Aakash Chopra comments on Wriddhiman Saha being given a Grade C contract
By SMCS - Mar 11, 2022 1:00 pm
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Former India player turned famous commentator Aakash Chopra has explained why India’s wicketkeeper-batsman Wriddhiman Saha and pacer Ishant Sharma have been awarded a central contract despite their poor show. However, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has recently announced the annual contracts for Team India players where Saha, Ishant, Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara have been dropped for the Test series against Sri Lanka, but they were retained on the contracted players’ list. While Pujara, Ishant, and Rahane got Grade B contracts, Saha received a Grade C one as well.

Wriddhiman Saha
Wriddhiman Saha

In a video shared on his YouTube channel, Aakash Chopra said: “Ishant Sharma and Wriddhiman Saha’s names are also there in BCCI’s central contracts. In fact, Ishant Sharma is at 3 crores. Are you wondering why? Why was Saha given a central contract when you have told him that you are not going to select him at all? It seems Ishant Sharma also has an extremely limited role left in Test cricket, so why is he in the 3-crores contract and not 1 crore? These are things that you wonder?”

Meanwhile, Aakash Chopra has also highlighted the reason behind Saha and Ishant being given a contract this time around as well. However, he stated that the veterans might not get one in the next renewal process.

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He explained: “These are the contracts from October 2021 to the upcoming September. That is why Saha has the right. He was India’s player in this contract period. He scored runs for India in December, that is why his name is there in this list, same goes for Ishant Sharma, he was playing regularly.”

He added: “This could possibly be the last contract for Ishant Sharma and Wriddhiman Saha. Will you see them playing after October – I am not 100% certain. They have already told Saha and it looks 50-50 for Ishant Sharma as well. I love him to bits but it seems the time has come for his exit.”

Meanwhile, Shikhar Dhawan and Hardik Pandya, who were earlier in Grade A, have been demoted to Grade C as well. Aakash Chopra opened up on this too. Moreover, Dhawan is no longer seems to be in the race for the shortest and longest formats of the game as well.

Ravindra Jadeja
Ravindra Jadeja scores a huge invidual 175*

He said: “You see two important players who have gone down two grades – Shikhar Dhawan and Hardik Pandya, who used to get 5 crores, will now get only 1 crore. Why have they been downgraded two grades suddenly? Shikhar Dhawan – his stocks have gone down. He was not part of the World Cup, doesn’t play Test cricket, he played well in the ODIs against South Africa but he is now just a one-format player. Last year, he was playing T20s also and was probably in the periphery in Tests as well but not now.”

He continued: “Hardik Pandya hasn’t been fit, so that’s been the problem. He played the World Cup for sure but after that, the fitness has not been there at all, he has not played and you don’t even know what is going to happen going ahead. So he has been suddenly put in Grade C. Hardik Pandya can make a jump. There is only one player who has extremely bright chances of making a jump – that is Hardik Pandya. If he gets fit and does well, he might get two or three jumps.”

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The veteran also questioned Ravindra Jadeja’s exclusion from the list of players who have been placed in Grade A+. He has been in a sublime form now and has been given a Grade A contract. Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, and Jasprit Bumrah are the only three players in the Grade A+. He also believes Rishabh Pant deserves to be in the highest grade.

Chopra shared: “Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and Jasprit Bumrah will get 7 crores rupees. There is no change in that category. And I feel why not Sir Jadeja? Sir Jadeja’s name should also be there in this list. I feel Ravindra Jadeja’s name will go in the A+ category when the next contract renewal happens because his performance has been so good. His name is in Grade A currently. I feel Jadeja and KL Rahul’s name will start going to A+ next time.”

“Rishabh Pant is going to be a massive contender, you have made him the team’s vice-captain but have placed him below. The same is for KL Rahul, move them up, get them to the 7 crores group, that’s what I feel. There is only one new contracted player – that’s Suryakumar Yadav. The three promoted players – who have come from Grade C to Grade B – they are Axar Patel, Shreyas Iyer and Mohammed Siraj, which is okay. Axar Patel has got a great start to his Test career, Shreyas Iyer’s role has increased and Mohammed Siraj is a definite plus,” Aakash Chopra concluded.