Aakash Chopra leaves Shubman Gill out of India’s probable team for 1st ODI vs Sri Lanka
By SMCS - Jan 9, 2023 1:06 pm
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Former India player turned veteran commentator Aakash Chopra feels Shubman Gill cannot be there in India’s playing XI for the first ODI against Sri Lanka. The first game of the three-match ODI series will be played in Guwahati on Tuesday, January 10. Rohit Sharma will lead the team after missing the T20I series due to a thumb injury sustained in the second ODI against Bangladesh.

Shubman Gill
Shubman Gill scored his maiden ton

In a video shared on his YouTube channel, Chopra said: “There are questions right from the top and the answers to the questions are not easy. If Ishan Kishan and Rohit Sharma open – Rohit Sharma is the captain and Ishan Kishan is undroppable at this point in time, he has scored a double century – Shubman Gill cannot come in the team, he cannot get a place in the XI.”

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He continued: “Virat Kohli will play at No. 3. He has built a fort at No. 3 and he is its king. Who at No. 4? I give you two options – Shreyas Iyer and KL Rahul. KL Rahul was the Indian team’s vice-captain until now and that designation has been taken from him now, but that doesn’t make him a lesser player, he is an amazing player. No one can touch Shreyas Iyer. I feel he should not be touched because Shreyas Iyer has been absolutely outstanding in 2022. The player has scored runs in whichever matches he has played for India across formats, and this is the ODI format in which his performance remains unparalleled.”

Hardik Pandya
Hardik Pandya

Aakash Chopra also added that it would have been a bigger headache regarding Rishabh Pant’s injury as he was in form and smashed a match-winning century in the series decider against England as well. However, Chopra picked Shreyas and Rahul to bat at No. 4 and No. 5 and further added that Hardik Pandya has to play at No. 6 as well.

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“So let us keep Shreyas Iyer and KL Rahul at No. 4 and No. 5 respectively. If either Shreyas or Rahul is playing at No. 5, SKY cannot play at No. 6. Hardik Pandya is also available for ODI cricket now, so Hardik Pandya is a no-brainer at No. 6 because at least one of your top six needs to bowl. That means SKY’s name will not come in this team. Now this is going to be a very difficult selection call for captain Rohit and coach Rahul because it is not going to be easy. You will need the heart to inform whoever is not playing,” Aakash Chopra concluded.