The final T20I clash between India and Afghanistan on January 17 at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru left fans on the edge of their seats, culminating in two Super Overs and intense scrutiny. Rohit Sharma’s unusual return to bat in the second Super Over, after being retired out in the first, sparked criticism, especially from former cricketer Aakash Chopra.
Aakash Chopra, part of the commentary panel, questioned the decision, emphasizing the difference between “retired hurt” and “retired out.” According to cricket rules, a batter declared “retired out” signifies the end of their innings, preventing them from returning to bat. Despite this, Rohit Sharma appeared again in the second Super Over, leading to widespread disagreement.
In response, Aakash Chopra expressed his disapproval, asserting that Rohit should not have been permitted to bat again, regardless of any consultation with the Afghanistan captain and coach. The former cricketer stressed the importance of adhering to the established rules, calling the decision incorrect.
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Aakash Chopra also scrutinized India’s decision to send Sanju Samson as the third batter in the second Super Over, following Rinku Singh’s dismissal. He argued that Shivam Dube, known for his proficiency against left-arm pace, should have been chosen over Samson, especially considering the bowling scenario with Fareed Ahmad.
Expressing his surprise, Aakash Chopra highlighted the strategic error, pointing out that Dube, who can handle left-arm pace well, was inexplicably benched. The decision to send Samson resulted in a meager score of 11 runs, and India failed to play the entire six balls, succumbing on the fifth delivery.
The match’s complex dynamics, coupled with rule interpretations and strategic decisions, created an intense spectacle that garnered attention and diverse opinions from cricket enthusiasts.
“Sanju Samson came when Rinku got out and I was shocked. Nothing against Sanju, but he had already been dismissed for a first-ball duck. He didn’t get a chance to bat much as he got out off the first ball,” Aakash Chopra remarked on his YouTube channel, critiquing India’s decision-making in the Super Over saga.
He furtehr added, “Shivam Dube was sitting out, and you didn’t send him. Dube hits left-arm pace as well. I was surprised. We scored 11 runs only. In fact, we didn’t even play the entire six balls; we were bowled out on the fifth delivery itself.”