Former Indian cricketer Aakash Chopra is one of the most active analysts and experts as of today. From time to time, Aakash Chopra analyses teams’ shortcomings, loopholes, and points out their areas of improvement. On this occasion, the 42-year old has questioned Kings XI Punjab for playing James Neesham in their past three games. The Kiwi all-rounder is one of the four overseas players, who has played in the past three games for Punjab.
James Neesham came in for Chris Jordan after the latter went very expensive against Delhi Capitals in the tournament’s opener. Neesham has picked only one wicket in three matches and batted only once, managing seven runs. The 29-year old went for a staggering 52 runs in four overs against Mumbai Indians; however, took a brilliant catch on the fence, accompanied by Glenn Maxwell to dismiss Rohit Sharma.
Aakash Chopra pointed out that James Neesham is a player, who does not bowl in the powerplay or death overs. According to Aakash, Neesham is not even a powerful finisher or bats in the top four or five; hence, not being a match-winner, he questioned the strategy behind slotting the Black Caps’ all-rounder.
“They play Neesham, an overseas fast bowler, who neither bowls in the powerplay nor in the death overs. He is neither a great finisher nor a big batsman who bats in the top four or five. So why is Kings XI Punjab playing him? You are playing a player who is not really a match-winner,” Aakash Chopra told in his Youtube channel.
“First thing is that Kings XI Punjab is not playing the right team” : Aakash Chopra
Aakash Chopra added that the composition of Kings XI Punjab is not right and criticized the decision to omit Mujeeb-Ur-Rahman from the playing eleven. He also condemned the decision to bowl out Sheldon Cottrell’s quota before the 15th over against Mumbai Indians, leaving the likes of James Neesham, Krishnappa Gowtham, and Mohammed Shami to bowl at the death.
“First thing is that Kings XI Punjab is not playing the right team. Honestly, they are the only team in the world where Mujeeb is not able to make it to the playing XI after being in the squad. They bowled Sheldon Cottrell at the start and finished his quota of overs before the 15th over. What sort of bowling is that, you have to get him to the death. Otherwise, who will bowl at the death, Jimmy Neesham and Krishnappa Gowtham with Mohammed Shami,” Chopra mentioned.
The former Indian opener added that Mohammed Shami is not their best death bowler and was aghast by the decision to give Krishnappa Gowtham to give the final over.
“Shami is not India’s gun death bowler and then they give the 20th over to Gowtham, an off-spinner in the 20th over. You don’t even give that over to Sunil Narine, Ravichandran Ashwin or Harbhajan Singh nowadays and you gave it to Gowtham,” he added further.
The off-spinner, who bowled the 20th over against Mumbai Indians, leaked 25 runs that lifted Mumbai Indians to 191. KXIP gave away 89 runs in the five overs that ultimately resulted in their 48-run loss. They have lost three games out of four and are placed second-last in the points table.