Former India player turned veteran commentator Aakash Chopra said India should pick both Shivam Dube and Hardik Pandya in their 2024 T20 World Cup squad. However, Hardik missed the recently concluded T20I series against Afghanistan as he is yet to be fit from the ankle injury he sustained during last year’s ODI World Cup clash against Bangladesh. Dube, on the other hand, with 124 runs, was the top run-getter across both sides in the Afghanistan series as well. He also picked up two wickets, albeit at an economy rate of 10.00.
In a video shared on his YouTube channel, Chopra said: “Shivam Ati Sundaram – his power is talking loudly. I felt he was sent slightly early in the third match. You could have sent either Sanju Samson or Rinku Singh ahead of him because he is not a grafter, he is an attacker. He reminds me of Yuvi (Yuvraj Singh). So you need to keep him slightly down the order. The way he hit sixes in the first two matches, the power was evident. Some people have even said to leave Hardik and pick Dube. I am saying keep both. Shivam Dube is a real contender based on these three matches. If he does well in the IPL, it will be the icing on the cake.”
However, Aakash Chopra also added that power should never be underestimated in the T20 format, especially considering the pitches in the Caribbean and the United States are likely to be spinner-friendly as well. On the wicketkeeper-batters’ front, the veteran also added that both Jitesh Sharma and Sanju Samson didn’t make the most of their opportunities against Afghanistan as well.
“We haven’t got an answer to the question that who would be our keeper. Jitesh Sharma was played the first two matches. After that, Sanju Samson was played a match. Jitesh batted well in the first match, didn’t open his account in the second, and Sanju didn’t open his account in the third,” Aakash Chopra concluded. “If you ask me who would go, I would say I don’t know who would go. Jitesh hasn’t confirmed his spot, Sanju wasted the one chance he got, Ishan Kishan hasn’t been able to be a part of the race thus far, and they didn’t pick KL Rahul.”