Former India opener Aakash Chopra left surprised by the non-selection of pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar for the tour of England for the final of the World Test Championship and the subsequent 5-match Test series against Joe Root’s men.
India is carrying a large contingent of 20 players plus 4 standbys, but the Meerut seamer missed out. Bhuvneshwar Kumar has battled with multiple injuries in the past couple of years – he last played a Test match in January 2018.
Aakash Chopra acknowledges that while Bhuvneshwar may not be fit enough for the WTC final in June – he recently suffered another niggle in the IPL and missed a couple of games for the Sunrisers Hyderabad – but the former opener reckons the pacer should have been selected for the following Test series against England as he is good form, and the conditions would assist his bowling.
“Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s name not being there is a little surprising from my point of view. It is possible he might not have gotten fit till the WTC final or you may not have wanted to take a chance with him,” Aakash Chopra on his Youtube channel.
“He further opined, “But if there are five Test matches in England and you have a bowler like Bhuvi bowling at his peak, you can surely play him two or three of the five Test matches. That’s what I would be thinking that if I get a bowler like Bhuvi in those conditions, he is an asset.
“But his name is not there for a series that starts in August and ends in September, there are five Test matches. When we talk about the huge squads, if he is fit, then why not Bhuvneshwar Kumar. You might also be thinking the same,” he added.
Even Kuldeep Yadav’s exclusion is a little harsh: Aakash Chopra
The 43-year-old cricketer-turned-commentator feels Kuldeep Yadav’s exclusion was a “little harsh.” The leg-spinner has played only 1 Test in the last two years, despite being touted as the first-choice overseas spinner by Ravi Shastri after his five-for in Sydney in January 2019.
“Personally, even Kuldeep Yadav’s exclusion is a little harsh. He has not played too much cricket, so to make the formal opinion that he does not make the cut, I feel that he is a little hard done by.
“He bowled only one Test against England, on a raging turner. Picked up a couple of wickets at the end. Did not play the pink-ball Test.
“Now, he is not playing the entire series. Not just the WTC final, but also the five-match Test series against England. In Covid times, you have the luxury of playing larger squads, so why not Kuldeep Yadav,” Aakash Chopra told ESPNcricinfo.