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Aakash Chopra expects Shubman Gill and Rohit Sharma to open in IND vs AFG T20Is
By SMCS - Jan 8, 2024 10:41 am
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Former India player turned veteran commentator Aakash Chopra expects Shubman Gill to play as Rohit Sharma’s opening partner ahead of Yashasvi Jaiswal in India’s upcoming T20I series against Afghanistan. India will face Afghanistan in three T20Is, with the first game to be played in Mohali on Thursday, January 11 as well. Gill, Jaiswal and Rohit are the three specialist openers in the 16-member Indian squad picked by the selectors on Sunday as well.

Shubman Gill
Shubamn Gill and Rohit Sharma

In a video shared on his YouTube channel, Chopra said: “Interestingly enough, KL Rahul’s name is not there in this team. There will be a fight for the opening position because Shubman Gill, Yashasvi Jaiswal and Rohit Sharma are all there. So one of them will have to sit out. In all likelihood, Yashasvi will be asked to sit out, and Rohit and Gill will open because Gill is a senior member. Seniority-wise, he is ahead of Yashasvi Jaiswal. He fluctuates a little too much in the T20 format, that is also a fact.”

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However, Shubman Gill and Jaiswal opened for India in the recent T20I series against South Africa. While Gill managed only eight runs in two innings, the Mumbai batter played a 60-run knock in the final T20I after being dismissed for a duck in the previous game as well. Meanwhile, Aakash Chopra also reckons KL Rahul’s non-selection for the T20I series against Afghanistan is debatable too. Rahul has scored 2265 runs in 68 T20I innings at an average of 37.75 and an impressive strike rate of 139.12 as well.

Rohit Sharma
Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill added 212 runs for the opening wicket

“Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul and Virat Kohli were India’s top three in the 2022 World Cup. Among them, KL Rahul has been dropped or has not been picked, there is no clarity, but he is not there. There can be a discussion on that as well,” Aakash Chopra concluded. “His strike rate in T20Is is more than 135, so that is not bad. There are no vacant opening positions in any case, and you play him in the middle in ODIs as well, so you could have done that here too. You play him down the order even in Tests now. However, you said you need to make some change at least.”