Ahead of the crucial encounter between India and New Zealand, expert Aakash Chopra has picked his playing XI’s for both teams. Chopra made one change in India playing XI and brought in Shardul Thakur in place of Bhuvneshwar Kumar. He also asked the team management to keep a keen eye on Varun Chakravarthy. Chopra opined that India can go in with Chakravarthy if he is fit and bowling well in the net, else they can replace him with either Ravi Ashwin or Rahul Chahar.
“I want Shardul Thakur to play in place of Bhuvi (Bhuvneshwar Kumar). You’ll have to think a bit about Varun Chakravarthy and how’s he bowling in the nets. If he’s doing well then play him because continuity is important. And if you feel that he isn’t bowling well or there’s some injury issue then it will be a toss-up between Rahul Chahar and Ashwin. The problem is if you play Chahar and Varun and also Shardul then your two out of five bowlers will be inexperienced. So there’s a case for Ashwin but the opposition doesn’t have many left-handers… it’s going to be a bit tricky. I expect Shardul to come in for Bhuvi and probably no other changes which are also alright,” Chopra said on the youtube channel.
Speaking in the playing XI of New Zealand, Chopra expects the team to go in with the same combination. Chopra analysed the flaws in the Kiwi team and said the team is missing a proper finisher. He also said the team will miss the services of Lockie Ferguson, adding that Trent Boult is the only threat for India.
“You might think that I have picked too many top-order batters but they don’t have any other option… Martin Guptill will open because he always has, you want to open with Daryl Mitchell so be it. [But] Devon Conway is also a top-order batter na? He bats in the top-three. Tim Seifert is a T20 opener and doesn’t have a reputation in down the order. So there aren’t any explosive batters left down the order. Glenn Phillips has a big name but he hasn’t come to the party yet. Dubai might suit him but if you change your pace, you can restrict him too. That is the problem I see in this team.”
Aakash Chopra’s Indian XI: KL Rahul, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli (C), Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant (WK), Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Mohammed Shami, Varun Chakravarthy, Jasprit Bumrah.
Aakash Chopra’s New Zealand XI: Daryl Mitchell, Martin Guptill, Kane Williamson (C), Devon Conway, Glenn Phillips, Tim Seifert (WK), James Neesham, Mitchell Santner, Trent Boult, Tim Southee, Ish Sodhi.