Aakash Chopra and Ajinkya Rahane
Aakash Chopra and Ajinkya Rahane (Image Credits: Twitter)

Aakash Chopra opened up on the omissions of Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara from India’s Test squad for the upcoming series against South Africa. Chopra said that Rahane has been dropped from the squad despite being the vice-captain in the previous Test series.

Ajinkya Rahane faced twin failures in the West Indies after being India’s top scorer in the World Test Championship (WTC) 2023 final match against Australia. Cheteshwar Pujara, who didn’t contribute significantly in the final, wasn’t selected for the West Indies tour.

Things Are Changing Fast – Aakash Chopra

In a video shared on his YouTube channel, Aakash Chopra highlighted significant changes in India’s Test squad, emphasizing that the exclusion of Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara signals a shift in team dynamics.

“There have been big changes in Test cricket. The stories have changed because both Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara are not there. Ajju was the vice-captain, but isn’t even part of the team now. Things are changing fast,” Chopra said.

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Shubman Gill Is Not An Opener – Aakash Chopra

The cricketer-turned-commentator highlighted that if Shreyas Iyer plays at No. 5, either Ishan Kishan or KL Rahul might take on the keeping duties in the upcoming red-ball series.

“Rohit Sharma is the captain. Shubman Gill is not an opener, he is a No. 3 batter. So Gill will come at No. 3 and Yashasvi (Jaiswal) will open. Virat Kohli comes at No. 4. You will see either Shreyas Iyer or KL Rahul at No. 5.”

“There are only two keepers – Ishan Kishan and KL Rahul. So either of them can play as the keeper. So if Shreyas Iyer plays at No. 5, you might see one of them playing as the keeper.”

You Will Never Play Three Spinners – Aakash Chopra

Aakash Chopra emphasized that the selectors picked two spinners and six seamers, considering the pace-bowling-friendly conditions in South Africa. The former Indian opener also mentioned that Mohammed Shami is currently undergoing treatment.

“Jaddu (Ravindra Jadeja) and (Ravichandran) Ashwin – only two spinners have been selected. The matches are in South Africa, you will never play three spinners, so they haven’t been selected as well,” Chopra continued.

“You have Shardul (Thakur), (Mohammed) Siraj and Mukesh (Kumar). (Mohammed) Shami is undergoing treatment right now – there is a star after his name. Jasprit Bumrah is the vice-captain of this team and Prasidh Krishna is there.”

India’s squad for Tests: Rohit Sharma (C), Shubman Gill, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Ishan Kishan (wk), KL Rahul (wk), Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Mohammed Siraj, Mukesh Kumar, Mohammed Shami*, Jasprit Bumrah (VC), Prasidh Krishna.

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Saikrishna Vaitla is an author at Cricketaddictor has been working since September 2022.