Aakash Chopra, a former Indian opener, has revealed the likely lineup for the Indian team for the 1st Test in Nagpur. The Men in Blues will lock horns with Australia in a 4-match Test series, the 1st of which will be held from February 9.
The ex-cricketer offered a lot of advice as the Indian squad will be missing a few key players for the forthcoming series. Aakash Chopra’s go-to opening combo were KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma, the former being his first choice over Shubman Gill.
He predicted that there would be no other batting order alterations. aside from Shreyas Iyer’s vacant position.
While speaking on his YouTube channel Aakash Chopra said:
“The Indian team have to give answers to a few big questions. I am seeing Rahul and Rohit opening. I am saying there might not be any change there, that’s what I generally feel. Cheteshwar Pujara at No. 3 and (Virat) Kohli will be there at No. 4. A big question for the Indian team is who they want to play at No. 5,”
Chopra believed that Gill’s active form made him a strong candidate for the part, but Suryakumar Yadav is also in with a chance after getting his first Test call-up.
The Predicted XI of Aakash Chopra for the Nagpur Test
He prefers KS Bharat for the wicketkeeping position due to his superior glove skills. In the absence of Rishabh Pant, the cricketer-turned-expert believes that India could benefit from an aggressive hitter like Ishan Kishan.
“Their mind might go toward Shubman Gill because he has been doing so well for the last little while that they will not like to make him sit out. But is No. 5 ideal for him, maybe in the long-term or maybe now – we don’t know. If Surya gets his debut at No. 5, then you can easily go with KS Bharat. If Shubman Gill plays, maybe you start thinking about Ishan Kishan. I am just thinking if there is a disruptor,”
Regarding the Indian bowlers, the former cricketer believed that Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin were certain to start the first Test, leaving India’s third spinner as the sole potential uncertainty. Chopra proposed Kuldeep Yadav’s name; unless the ball is a rank turner, which will suit Axar Patel more than the left-arm spinner, he would have greater influence with the bat.
“After that, three spinners will play, in which Jaddu and Ashwin are certainties, but who will be the third spinner? If it is a rank turner, then Axar, or else my heart says you should play Kuldeep Yadav because he gets a lot of turn and you get a little variety. You get a left-arm spinner, an off-spinner, and a wrist spinner. Then, Siraj and Shami – I think that’s straightforward. The Indian team is looking very strong.”
Aakash Chopra’s probable India XI for the 1st Test in Nagpur:
Rohit, Rahul, Pujara, Kohli, Gill / Yadav, Bharat / Kishan, Jadeja, Ashwin, Axar / Kuldeep, Shami, Siraj.
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