Veteran commentator Aakash Chopra has questioned the selectors’ decision to replace pace bowler Avesh Khan with Akash Deep in the Indian squad for the final three Tests against England. Apart from the speedsters Jasprit Bumrah and Mukesh Kumar, who were part of the playing XI, Avesh Khan was the only pace bowler in India’s squad for the second Test after Mohammed Siraj had been given a break. While Siraj has returned for the final three Tests, the latter has made way for Akash Deep.
In a video shared on his YouTube channel, Chopra said: “Another story is that Akash Deep has come. So the question is where did Avesh go because Avesh Khan was a part of this team. I saw him bowling with full effort in Vizag. Now suddenly he is not part of this Test team. So it is slightly surprising. It’s been heard that the team management has liked Akash Deep a lot because of how he bowled in the nets. He has done well for India A. So very happy for him but Avesh didn’t do anything wrong.”
However, Akash Deep has claimed 103 wickets which came at an average of 23.18 in 29 first-class games. He scalped 11 wickets in the two unofficial Tests he played for India A against the England Lions as well. Aakash Chopra also said that the selectors made a wrong call by leaving out Avesh Khan without giving him a chance as well.
“If you drop someone who hasn’t done anything wrong, it leaves a sour taste in the mouth because you didn’t give him an opportunity. If you drop someone without giving him a chance, that may not be the right thing to do. Jasprit Bumrah is there. I feel he will play the third match for sure. He might miss the fourth in Ranchi and play the fifth in Dharamsala. A lot will depend on the result. If the Rajkot match goes awry, you will want Jasprit Bumrah to play the Ranchi match as well,” Aakash Chopra concluded.