a great opportunity for CSK seamer Deepak Chahar to redeem himself and get back in the reckoning after he was overlooked during the England series despite being in the squad.
“At number four, I have kept Deepak Chahar. Generally, he always plays in the T20s but if we see the last series, he was in the team but was not given a chance. He is the same bowler who has the world record. He can do well in the “ODIs as well.” added Aakash Chopra.
“Last but not least, there is a toss-up between Ishan Kishan and Sanju Samson. When you see towards the Indian team, you have KL Rahul and Rishabh Pant as the wicket-keeper options, but you might need an additional batsman,” he added.
The India-Sri Lanka white-ball rubber will get underway with a three-match ODI series in Colombo from July 13.