Former India opener turned veteran commentator Aakash Chopra doesn’t want India to play Sanju Samson instead of Jitesh Sharma in the third T20I against Afghanistan in Bengaluru on Wednesday, January 17. However, India are going into the final game of the three-match series with an unassailable 2-0 lead. Jitesh, who played as the wicketkeeper-batter in the first two games, smashed a 20-ball 31 in the series opener but was dismissed for a duck in the second as well.
In a video shared on his YouTube channel, Chopra said, “The question is whether you should keep Jitesh or Sanju at No. 6. If Jitesh had cemented his place totally, if there hadn’t been a question mark at all in front of Jitesh’s name, that he is definitely going to the World Cup, you could have thought about Sanju. However, Jitesh is not confirmed yet. There is a flip side to that as well. Assuming you play Sanju, will you judge him with one match? It’s incorrect. Whoever you try, give him three chances at least. This is what has happened with Sanju throughout his career.”
However, Aakash Chopra added that judgments have been made on Sanju Samson’s career based on one or two chances whereas other players got many opportunities. He further added that it would be an absolute injustice if the Kerala wicketkeeper-batter is given just a solitary chance to prove his skills. While talking about the rest of the batting lineup, he said that Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, and Yashasvi Jaiswal should play the third T20I as well.
“Rohit hasn’t scored any runs, so he has to play. Virat Kohli has played just one match, so he has to play. Yashasvi has also played just one match, so he too has to play. Shivam Dube has been the find of the series so far, so he will play at No. 4 for sure. So can Tilak Varma be played here? In place of whom, because Rinku Singh gets limited opportunities, in terms of, not the games, but the amount he gets to bat. So he also needs to play,” Aakash Chopra concluded.