Aakash Chopra has raised questions on the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) for handling Shardul Thakur in a poor way in IPL 2023. KKR traded in Shardul for a whopping ₹10.75 crore from the Delhi Capitals prior to the IPL 2023 auction. The seam-bowling all-rounder claimed seven wickets and gave away an average of 10.47 runs per over in the 11 matches he played in the recently-concluded Indian Premier League.
On the ‘AakashVani’ show on JioCinema, Chopra said: “Lord Thakur came to bat at No. 3 once. He didn’t bowl that day. Then when he was bowling, he was given one over at times and didn’t bowl at all on other occasions. Batting at No. 3 at times and didn’t bat at all on other occasions. It was beyond my understanding. He was slightly injured, he probably bowled a little less because of that, but to not bowl at all – you gave 10 crores to take him from Delhi. A 10-crore player, an Indian international, somebody who has this wicket-taking luck, he makes things happen, but he was not used properly at all.”
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Aakash Chopra also added that KKR similarly underutilized Lockie Ferguson too as well. The New Zealand speedster was acquired from the Gujarat Titans for a massive ₹10 crore but got to play only three matches in the league this season as well. However, he also opined on SunRisers Hyderabad’s mismanagement of Umran Malik as well. He also shared that the Jammu and Kashmir pacer was not used as per his strengths as well.
“Then I remember Umran Malik. If it’s up to him, he should leave the franchise today itself, that he doesn’t want to play for Hyderabad. Why am I saying that, because a bowler who bowls at 150 kph, we all know that he can be expensive, but the way Umran Malik was not utilized at all has disappointed me. You got him to bowl an over in the powerplay once. You never see him bowling an over in the powerplay. He conceded 26-odd runs in that and then you didn’t bowl him at all. Then you don’t play him a match at all and when you play him, you bowl him very less. It’s a travesty that the Hyderabad franchise couldn’t use Umran Malik properly,” Aakash Chopra concluded.