Former Indian cricketer Aakash Chopra firmly believes India lacks backup options apart from Ishan Kishan in the team. He stated that if Hardik Pandya isn’t in the team, the balance is severely affected in the Indian squad.
The selectors named the 15-man squad for India’s campaign in the upcoming T20 World Cup 2021. Shikhar Dhawan and Yuzvendra Chahal got the boot while rising spinners Rahul Chahar and Varun Chakravarthy got a look-in. India’s problem, however, lies in the batting line-up where the team is completely dependent on Pandya in the middle-order.
“If I make the team – Rohit, Rahul, Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant at No.5 and after that Hardik Pandya. There is no issue in your XI. So God forbid if someone has a niggle or form issue, you have only one backup as a batsman, who is Ishan Kishan.”
“You are expecting overs from Hardik. There is no backup for Hardik. If Hardik doesn’t bowl, you will be forced to go with only five bowlers. The entire balance will be disturbed if Hardik Pandya goes out of the team because you have not kept anyone like Hardik,” Chopra asserted.
“You have to feel for Shikhar Dhawan though” – Aakash Chopra
Notable absentee, Dhawan, has been in great form in the T20’s. Not only has he accumulated a lot more runs compared to before, but he has also scored these runs at a much quicker rate than what he’s known for. Therefore, getting snubbed for the World Cup is quite unfortunate, as per Chopra.
“Shikhar Dhawan had a case because for quite some time he has been in the form of his life. He has done very well in two consecutive IPLs. In such a case, you expect that his name could have been there. Left-handed opening batsman, he can give you starts.”
“So, that is the one name who misses but still you might just make peace with it because Rohit and Rahul are there and nowadays Virat also opens. You have to feel for him though. Prithvi Shaw was a long shot,” he concluded.
Shreyas Iyer, Deepak Chahar, and Shardul Thakur have been named as the reserves for the squad. India gets its campaign underway with a clash against Pakistan in Dubai.